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NA Fantasy Book Review: Fourth Wing

3.5 stars

1st of the Empyrean series

Type of Fantasy: Epic


Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

My Thoughts 

I bought and read this book because of bookstagram and because it looked similar to my novel, The Gift of Dragons, and I had to know what all the hype was about.

Spice, apparently.

My thoughts about the book can basically be summed up as, “Less spice, more dragons.” There was way too graphic sex scenes and much more boy drama than I was expecting. There were dragons, but Yarros didn’t develop Violet’s relationship with them very much. I wanted to know more about what the dragons were thinking/feeling/doing more than what certain characters were doing in bed.

I did like Violet herself though. I loved her determination to prove herself–a small girl who has joint and bone problems in a world where weakness and pain is a disgrace and looked down on. Her snark and spunk is hilarious, and I fought for her to win and survive through every encounter.

The dragon riders fight people riding gryphons, which was something I hadn’t read about before. The worldbuilding in general was phenomenal.

I’m not sure what I think about the man Violet ends up with at the end of this book. Their relationship seemed to happen too fast, and I’m still struggling to find what about him (besides looks) that Violet finds attractive.

Overall, Fourth Wing had a lot of great elements, but the graphic sex, cussing, boy drama and undeveloped dragons ruined the book for me. I probably won’t read the sequel. If you love dragons and want enemies-to-lovers romance without the spice, check out my YA fantasy book, The Gift of Dragons! 🙂

What’s a book that didn’t live up to your expectations? 

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