BY REBECCA YARROS
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.
Fourth Wing is one of the best traditional fantasy books I’ve come across in such a long time. It has an actual fantasy plot that has good world building, firmly establishes a dynamic magic system and includes amazing characters with tremendous growth and development. It’s able to do all that while also giving us a romance plot with some spice. Yarros truly delivers a magical story that I was unable to put down.
Due to health complications Violet has always been physically weak and an embarrassment to her mother. Thrown into the Riders Quadrant (I swear her mom was hoping she’d die) instead of the Scribe Quadrant she’d studied for her whole life, she has to fight to survive everyday with the odds stacked against her. I loved her sheer determination and unwillingness to give up even when those around her doubted her. She had such a big heart and was so damn cunning when it came to making up for her weaknesses.
From the moment Xander was introduced I knew Violet was in trouble. They’re a true enemies to lovers that Yarros perfectly executed. Tall, dark, handsome and emotionally scarred is always a recipe for disaster but I just knew he was a softie who cared for the kind-hearted, violent and, some would say, weak woman he shouldn’t give a crap about. The tension was perfection and I looked forward to their moments together. They definitely have some spicy scenes and I couldn’t get enough of them. It’s the slowest of slow burns but the communication and growth between them makes it all worth it.
I don’t think I could ever get enough of the dragons. More dragons are a definite must in the second book. I couldn’t get enough of the sass and snark that is Tairn. He was a crabby old dragon with a dry sense of humor that had me cackling. Violet and him were made for each other and their relationship was like two puzzle pieces that look like they shouldn’t fit together but somehow do. He saw her potential and believed in her when no one else did. Don’t even get me started on sweet baby Andarna. I adore her and I cannot wait to see her journey in the next book.
This review doesn’t even do this book justice. It had so many of the fantasy elements I love while also delivering on the spicy romance I always want. The twists at the end had me floored and I can’t believe how long I have to wait for the next book. I cannot recommend Fourth Wing enough and think it’s a must read for all fantasy lovers.