The hype for Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros has been very very real. All you have to do is say DRAGONS and you know I will be showing up ready to devour every page. I had the absolute pleasure of being part of the MTMC cover reveal for Fourth Wing too, so like 😌 am here being trendy before it exploded all over the book community in all its firey, raging badassery glory.
The dragons did not fail me! I enjoyed this one. It is a hefty tome at over 500 pages but keeps up an engaging and stellar pace throughout. It has a ton of familiar tropes with a magic school setting, quests, training sequences, and high-risk battle scenes (and of course romance too) and I think that worked well for it. Enjoyable and yet familiar.
The story follows Violet Sorrengail who has a connective tissue disorder (yay for disabled main characters!!) and has spent her whole life ready to go into the Scribe Academy…only for her unforgiving, cold and callous mother to sentence her to join the Riders Quadrant instead. Basically: if you’re not super smart and tough = you die. The challenges are wickedly hard, the chances of landing a dragon slim. Not only do you have to survive brutal training but other cadets will pick you off so there’s more chance for them to score a dragon. Basically: Violet is screwed…except she refuses to die.
Violet is so easily loveable — she has that main character tenacity and clever wit, but she’s not entitled or irritatingly snarky. She recognises her weaknesses but doesn’t feel weak and she doesn’t consider herself broken. (Though I will say I don’t think disabled characters should have to work twice as hard to survive, but this was definitely a survival story.) I was just rooting for Violet the whole way through.
And can I just say I LOVE TAIRN. He is a grumpy old dragon and totally snipey and done with all these petty squawking little human problems. Tairn x Violet’s relationship is everything. 😂
There’s also plenty of magic, lots of badass fight scenes, not to mention flight scenes and academia elements too. The only thing I’m not keen on in epic fantasy is overly modern dialogue/slang, but that’s just a personal preference for me.
And we cannot miss talking about the amazing side characters. 😩💛 Rhiannon was an instant favourite bestie and loved getting to know Ridoc and Liam (um Liam is a sweetheart!?) Dain walks in as Violet’s childhood BFF and they have a lot of history, but his love for her is very brotherly and overbearing–he is so scared she’ll die that cannot see her as anything but fragile and never believes in her. I kind of liked how he fit into the story, as almost an antagonist but not a villain. It’s just an interestingly complex dynamic between them. And okay we have to talk about Xaden Riorson — son of a traitor, branded, dark and tortured past, merciless and cold and withdrawn…an absolute bad boy (but with a heart of gold). There’s enemies-to-lovers vibes here but it’s not toxic, which I appreciated. He has so much reason to hate Violet because of who her mother is and the suffering she’s wrought…so Violet and Xaden’s connection is super slowburn and then they get irrevocably tangled. You will be INVESTED. Love Xaden. 😭 Boy deserves to catch a break though.
Fourth Wing is powerful and captivating fantasy that flourishes in familiar fantasy ground while being full of bright personality, high-stakes, disability rep, and the best dragons you could ask for.
Thank you to Hachette Australia for the ARC!
Dragons, war and Hunger Games-esque trials. Fourth Wing is a high-stakes, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas. Welcome to the brutal and elite world of Basgiath War College, where everyone has an agenda, and every night could be your last . . .
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.
Alliances will be forged. Lives will be lost. Traitors will become allies . . . or even lovers. But sleep with one eye open because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.