Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Five Word Summary

Captivating, brutal, inspirational, fantastical, angsty.


  • Fantasy lovers


Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author 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.

My Thoughts

“But I will not run. I wouldn’t be standing here if I’d quit every time something seemed impossible to overcome. I will not die today.” -Violet

“Not all strength is physical.”

Violet Sorrengail is a kick-ass main character who truly anchors this book. That is not to suggest it is ONLY her that holds the book together – far from it. I like to think she is the foundation and boy, oh, boy, she is so well built (written) that the foundation is 100% solid. Violet is kind-hearted, brave, determined, clever, and gritty. She has things to learn though and makes mistakes, which also makes her real. In fact, she is so tenderhearted, she doesn’t always see things clearly – every time Dain put his hands on her face I wanted to scream at her to ‘WAKE UP! Can’t you see what he’s doing?’

“A dragon without its rider is a tragedy. A rider without their dragon is dead.”

Everything else in Fourth Wing shines brightly on the solid base that is Violet. We have terrific side characters – enablers and disablers – all of which are well written. The high stakes story captivates and has the reader passionately rooting for the characters. Dragons play an incredible role, ranging from fearsome to wise elders to adorably endearing, all of them standing as remarkable individuals. The enemies-to-lovers storyline is particularly well-executed, with a potent blend of raw sexual tension and forbidden allure. I’m a sucker for tall leading men, so found Xaden an irresistible delight.

The ending is subtly foreshadowed throughout the book, including very early (Chapter 2 from memory) which was great because I was immediately like “hello – what have we here?” Early foreshadowing ups the interest in where the story is headed, so kudos to Yarros.

If I were to nitpick, I might point out the stories predictability, but honestly, there are many stories that are predictable and Fourth Wing maintains such a tight grip on your attention that you eagerly read on to see ‘how’ the inevitable comes about. And let’s face it – we readers like our stories to hit the right memes and meet the right expectations, so predictability is not necessarily a flaw. The book is long (around 184,000 words) with long chapters, but it never felt like hard work, which is a testament to how engrossing the story was.

The big question is this: Does Fourth Wing live up to its hype? The answer is a resounding yes. It was a captivating read and I am super keen for book 2, Iron Flame, which is due for release in November this year.


Gorgeous cover – perfect fantasy tones and feel.

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