Published by Entangled Publishing on May 2, 2023
Series: The Empyrean #1
Genres: adult, Fantasy & Magic, Romance
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
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.
Fourth Wing is the first book in The Empyrean series by Rebecca Yarros. This is an adult fantasy romance series and I can already tell that all other books I read this year are going to have a hard time topping Fourth Wing. It deserves way more than 5 stars. It is going to hold a very special place in my heart forever. I cannot say enough good things about this book, these characters and this story. Fourth Wing is something special. A must read for anyone who likes fantasy.
In Fourth Wing we meet our main character, Violet, who has trained her entire life to become a scribe like her father. However; when the day comes for Violet to enter the scribe quadrant, she instead finds herself trying to cross a dangerous Parapet leading to the elite war riders college. Violet has a physical disability and is not what anyone would consider a warrior, but she is the best kind of warrior in my eyes. I fell in love with her instantly, and to say I was rooting for her is a vast understatement. In this world, the war college is famous because of how brutal it is, and also because when people graduate they become dragon riders! I love dragons, and I love Rebecca Yarros depiction of them.
Fourth Wing knocks every element of the story out of the water- the world building, the characters, the romance, the tension and intrigue. All of the elements were perfect! Violet is a fish out of water at this brutal college, and as more and more of her classmates died trying to become dragon riders, the more I was determined that she would make it. I was equal parts terrified for her, and excited for her because of Xaden. Xaden is Violet’s enemy, but he is also so very swoon worthy. My heart rate literally sped up when he entered the page. (it’s true, just ask my apple watch, who had to alert me multiple times that my heart rate was too fast while it appeared I was sitting down. Talk about rude lol)
Xaden’s parents were integral in a rebellion that was squashed years prior, and as a punishment Xaden was forced to attend Basgiath War College. So when he runs into the General’s daughter Violet- I knew things were going to get very interesting. Every page of this book held me completely captive. Every sentence, every interaction- all of it worked for me. This book made me feel all the feels and has lived rent free in my head for the past month. If you like enemies to lovers romance, dragons, epic fantasies, great world building, swoon worthy romance, you need to grab a copy of Fourth Wing. This is one of my favorite books of all time! It really is a masterpiece.