Monday, May 22, 2023

Book Review: "Fourth Wing" by Rebecca Yarros

Title: Fourth Wing
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Series: "The Empryean" #1
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Let me just start off this review by saying that the hype for this book is totally justified and I am 100% the target market for it. Like if you could take a bunch of the things I love plus my desire for dragons and mash it all together, this is it. It honestly feels a bit like this book was tailor-made for me. 

I'll get into the nitty gritty of the review in a minute but I also just want to mention my experience since finishing this book. I read it in one sitting, though I did take my time and savored it so it was a longer sitting than usual. I just didn't want to put it down or do anything else. And then I went to bed not long after and literally dreamt about this book. I dreamt about the story and it was like I was there. I've not had that ever happen (or if it has, I can't remember). Just another reason for me to be obsessed with this book.

Alright so let's actually dive into why I loved this book so much. First things first, I'm a big mood reader lately. I have to be really interested/excited for a book in order to read it nowadays because I'm so exhausted from work/life otherwise. I was gearing up all week to read Fourth Wing over the weekend when I finally finished work. So I did have the buildup of a week of being excited to read it. The hype online is real for this book, which I think also helped along my desire to read it. And because I was super excited to read it, it meant that I was loving every moment when I started.

The main reason I loved this book was the characters and then the setting and plot. I'm a big character-driven reader and this book has a lot to root for. Of course I love our main character Violet but I also loved the entire cast of characters (and dragons) we get to know. My top favorites are definitely Rhiannon, Liam, Tairn, Mira, and, of course, Xaden. 

Violet was a really intriguing main character in my opinion. She's got chronic illness/pain so she's not as equal in the physical department when it comes to the other cadets at Basgaith. It sets her back a lot and it's something she consistently struggles with. However, she's badass in so many other ways and still tries her best at the physical stuff even though it takes her 125% more effort than anyone else. She's witty and smart and passionate and I just loved her. Is she perfect? No. But is anybody in real life perfect?

I loved the setting. A war college training them to be dragon riders? Yes please. The moment I heard that I was intrigued and wanted to know all about it. The way it was described and the inclusion of the map of the college allowed me to very vividly picture what it all looked like while I was reading it. I would love to actually go to a place that looks like how I imagine this war college to look like. 

Then we have the plot. Now, as a fantasy romance, the plot and the romance can't be separated from each other too much as the romance is such a big part of the plot. So as I talk about the plot, the romance will naturally worm its way in, kind of how it happened in the book. 

This world is only a few years past a major rebellion that ended with a lot of executions and the surviving children of these rebellious people being forcibly conscripted into being dragon riders (with the unspoken hope that as many die out as possible). Xaden is one of these children. And Violet's mother is a General, one who is responsible for a lot of what happened after the rebellion ended. Naturally, this leads to a lot of resentment between Xaden and Violet. 

That's only the backstory, though, as the actual plot starts with Violet entering this war college to become a dragon rider (in an initiation that almost kills her). It takes place over the span of a year as Violet trains to bond with a dragon and be a rider. It was so fascinating to read about. I'm a sucker for stories set in boarding schools/universities/etc and this was no exception. 

While the main plot is Violet learning to become a rider, there's also a sneaky bit of mystery woven in that I won't discuss so as to not give away any spoilers. However, this added a lot of depth through this first book and heavily contributed to the ending and what I suspect the plot of the second book will be about. 
The last element of the plot was, of course, the romance. It was deliciously slow burning and I loved reading about it. I don't want to give away too much so that everyone can experience it for themselves without expectation but it was so good. I am very much looking forward to how this continues in the next book because DAMN. 

Yes there were some tears at the end when you-know-what happened. Yes I have not stopped thinking about this book since I finished it, even while reading other books. And yes I am obsessively counting down the days until the sequel comes out later this year. And let me just say, I'm so glad the sequel is only six months away instead of a full year. 

Overall, I loved this book so much. It's definitely in my top two of the year so far, if not my number one read. I had so much fun, didn't want to put it down, and never wanted it to end. It was recently announced that it's plotted to be five books long and I am so incredibly excited for each and every one of those books. I can only imagine the fun we're going to get into as it goes along.

Thanks for reading!

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