Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, 1) by Rebecca Yarros
Narrated by Rebecca Soler with guest Teddy Hamilton
New Adult Romance/Fantasy. First in a Series.
I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I’m not a Harry Potter fan. I just read ACOTAR and was a little disappointed. But the hardcover of Fourth Wing is so pretty! I wanted it, but I will not buy a book for my shelf that I haven’t read, and I just had a feeling Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros would be the next book of the year.
I didn’t read the blurb. So when I first started listening I considered DNFing. Dragons? War College? What did I get myself into? It seemed like a YA read, but she did warn there was death and sex. I had just started my walk and didn’t have another book ready to go so I continued to listen. By the time I walked less than half a mile, I was hooked. The book is over 20 hours to listen to. I finished in 2 days. I NEVER listen that much! I couldn’t stop and I’m devastated it’s over for now.
Since I don’t read much fantasy, I don’t know how new the concept for this book is, but for me it felt so unique, and the world-building was detailed but very easy to follow. The action was exciting, the romance was perfect, the sex was hot, and I laughed and cried. What more do you need?
“You wanted a quiet life full of books and facts. You wanted to record the battles, not be in them.”
The country of Navarre has been at war for centuries. Each of the children train their whole life to go to train in one of the four Quadrants (Riders, Scribes, Healers and Infantry (I think?)). 20-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant like har late father but at the last minute, her mother, the tough-as-nails commanding general of the Riders, has decided that Violet must train to be a Rider. Small and saddled with weak tendons and bones, Violet has lived her life in chronic pain, so for her to train as an elite rider was a sure death sentence.
“In the Rider Quadrant, you either graduate or die”
More of the students end up in the latter group (dead), and they trained their whole lives for this. They go through a series of death defying training exercises in the hopes that after their first year, they will bond with a dragon and become their rider. But dragons don’t choose weak humans.
“I will not die today.”
I absolutely LOVED Violet! She was so determined to get through this, despite the hottest guy in the quadrant, Xaden Riorson, hating her because her mother had his father executed. And of course he turned out to be her wingleader.
I loved Xaden! I loved Liam and Rhiannon and all the other side characters, but the Dragons stole the show and added some much-needed humor and sweetness amongst all of the death.
Fourth Wing is the first in a series, and I am already excited to re-listen to it before the next book, Iron Flame releases in November. While there is a bit of a surprise ending, it’s more of a “bye for now” rather than a full-on-cliffhanger, which I very much appreciated.
- Could not put it down.
- Easy world-building.
- Lots of amazing side characters, but you never get lost or confused.
- The friendships and relationships.
- So many exciting different battles.
- Slow-burn romance.
- I loved the dragons.
- How much Violet grew and changed.
- How Violet often used her brains instead of her weapons.
- It’s a little young for me. Like a YA with a ton of death and some hot sex.
Rebecca Solar did an amazing job as Violet, but she sounded like she had a cold and was very congested during the first half. ****UPDATE!!! The audio has been re-recorded to fix that and it was way better the 2nd time.