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Fourth Wing Review (Special Edition) (The Empyrean, 1)

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by Rebecca Yarros

v 4

“Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros is a captivating fantasy romance novel, setting its stage in a magical war college filled with dragons. The protagonist, Violet Sorrengail, is a 20-year-old from the fictional land of Navarre, initially preparing for a life in the Scribe Quadrant, a sector dedicated to books and history. However, her destiny takes a turn when her mother, the commanding general of Navarre’s army and a powerful dragon rider, enrolls her into the elite Riders Quadrant at Basgiath War College, a path fraught with peril and challenge

The novel takes place in a fictional continent divided into two kingdoms, Navarre and Poromiel, which have a long history of conflict. Navarre, the larger of the two, is mountainous and rich in natural resources, while Poromiel comprises plains and marshlands. The Basgiath War College in Navarre is an institution divided into four quadrants: Riders, Healers, Scribes, and Infantry, each with their distinct roles and challenges. The story delves into the intricate dynamics of this college, where Violet encounters deadly trials, forms alliances, and confronts enemies, including Xaden Riorson, a fellow cadet with a complicated past intertwined with Violet’s family​​.

Violet’s journey is further complicated by her physical condition, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, adding a layer of resilience and determination to her character. The book explores themes of loyalty, power, and the complexities of family dynamics and friendships. It also delves into a romantic subplot between Violet and Xaden, evolving from animosity to a deeper connection. Their bond, both personal and through their dragons, plays a significant role in the unfolding narrative​​.

The novel has been highly praised for its immersive fantasy world, dynamic characters, and the blend of romance and action. Critics have lauded the book for its engaging storytelling, strong female protagonist, and the intricate world-building. However, some have noted the potential for confusion due to the large number of characters and the occasionally unrealistic portrayal of Violet’s disability. The narrative’s twists and turns, along with its depiction of complex relationships, have made it a standout in its genre​.

In summary, “Fourth Wing” is a compelling tale of bravery, love, and the struggle for power in a fantastical world. Its blend of romance, fantasy, and action, along with its strong, complex characters, makes it a notable addition to the genre. The novel’s portrayal of Violet’s journey from a reserved student to a formidable dragon rider offers a captivating exploration of growth and resilience against a backdrop of a richly imagined fantasy world.

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