Staff Review: Fourth Wing & Iron Flame

Fourth Wing and Iron Flame

By Rebecca Yarros

Fourth Wing, book one, and Iron Flame, book two, are the beginning installments of the fantasy series by best-selling author Rebecca Yarros, who has stated she plans for five books total in The Empyrean series.  The series follows heroine Violet Sorrengail as she becomes a candidate in Navarre, in the dragon riders quadrent.  Violet makes both friends and enemies as she navigates Basgiath War College, its professors, and the dragons. 

Going into these two books my biggest question was, are they as good as all the hype they've been receiving?  In my opinion, not really. That's not to say the books aren't good, they just do not live up to what some are calling the best fantasy novels of the year.  I found Violet's relationship with Xaden did not stand out from other novels.  The same dynamic, the same type of dialogue, just overdone.  Nothing created a spark for me between them. In Fourth Wing, it took quite a while for the dragons to be introduced to the storyline, which was disappointing.  My other frustration was that there should definitely be character development, but I liked Violet less in Iron Flame than I did in Fourth Wing.  What I enjoyed from these two books was Violet's humor and internal dialogue.  There were several secondary characters I enjoyed and wish had been more prominent.  I also was intrigued by the underlying plot line of what is happening in their lands.  That is what will keep me reading the rest of the series.  Overall if you like fantasy books, give them a read, just don't go into it thinking they will be your new favorites. 

3,5 Stars