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Book Review of ‘Fourth Wing’ by Rebecca Yarros: A Dragon-Riding Adventure Worth the Hype

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

BookTok, the current epicenter of literary trends, has been buzzing with excitement about Rebecca Yarros’ latest release, Fourth Wing, and I’m here to tell you that the hype is real. As someone who typically treads cautiously with TikTok book recommendations, I was pleasantly surprised when this book not only met but exceeded my expectations. From page one, I was hooked.

At its core, Fourth Wing revolves around the journey of twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail. Initially destined for a life among books and history, her formidable mother, the commanding general, redirects her to become a dragon rider, an elite group in Navarre. The twist? Dragons seldom bond with fragile humans, setting the stage for a life-and-death struggle for Violet. In a cutthroat environment where candidates vie for dragon bonds, some would stop at nothing, even murder, to secure their place. Enter Xaden Riorson, a ruthless wingleader among Violet’s challengers. Amid these trials, an external war looms, the kingdom’s protective wards weaken, and a hidden leadership secret surfaces. Basgiath War College becomes a battleground of intricate agendas, where only two outcomes exist: graduation or death.

While the book’s plot and fantasy elements may feel somewhat familiar, Yarros breathes fresh life into the narrative. What sets Fourth Wing apart is its mature cast of characters, all over the age of twenty, providing a refreshing perspective on the young adult romance fantasy genre. As someone in a similar age bracket, I was easily drawn into their world, where 8 AM classes mean soaring through the skies on the back of colossal dragons.

One standout feature of the book is its brisk pacing. Despite the small font and longer chapters, not a single page drags. I found myself immersed in the story, eagerly turning pages without checking how many remained. The action sequences are heart-pounding, at times anxiety inducing, but I couldn’t get enough. The romance aspect deserves a perfect score, offering a blend of angst, spice, and banter that romance enthusiasts will adore. Yarros’ descriptive writing shines, making it effortless to visualize the diverse settings and every unfolding moment.

The fantasy and world-building are remarkably accessible, avoiding the pitfall of excessive info dumps. This makes Fourth Wing an ideal entry point for those new to fantasy literature. Yarros delves deep into the world’s intricacies, bringing the setting to vibrant life. I yearned to step into this fantasy war school, navigate the quadrants, and immerse myself in the political intrigue.

Now, about the predictability: Yes, I saw the ending coming from page one. Yet, I’d take a predictable story that makes sense over one that confuses readers with unnecessary complexities any day. Yarros crafts this predictability skillfully, ensuring that it enhances, rather than diminishes, the story’s charm.

Violet, our formidable protagonist, shines as one of the most captivating female leads in recent memory. Her tight bonds with her sister, her dragons, and her love for books add depth to her character. She embodies strength, determination, quick wit, and a willingness to go the extra mile to achieve her goals. Violet’s journey through challenges showcases her resilience, breaking barriers and defying expectations. Most importantly, the book offers disability representation, highlighting how her chronic illness doesn’t define her. She’s a powerful reminder that strength comes in various forms.

In conclusion, Fourth Wing isn’t a flawless book, but it is perfect in its own right. Yes, it’s predictable. Yes, it leans on tropes, but am I obsessed? Absolutely, and I make no apologies for it. It delivers everything a fantasy enthusiast could desire, including a generous serving of dragons. This story will resonate differently with everyone; you’ll either love it or you won’t, but you must read it at least once in your life. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on its sequel, Iron Flame. I needed it yesterday.

Hey there! I’m Alexandra, your local mythology nerd. Currently double majoring in English Lit and Accounting in the UPR.