BookTok Books Worth the Hype: “Fourth Wing” and “Iron Flame”

BookTok Books Worth the Hype: “Fourth Wing” and “Iron Flame”

Okay, so if you’re not on #booktok yet, you may not have heard of Rebecca Yarros’ Empyrean Series, but honestly, she’s everywhere now, so hop on the bandwagon — we ride at dawn. So far, the series consists of two books, Fourth Wing and Iron Flame, with at least one more book to follow.

Why am I writing a post about these books, you ask?

Because if you’re a millennial whose favorite childhood reads were similar to the Harry Potter Series, Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle), The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, etc., then Yarros’ books are for grownup you.

I think a lot of adult readers steer away from the fantasy genre for fear of stumbling into YA territory (which is actually a really wonderful place to be, even in your thirties), but Yarros’ books are very much adult — and absolutely exhilarating to read.

Yarros’s writing is easy to follow, but not so easy that you’ll be bored or roll your eyes at it. The plot though? I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.

Here is the goodreads summary of Fourth Wing:

“Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise. Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.”

There are many, many reasons to love this book, but one personal reason of mine is Violet’s health. Although her condition is never named, it sounds a lot like Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome, which was confirmed by the author herself. I also have Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome, so I was nearly moved to tears when I realized Violet Sorrengail, a dragon rider, also had a connective tissue disease. I’ve been a bookworm since first grade and I’ve never read a heroine like her before!

The action in these two books is unlike any I’ve ever read before: politics, war, and magic all combined inside an entirely different universe than ours. And the romance? I CANNOT HANDLE IT.

No judgment at all to those who love so-called smutty reads (think Fifty Shades of Gray and the like), but I’ve never been a fan of that genre. The reason I bring this up is because Fourth Wing and Iron Flame center around action, but the romantic plot line is s-p-i-c-y! Like make-my-face-turn-red spicy! Do they qualify as “smut?” I have no idea because I don’t typically read that genre, but let me tell you: if it qualifies as such, then I guess I do now!

I know these are some lengthy books, but they are worth the adventure. When I wasn’t reading them, I was thinking about them, and cramming reading sessions into my day whenever I could. Or I was staying up until nearly 2 a.m., promising myself just one more chapter before bed. The last time I stayed up that late reading a book was when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in 2007!

So while the kids are running amok over the holiday break, go ahead and grab yourself the first two of Rebecca Yarros’ Empyrean series to keep yourself sane (and highly entertained)! You won’t be disappointed!

Cailin Allain
Cailin was born in Metairie, but moved to Slidell at five years old and never left! She is now raising her three daughters, Genevieve (Evie, 5, highly intelligent, brutally honest, hysterical), Josephine (Jo, 4, intuitive, brilliant, fiery), and Bernadette (Bettye, 2, smarty pants, no sense of fear, doesn’t believe in rules), with her husband, Andy (her favorite human), in Olde Towne Slidell. Cailin received her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Political Science from LSU, and her J.D./D.C.L from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU Law. She has her own practice, Law Office of Cailin K. Allain, LLC, and is currently navigating the ins and outs of expanding her business while working from home. When she’s not working, raising babies, or dancing in the kitchen with her husband, you can find her curled up in bed with a good book/comfort movie, some chocolate, and hot tea. On the weekends, Cailin enjoys going to concerts and comedy shows with her husband and any one (or all!) of her six siblings, and hanging out with her in-laws in Bay St. Louis.


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