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Fourth Wing: The Empyrean Book 1 by Rebecca Yarros Book Review

Reason for Reading This Book:

Fourth Wing: The Empyrean Book 1 by Rebecca Yarros was Margo’s choice for The Readheads Podcast Book Club for October 2023. This is the first high-fantacy book that I have read since finishing the Harry Potter series as a teenager. Margo introduced this book as a book that is currently very popular and that comes highly recommended by lots of readers. I went into this book knowing that I was going to take my time with it because it takes longer for me to get into fantacy. I bought this book as an iBook and once I saw how long it was I was grateful I chose a digital version without loaning it from the library because it look me so long to read. When I told my mom, who loves fantacy, that I was reading this book she had me read her the book description to let us both know what it was about. So when I started reading it I had a general idea of what the book was about. Even though this books comes highly recommended I knew since fantasy is not my genre of choice that I may not love it as much as other readers do. I still went into it with an open mind.


Content of This Book:

Twenty-year old Violet Stongal is supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant at Basgiath War College, where like her father, she will live a quiet life among the stacks and history. Plans change when her mother, also the commanding general, orders her to ender the Riders Quadrant alongside hundreds of other candidates who all strive to join the elite of Narrave, a dragon rider. Not only has Violet not had the time to prepare for such a challenge, she is also smaller than everyone else and has a weak body. All the odds are against her as dragons do not bond to 'fragile' humans, they incinerate them. Not only is it unlikely she will bond to a dragon, she is also seen as the enemy and the other candidates are out to get her. One of those who want to kill her is Xaden Riorson, one of the most powerful and ruthless wingleaders in the Riders Quadrant. With every day that passes and Violet is alive, she becomes aware of how deadly the war is becoming as the kingdom's proactive wards are failing and the death toll rises. Being a friend, enemy, or lover doesn't matter. Everyone at Basgiat War College has their own agenda because there are only two ways out: graduate or die.  

What I Liked About This Book:

My first compliment to Rebecca Yarros as a writer is that their fantasy is very digestible whether you are a fantasy reader or not. The slower pace of the beginning of the book assisted me as I entered a fantasy world which I had not done in some time. As I mentioned I planned to take my time reading this book because getting into a fantasy world is more challenging for me than when I start a non-fantasy book. I am going to be honest and say that it took me quite awhile to become engrossed in this book, but once I was in, I was in it fully. Another aspect of this book that I loved was Violet as a narrator. As a character and narrator she was honest, vulnerable, and detailed with the reader. I equally loved both the inner dialogue chapters and the chapters where Violet was outside of her mind. There were also a lot of little things that I liked about the plot. For example the relationships between the characters, both significant and not, the humor (I laughed out loud more than once), and ebb and flow of academic class and battle classes, and much more. As a non-fantasy reader I was worried that I might have a harder time imaging or fully comprehending the fantasy aspects of the book. I am happy to report that this was not the case. I was able to imagine the dragons, battles, their armor and the much more. If you have looked at the page count for this book then you will know that it is long and I believe that is due to the authors extensively detailed descriptions. In this case it was extremely helpful to me as a reader but of course does add to the length of the book. Even though I have never been in a situation like Violet's at all, Rebecca Yarros was still able to make her extremely relatable. There were aspects or characteristics of Violet's that many people can relate to if not sympathize with. The same can be said for other characters in the book as well. My last praise for this book is the romantic relationship. I liked both the progression of the relationship from when they were not together, once when they got together and the cliffhanger for how the relationship can go into the next book in the series. The sexy scenes were tasteful and well-written. 

What I Disliked About This Book:

After finishing this book I was slightly disappointed in the latter half of the book. In my opinion is was rushed. It was rushed in both the sense of the plot and the way in which it was written. The writing felt more frantic and had to be read at a faster pace to feel like you were keeping up. I was not alone in this feeling and was assured of this by some of the hosts of The Readheads. When reading the last section of the book I felt like I couldn't catch my breath because so much was happening in the plot. I would have liked the author to spend more time on this section because essential plot points came out that are crucial to the next book in the series. While reading the latter half of the book I found myself having to reread sections to make sure that I was comprehending all that was being said because everything that was happening was significant. A part of the book that I was not a fan of and neither were some of The Readheads hosts, was the chapter narrated by Xaden. One, I did not like that there was a change in narrator, it was for plot purposes, because it changed the way I viewed Xaden as a character. Reading his inner dialogue made me see him differently from how I had come to know him from the rest of the book. I could have done without this chapter. With that being said it was a way to wrap up the book and lead into the second book in the series. 


Would I Recommend This Book?

Wether you are a high-fantasy reader or not, I recommend reading Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. I recommend taking your time to read this book because there is so much to comprehend and to take away from it that it is more of an enjoyable reading experience when you are not on a deadline. I plan to read the next book in the series, Iron Flame which comes out November 7, 2023. I do not plan to read it right away but can't wait to continue reading this series. 

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!
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