Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros from @HachetteUK #BookReview #Fantasy #Romance #YA
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Hachette UK, Hardback, £17.99
Reviewed by Melody Bowles
The premise of Fourth Wing takes several popular concepts and jams them all together to make something pleasing to consume but with little originality. You’ve got a magic school for dragon riders, complete with Hunger Games-style challenges and an enemies-to-lovers romance. There’s a Twilight-style love triangle, and the characters develop X-Men-style superpowers. The book is obviously taking all of its cues from young adult fiction and yet seems to be packaged and sold for adults, a choice I find puzzling.
The story kicks off with the main character Violet being conscripted by her own mother (who’s in charge) into a military school for dragon riders. She makes one or two friends and many enemies. Characters often jump into the narrative to pick on her specifically before getting their comeuppance. The stakes around Violet are life and death. The school does not forbid murder, and she has a giant target on her back due to her family name. Where it gets interesting is that the dragons can also murder students completely on a whim. This does create good tension to draw you in and make you keep turning the page.
The love interest is plainly obvious from his introductory scene. A long monologue about a man’s physical beauty followed by other characters chipping in to say he’s dangerous and unsuitable as a paramour only ends one way. It’s predictable but still enjoyable for fans of such romances. Some scenes get long-winded, and anything related to Dain, aka the Jacob of this love triangle, is repetitive beyond belief, leaving the reader just as frustrated as Violet. This makes the triangle pretty lacking.
There is a lot going on in this book, even for the longer-than-average page count. I do admire Yarros for managing to sequence it all in a way that makes sense and keeps up the momentum of the story. I have no doubt it will find the popularity it’s clearly reaching for. The simmering political groundwork it’s laid for the sequel is intriguing as well.
Read this if you want a tense fantasy thriller with a Sarah J Maas-style romance. It’s not surprising in any way, but it’s a lot of fun.