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To be honest, I never thought i’d pick up Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, yet alone finish reading it as I do struggle to read fantasy books at times. But after seeing so many readers on booktok and bookstagram rave about this romantasy, I caved in.
I decided to write a summary and study guide to Fourth Wing, hoping that it’ll help others like myself who are beginner fantasy readers.
It was really hard to get a physical copy of Fourth Wing. Almost every bookstore in my country was sold out! And I heard from other readers that this was a world-wide phenomenon.
Also, besides the unique world-building with dragons and it’s intriguing plot, it is of no surprise Violet Sorrengail and Xaden Riorson are the most talked about fictional couple on several bookish platforms (with Xaden obviously being the latest edition to readers’ book boyfriends list).
There’s a lot to discuss about this page-turning romantasy, let’s dive into this blog post where you’ll find a summary on Fourth Wing, more details on the spicy chapters, spice level, age rating, romance tropes my honest thoughts and more
- 30 Note-Worthy Fourth Wing Quotes
- Fourth Wing Series In Order (Empyrean Series)
- Fourth Wing Characters, Dragons & Signets (Extensive Guide)
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World-Building & Fourth Wing Quadrants Explained
(Note: this section has no major spoilers. You’ll find information on the world-building aspect of Fourth Wing for a seamless reading experience)
Fourth Wing is set in an cutthroat academic war college called Basgiath War College. The war college prepares students to fight for their kingdom, Navarre.
At the college, there are four quadrants – riders, scribes, healers and infantry. The Riders’ Quadrant has four wings.
Each wing (lead by a wingleader) has three sections (Flame, Claw and Tail, lead by a section leader) and each section has four squads (lead by a squad leader).
Navarre and their neighbouring kingdom, Poromiel has been at war for 400 years. While Navarre has dragons, Poromiel has gryphons (mythical creature with an eagle head and lion body).
Dragons are protecting Navarre, and their home called the Vale from the invasion of Poromiel and it’s gryphons by bonding with riders to channel their powers into them, forming a unique power for each combination of dragon and rider.
This power is called a signet. Some examples of signets are shadows, mind-reading, wielding ice, controlling the wind and more.
Fourth Wing Summary
(Note: this section contains spoilers on events throughout the book but not the ending)
Violet Sorrengail, a 20-year-old girl who was never meant for war because of her weak muscles and ligaments has trained her whole life to be a scribe, just like her father. However, her mother is the General and demands her to join the Riders’ Quadrant.
Her sister, Mira and her brother Brennan, are both talented riders that are highly respected by professors and riders at the outpost.
Mira begs her mother to not let Violet take part in Conscription Day (a day where cadets are enrolled into the Riders’ Quadrant) as it is one of the most deadliest day.
Hundreds of people who enroll themselves try to prove themselves worthy to become a rider but fail and are swept away by death with nothing but their names recorded on a scroll.
Those who successfully pass the parapet (a deadly challenge) on Conscription Day, make it to the Riders Quadrant as cadets.
Only then they spend their time for weeks at the quadrant to train for Threshing that happens on the 1st of October (the day where dragons will choose cadets to bond with, making them riders).
Violet survives Conscription day and rejoices with a childhood friend, Dain Aetos who is a second year and is also her squad leader.
Dain and Violet know each other since they were 5-years-old because Dain’s father is an advisor to Violet’s mother, General Lilith. She also makes a new friend, Rhiannon Mathias.
Violet is warned by her sister Mira to stay away from Xaden Riorson, Fourth Wing’s wingleader as he has motivation to kill Violet as her mother executed his father during the rebellion. Not only that, Xaden’s father is also the reason why Brennan is dead.
At her time spent at the Riders’ Quadrant as a cadet, Violet struggles with hand-on-hand training on the mat because of her physical limitations.
She also becomes a target in the eyes of other cadets because of her weakness, making her a liability to the wing.
In other words, several people in Riders’ Quadrant wants her dead. Violet tries her best to use her wits and trains hard to protect herself until Threshing arrives in hopes of bonding with a dragon.
Fourth Wing Honest Review
(Note: there are no spoilers in this section)
Bringing a whole new meaning to “ride or die”, Fourth Wing follows a frail girl in a brutal world, where only the strongest riders survive.
It definitely gave me hunger game vibes as every cadet in Basgiath War College tries to eliminate the weak so only the strongest riders are born and ready to bond with vicious Dragons.
As a beginner fantasy reader, I must say that I found the book easy to read. Although the first twenty percent of the book was a little bit of a struggle for me.
However, this is something I notice with most fantasy novels as it takes time for the author to introduce the reader to a new world.
However, the plot moved really quickly once our main character Violet survives Conscription Day (the day where cadets enroll into the riders quadrant) and prepares for Threshing (the day where dragons will choose cadets to bond with, making them riders).
I also really enjoyed reading the enemies to lovers romance, along with the forbidden aspect to it.
Since, Xaden and Violet are in the same wing, the forced proximity also helps with building tension between the two, which made me slightly addicted to their complicated relationship.
I was eager to see more of them together, and Rebecca Yarros definitely delivered the steamy romance readers were anticipating.
However, I would have liked for the author to dive deeper into Violet’s physical limitation for readers to understand more about what she’s going through and how she overcomes them other than training physically/attending classes.
There was also a lot of profanity, which I felt was unnecessary. But I can understand how that translates to showing that the world they’re in is quite brutal.
Overall, I liked the messaging about how someone not physically strong can work hard and build up the courage to become a stronger version of themselves and excel at what they do.
Besides self-discovery and a brewing romance, there were themes of friendship, family bonds, loss and grief that gave great depth to this fantasy book.
I gave this book a 4.5 stars.
Fourth Wing Ending Explained
(Note: this part contains spoilers about Fourth Wing’s ending, please skip ahead for more info on spicy chapters, age rating, romance and more).
Violet finds out that Xaden is working with the enemy, gryphon riders. He is providing them weapons to defend themselves against Venins. She is angry and looses trust in him.
On the other hand, Venins and Wyverns are not mythological creatures after all, but very real. And they’re attacking a nearby Village in Poromiel. Violet is also pissed and confused that their government has been hiding the existence of Venins and Wyverns from their people.
Xaden, Violet and other riders decide to help kill these creatures despite them attacking a village that does not belong to Navarre. This is because they did not want to abandoned innocent people to defend for themselves. They are riders, their job is to defend the defenseless.
In the process of defeating the Venins and Wyverns, Liam and Deigh die. Unfortunately, Violet has been injured and poisoned as well.
Finally, Violet wakes up after three days to an anxious Xaden. She notices that she’s somewhere unfamiliar. Xaden explains that she has woken up in Aretia, a city that was burned to the ground after the rebellion. It is currently being rebuilt (by who and for what we are unclear of).
The book ends at a cliffhanger; Violet’s brother, Brennan walks in and greets her. She is shocked to see her brother alive.
Is There Romance In Fourth Wing?
Yes there is. Fourth Wing is a romantasy (fantasy with a romance subplot). Rebecca Yarros, the author has written many romance novels. Fourth Wing is her debut fantasy novel, you can expect some good romance scenes in this book.
Is Fourth Wing Spicy?
Yes, Fourth Wing is a spicy book. There are two open-door romance scenes, lots of flirting and witty banter between the characters.
Fourth Wing Spice Level
Fourth Wing has a spice level of ⅗. It has two open-door romance scenes and some flirting and making out between characters.
Fourth Wing Spicy Chapters
If you want to skip ahead to the read Fourth Wing spicy chapters, visit chapters 22, 30 and 32. You can also make your reading experience spicy-free with these close door modifications.
How Many Chapters Are There In Fourth Wing?
There are 39 chapters in Fourth Wing. All chapters are in Violet’s point of view, except the last chapter which is in Xaden’s point of view.
Fourth Wing Age Rating
Fourth Wing is recommended for an 18+ audience due to its intimate scenes, violence and use of profanity.
Fourth Wing Romance Tropes
Does Fourth Wing Have A Love Triangle?
In Fourth Wing, Violet and Dain are childhood friends, readers suspect that there can be some romance feelings brewing between the two. However, Violet also has a strong attraction towards Xaden, her nemesis.
Fourth Wing Trigger Warnings
Some of the trigger warnings to checkout before reading Fourth Wing are; war, loss of loved ones, grief, death, blood, violence, bullying.
What Is Threshing in Fourth Wing?
Threshing is an even that happens on October 1st at Basgiath College where dragons will choose to bond with riders.
What Chapter is Threshing in Fourth Wing?
Threshing in Fourth Wing happens in chapters 13, 14 and 15.
Is Fourth Wing Worth Reading?
Yes, Fourth Wing is worth reading! If you love a fantasy with a strong female lead, deadly dragons, a fast-paced plot that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat with a brewing forbidden romance, Fourth Wing is for you.
The book has many layers to it. It also explores themes of grief due to the death of loved ones, complex family relationships and the power of loyal friendships.
Plus, it is undeniable that there’s a brewing swoon-worthy enemies to lovers romance. The chemistry of the main male and female characters of this book is to die for.