This blog post contains affiliate links, no extra cost to you, thank you for your support!
Iron Flame is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and thankfully, it did not disappoint!
However, if you think Fourth Wing had a lot of information in terms of world-building, magic system and characters, wait till you read Iron Flame which has almost 900 pages on the kindle edition!
So much happened in Iron Flame. I had to go back and forth chapters multiple times to make sure i’m not leaving any essential information out.
Instantly, I knew I had to take notes and write a summary that will help not only myself, but also readers recall everything that has happened in this book so that together, we can prepare for book 3 in The Empyrean series.
This Iron Flame summary is based on my personal kindle highlights. The summary is broken down into two parts, just like the book.
In this book guide, you’ll find the summary to Iron Flame and also get an Iron Flame’s ending explained segment incase you’re confused.
Fourth Wing Ending Recap
Based on the ending of Fourth Wing, Violet learns that Venins and Wyverns are real and that the leadership has been hiding this truth from civilians in Navarre. Although she manages to defeat them, Liam and Deigh die. Unfortunately, Violet has also been injured and poisoned as well.
After a few days, Violet wakes up to an anxious Xaden, in a city she’s unfamiliar with. The city she’s in is called Aretia, a city that was burned to the ground after the rebellion.
At the end of the book, Violet’s brother, Brennan, who has been dead for 6 years walks in, leaving her stunned and confused.
Iron Flame Summary: Part 1 (Spoilers)
(Note: this section contains spoilers on events throughout the book but not the ending)
Violet wakes up in Aretia to see Brennan alive. Brennan now goes by the name of Lieutenant Colonel Aisereigh and is working alongside Xaden and the marked ones because he can’t watch innocent people die. His dragon, Marbh is alive too. The both of them were hidden within the valley while Aretia burned down.
She learns that Aretia has been rebuilding for years and the reason General Melgren doesn’t know about it is because of the limitations of his signet, where he cannot see the outcome of any battle as long as the marked ones are in groups of three or more.
Violet eavesdrops when Brennan and Xaden meet with The Assembly of the revolution. She learns that they need a luminary to power a forge for weapons from Viscount Tecarus, who doesn’t want to trade now because Xaden insulted him.
The Assembly decides to send back all of the cadets back to Basgiath where they will not disclose anything that has happened. Xaden will teach Violet on how to get her shields up so that no one can read her memory and findout about Venins, Wyverns or Aretia.
When Violet gets the chance to speak to Brennan, he tells her that the wards falls short of mountainous areas such as Tyrrendor, including Aretia. This never mattered when they thought gryphons were the only danger out there, as they’re incapable of flying that high.
Brennan also mentions that there’s a second wardstone in Aretia but the art of creating wards is a lost magic. However, Violet is determined to find out how to get the wards up so that Aretia can generate it’s own protection and maybe extend the wards to the neighbouring nation of Poromiel to keep their neighbours safe.
Violet soon finds out that Andarna is safe, but she’s going through an accelerated growth as she stopped time in Resson. She is no longer gold-feathered as gold-feathered dragons are only hatchlings. Instead, Andarna’s scales look black and she is now an adolescent. Andarna will be at the Vale, going through a Dreamless Sleep to finish her growth process.
As the cadets return to Basgiath, everyone is shocked that they’re alive when their names were on the death roll. Xaden outs Colonel Aetos infront of General Sorrengail, stating that Colonel Aetos sent all of them into combat. General Sorrengail is pissed, yet relieved to see that Violet is alive.
Violet and her friends are now officially second years while Xaden graduates to become a lieutenant who will be stationed at an outpost in Samara. Violet and Xaden will have to take turns flying to each other once a week. Dain is now Fourth Wing’s wingleader while Rhiannon is their new squad leader.
Colonel Aetos introduces Violet to the new vice commandant, Major Varrish who feels like the quadrant has grown “soft” and is here to toughen them up.
As second years, they attend a class called Rider Survival Course (RSC), taught by Professor Grady. RSC teaches you how to survive if you become separated from your dragon behind enemy lines.
After class, Violet makes way to the Archives to meet Jesinia, where the scribe gives her two tomes related to the founding of Basgiath and the wards.
On Conscription day, Violet and her friends are taking up second year duties, which includes being at the Parapet. Violet is traumatized by all the deaths she’s been seeing since her first year and tries not to learn any of the first year names, because she doesn’t want to be attached.
However, she recognizes Aaric Graycastle, King Tauri’s third son and Sloane Mairi, Liam’s sister who blames Violet for his death. Both of them make it across the Parapet.
As everyone gathers at the courtyard, Varrish’s orange dragon, Solas torched some of the riders. Violet protects Sloane while Tairn warns Solas to never come near Violet again or he’ll devour Varrish and take Solas only remaining eye.
Violet has been having trust issues, and her relationship with Xaden is in a rocky place as Xaden is always keeping secrets from her. Xaden makes an effort to write letters to Violet, explaining personal details of his life, hoping that if he opens up to Violet, she’ll trust him again.
At battle brief, cadets learn that the outpost of Athebyne was attacked by fliers and their gryphons because they were looking for weapons (most likely to kill Venin).
Rhiannon lets Violet know that something weird is going on in the Healer’s quadrant, Nolon, a healer looked very tired. And when she tried to ask him if he was all right, the new vice commandant said he had more important things to do than talk to cadets.
At sparring, Sloane wants to go up against Violet but there’s no way Professor Emetterio is going to let that happen as Sloane is an untrained first year. In fact, she’s the total opposite of a skilled fighter, unlike her brother, Liam who was great at it.
Surprisingly, a first year thinks that Nadine is Violet and kills her instantly. Violet is pissed and decides to fight him. Before he dies, he says “Secrets die with the people who keep them”, which is the same thing Colonel Aetos said, giving Violet a reason to suspect that Aetos is trying to kill cadets who knows something they should not know.
At this point, Violet also suspects that other professors and leadership such as Melgren, Varrish and Markham might be doing the same.
One of the perks of being a second year is being able to receive letters from family. Violet receives a letter from Mira only to find out that someone has read it and censored parts of it.
Varrish continues to hate on Violet. He asks her to bring Andarna to class, if she fails to do so, she shall receive a punishment. Andarna is in the Dreamless Sleep, so it’s not possible to bring her.
When Violet doesn’t show up with Andarna the next time, Varrish tortures her by making her wield lightning again and again until she is close to burning out and dying.
On one of her visits to Samara, Violet learns from Xaden that the only thing that kills a venin is what power the wards. There is a medallion which holds power to boost and extend the wards. It is in the hilt of the daggers and is decorated with a rune.
One day, as Violet and her squad mates walk to class, they get kidnapped and find themselves thrown in a forest with cadets from Second Wing, the infantry, healers and scribes.
Eventually, Professor Grady shows up and explains that this is a RSC exercise, where they will be seperated from their dragons (by a signet blocking elixir) and will have to work with other quadrants to find their way back. Unfortunately, they come across Baide, Jack Barlow’s dragon and he torches a student.
Back at Basgiath, Jesinia tells Violet that the Archives should have a copy of every tome in Navarre, yet there is no such tome on wyvern or folklore like what Violet has read before. Jesinia starts to realise that this was intentional and promises to help Violet find texts on how the first six riders build the wards.
During one of the battle brief classes, a piece of propaganda goes around class. The piece of parchment urges civilians to not bring strangers into their homes as kindness could kill.
Violet gets angry because she knows that these strangers were Poromish citizens who were probably attacked by Wyverns. She is in disbelief that Professor Markham from the Scribe quadrant probably knows the truth and is openly lying about it in their battle brief class.
In class, she also learns that due to the unification of Navarre, some provinces such as Tyrrendor lost it’s language, culture, festivals and more. Unification of a nation has it’s pros and cons.
When Violet fails to show up to class with Andarna again, Varrish wants to punish her. Tairn loses his patience and sinks his fangs into Sola’s neck. Tairn makes Varrish apologise to Violet.
During sparring, Dain goes up against Violet. She’s terrified that if he gets his hands on her, he’ll be able to read her memories on what happened at Resson. It is during this moment where Dain tells Violet that he had no idea what were his fathers’ intentions.
In one of the classes, Varrish announces that a classmate is back, it’s none other than Jack Barlowe. Violet suspects this was why Nolon always looking so tired.
In another battle brief class, Violet learns that Samara is attacked, which makes her worry instantly about Mira and Xaden at the outpost. Professor Devera hints that Xaden is hurt.
Violet doesn’t think much, especially when Tairn’s anxiety channels through her that Sgaeyl could have been hurt. She runs out of class and immediately leaves the war college for Samara. Xaden was injured but is healed by a mender.
Once she knows he is safe, she follows Xaden to smuggle some weapons and give to the Gryphon fliers. Violet once again meets Syrena (the flier they fought alongside them when killing Venins at Resson) and her sister who is also Xaden’s ex, Catriona, who brings out Violet’s insecurity.
Violet learns that Viscount Tecarus will be willing to trade for the luminary if he can see her wield lightning. Xaden, being the protective boyfriend he is says no, because the Viscount is known for collecting unique things.
After Rhiannon helped Violet hide a dagger for her using her signet so that Varrish wouldn’t find it, she asks her what’s this for and Violet finally decides to not only tell her about Venins but Sawyer and Ridoc as well. Imogen also eventually tells Quinn. But none of them know about Aretia or Brennan.
Now, the squad is going to work together to help Violet find out more about the wards and the First Six. Soon, Aaric also reveals to Violet that he knows about Venins and that is why he decided to become a rider.
Threshing comes and both, Aaric and Sloane bond dragons.
Shortly after, Violet gets attacked by infantry and Eya (a marked one who was with them at Resson) dies in the process. Jack Barlowe saves Violet from her death.
Violet isn’t able to find any information on how to get the wards up. She thinks this information has been removed from the Archives on purpose and if anyone were to record it, it would be Lyra and Warrick, two out of the First Six who wrote in their journals.
She learns that these journals are hidden in a vault at the Archives, and only the direct descendent of King Tauri can unlock it. Luckily, Aaric is onboard with the mission. Soon, Violet, her friends, Imogen, Xaden and Aaric sneak into the archives and retrieve the journals.
Once they’ve successfully retrieved the journals, she gives one of it to Xaden to pass it to Brennan and keeps the other to translate it. Shortly after, Nolon drugs Violet with the signet blocking elixir and Varrish kidnaps her for interrogation and tortures her.
Nolon keeps mending her so Varrish can break her again, but Violet tells them nothing. At this point, it’s been days and she starts hallucinating that Liam is in the room with her, giving her words of encouragement.
Soon, Varrish calls upon Dain who is forced to read Violet’s memories. She tries her best to show him the truth in a way where he’ll understand and be on their side. Surprisingly, Dain helps free Violet and stabs Varrish.
Xaden and Garrick arrives on time and helps free Violet too. Violet murders Varrish just before General Sorrengail arrives at the scene. She is shocked and had no idea her daughter was kidnapped. The general has a heart-to-heart conversation with Violet on why she forced her into the Riders quadrant.
If Violet were to become a scribe, she would have learned the truth about Venins and Wyverns. Knowing her daughter, Violet is righteous and will not keep this a secret, which means she would have eventually been killed. In the Riders quadrant, she would have been safe from secret.
Plus, Xaden owes Violet’s mother a favour and she asked him to keep Violet safe in the quadrant. Now Violet’s trust issues towards Xaden has become bigger as she wonders if he really liked her at all or was just trying to get close to her to keep her safe.
Violet, Xaden, Dain and Garrick goes back to Basgiath and announces the truth to the whole Riders quadrant. Half of the quadrant chooses to follow them back to Aretia and fight for truth and to keep the continent safe. Jesinia and a couple of professors also decides to join them.