Friday, September 15, 2023

Audio Book Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Genre: Audio Book/Adult Fantasy
Pub. Date: May 2, 2023
Publisher: Recorded Books
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."



Violet always wanted to be a scribe and live a quiet life in Navarre despite the fact that her mother is a general and her siblings are dragon riders who defend Navarre's borders. Violet's world is turned upside down when she is forced to enlist at Basgiath War College to become a rider. Not only is she smaller than everyone else, she has a condition that makes her more susceptible to getting hurt. This should be fun, and by fun, I mean a disaster! To make matters worse, she is assigned to the Fourth Wing, which is led by elusive Xaden Riorson, whose mother was a former rebel leader and Violet's mother had executed. Cue the awkwardness and anxiety. As Violet spends more time at the war college, she meets new people, gains friends, makes enemies, and hones her skills as a possible future rider. She is put into situations where violence becomes the norm. Meanwhile, her enemy turned possible love interest, Xaden, is in the background all the time stirring up her feelings as well as enemies looming outside of Navarre's boundaries. Also, did I mention there's dragons? Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is a romantic fantasy perfect for readers who like the romance genre more than adventure and may be new to high fantasies.


Violet is an interesting character in Fourth Wing. She has a "disability" of sorts, which makes her more susceptible to injury, which is a problem at a war college filled with aggressive future dragon riders as well as people who judge her based on her mother who is a notorious general. I could see where things were going with Xaden right away as the whole enemies-to-lovers trope was going strong. I didn't really care for it as much as I thought in this novel, but I did enjoy the setting of a war college. If you like a school/university setting in a novel, you'll appreciate the setting of Basgiath and how cadets become immersed in the school's world, the trainings, and the other cadets. 


However, I do think that the world-building was weak in Fourth Wing. I wish Yarros would have provided readers with more background on Navarre and made it come to life a bit more. I think that if you are a reader who has read a lot of immersive fantasies by J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas or even Richelle Mead, this may stick out to you as a weakness. It certainly did for me as I didn't really buy into the whole world or the connection to the dragons. In fact, minus the graphic sex scenes, this read like a YA fantasy novel based solely on world-building and character development. 


Well, unless you live under a rock, you know that Fourth Wing is one of the most talked about books of the year. Why did I only give it 3.5 stars? Well, I listened to the audio version and it was, for lack of a better word, abysmal. I hear that they re-recorded the audio, which is great news, but the initial version I listened to was the worst audiobook I've listened to in years. The narrator was sick and you could actively hear swallowing, phlegm, a stuffy nose, and other delightful (!!) signs of a respiratory infection. It was so distracting and at times, it made me feel sick. Also, there's so much h y p e for this novel, so much so that I expected to be blown away and obviously that wasn't the case with this audiobook. I can't comment on the new audio version (if they did re-record it as I heard), but the original audio ruined this book for me. If I read book two, I am undecided currently, I will have to pick up a hard copy. So, if you are new to the fantasy genre and are traditionally a romance reader, this is the book for you, but make sure to sample the audiobook if you go that route!


Have you read Fourth Wing? It's one of the most talked about books of the fall. I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you listened to the audiobook. Leave me a comment below! 




  1. I have this book next up on my tbr - I'm a little nervous because of all the hype but I hope I love it!

    1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts! I wish I read a hard copy b/c I think I would have enjoyed it much more. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. I'm one of the few people who hasn't read this yet, and I'm not sure if I will. Not really my type of book and the hype is a little too much! The audiobook, though - that's pretty unprofessional to actually record the narrator while she's sick!

    1. The hype is a lot. That is why I was so surprised about the quality of the audio book. If you do read it, let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs