The last author that snuck up on me out of nowhere was Colleen Hoover. One day I felt like a fully functional librarian, and the next day I was trying to figure out why we had a hundred holds on a book by an author I wasn’t familiar with. Well, here we are again. Who is Rebecca Yarros and where did everyone hear about this Fourth Wing book? I’ll tell you where — BookTok. I’m sure some of my extremely devoted readers (who may even take notes or write in their diaries about my book reviews) may recall after the Colleen Hoover debacle, I swore never to be taken by surprise again. I signed up for TikTok to keep track, and I did keep track… for a couple weeks. Do you even realize how much there is on TikTok and how much time you can end up wasting? I’m sure some of you do. Anyway, that is how I find myself in this situation. Again. 

If you have not heard of Fourth Wing, let me give you a heads up:

Violet Sorrengail prepared her whole life to enter the Scribe Quadrant at Basgaith War College. Following in the footsteps of her father, she spent her life in deep study of the history of Navarre. As a somewhat frail child (the author has confirmed that the symptoms described are meant to be Ehlers-Danlos, though it is never explicitly stated as a diagnosis), she always thought she knew the best place for her skills and abilities. When the time came to enter the school, however, her mother, General Sorrengail, turned her life upside down by insisting she enter the Rider’s Quadrant like her brother and sister before her. Never mind that just surviving the first day was tricky. Never mind that the students in the rider’s quadrant were constantly trying to kill each other. Never mind that the goal was to be selected by a dragon to be their rider and a dragon was more likely to incinerate the weak than select them. This was her mother’s demand, and Violet was given no choice. 

Violet may not have been the strongest, biggest, or toughest to enter the Riders that year, but she was certainly the smartest, and sometimes those who survive do so by wit alone. I don’t feel like it’s much of a spoiler to confirm that Violet did make it through the first few weeks as a Rider. The story would be awfully short if she didn’t. Does she get selected by a dragon? Maybe a spoiler, but again, I feel like everyone reading this book expects she would. Does she end up under the command of the eldest child remaining from a band of rebels who were responsible for the death of her brother and who’s family her mother ordered the death of? Also, yes. Does she discover that everything she has been taught about her world may be based on lies and possibly only she and a band of rebels might be able to save the land she has devoted her life to? Maybe, but there’s a second book for that. 

If you enjoy stories with dragon riders, strong female characters, spicy elements (I mean sex for those who don’t get the euphemism), and a lot of violence, this may be the book for you. And don’t tell anyone I told you, but the next book in the series, Iron Flame, comes out on November 7, and if you put the downloadable audiobook on hold at Mid-Columbia Libraries, I can almost guarantee you will be able to check it out on its release day. 

If you enjoyed Fourth Wing you may also like: 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

Sarah Johnson is a collection librarian at Mid-Columbia Libraries. She reads more than 120 books a year. In her free time, she teaches fitness classes, gardens, and brews kombucha.