There are two distinct ways to rate a book—one focusing on its literary merits and the other on its overall feel. Rebecca Yarros’ Iron Flame, the eagerly awaited sequel to Fourth Wing, might not earn a perfect score as a literary masterpiece, but it undeniably earns top marks for delivering an exhilarating dragon ride.
While “Fourth Wing” stood as a true masterpiece in Yarros’s Empyrean series, “Iron Flame” also falls within that category, despite occasional instances of cheesy dialogue and overused story tropes. These minor flaws pale in comparison to the brilliance of its plot.
Like the first book, Yarros opens each chapter with an epigraph, aiding in world-building and giving the reader some critical information that will come into play at some point in this story.
PS: If you haven’t read Fourth Wing, now’s the time to close this review and finish it!
Iron Flame picks up where Fourth Wing left off, sparing readers the agony of waiting for much-needed answers after the preceding cliffhanger.
The protagonist, Violet Sorrengail, encounters her supposedly deceased brother, Brennan, in Aretia following a breathtaking fight scene that leaves her critically injured. Brennan, a skilled mender, manages to heal her enough for her to realise his survival.
Brennan, of course, is working for the resistance alongside Xaden, our shadow-wielding love interest, and most of the people she has come to call her friends.
The exciting plot twists don’t end there, though – prepare for several twists, turns and bumps throughout this book.
The story doesn’t linger solely in Aretia; readers get to experience second year at Basgiath College with Violet, her friends Rhiannon, Sawyer, and Ridoc. The standout feature of this read is the exploration of this enchanting world, from the far reaches of Navarre to the depths of Basgiath College and even Poromiel.
Violet has a lot to deal with during Iron Flame. She still has to contend with her disability, and she needs to avoid Dain Aetos and his memory-reading skills. Over and above that, Violet’s grappling with keeping secrets from her friends. Plus, she needs to deal with Andarna – her second dragon who isn’t quite the same anymore.
Throughout the gripping plot, we meet a host of new characters, including a scorned ex-girlfriend and an evil professor. We also greet characters we thought we would never see again.
A lot happens in the third act of this book, and it ends in another massive cliffhanger that may have you chucking the book across the room.
No, Iron Flame is not perfect. The dialogue can be cheesy, and some parts of the story moves at a snail’s pace. But, in terms of atmosphere and overarching storytelling? This book is as brilliant as the first. Next on the list: Empyrean #3.
You can pick up your copy of Iron Flame at your closest Exclusive Books for R450.00.
Featured Image: Supplied