“The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity.” —Xaden Riorson
Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College—Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.
Now the real training begins, and Violet’s already wondering how she’ll get through. It’s not just that it’s grueling and maliciously brutal, or even that it’s designed to stretch the riders’ capacity for pain beyond endurance. It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.
Although Violet’s body might be weaker and frailer than everyone else’s, she still has her wits—and a will of iron. And leadership is forgetting the most important lesson Basgiath has taught her: Dragon riders make their own rules.
But a determination to survive won’t be enough this year.
Because Violet knows the real secret hidden for centuries at Basgiath War College—and nothing, not even dragon fire, may be enough to save them in the end.
No spoiler for Iron Flame but no promises for Fourth Wing as this is a sequel!
Audiobook length: > 28 hours
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Can you take a half star off because the author made a choice in her story that you don’t like? Well, I just did and it has to do with then ending and no, I won’t say more as I promised no spoiler!
Did I love this book that I awaited with great expectations? Absolutely!
Did I love it as much as I loved Fourth Wing? Nearly.
I have two complaints, one being Rebecca’s choice (see above) and that at some point it felt repetitive. And I have no idea why as this book is packed with nonstop action and lots of drama!
What I loved:
-we are back at Basgiath (and it wasn’t a guarantee based on Fourth Wing’s ending);
–the year will be brutal because, as the synopsis is saying, we have a new vice commandant and he is a real sadist. He also will target Violet a lot and be warned that at one point she’ll go through something unbearable!
–Violet has still an iron will and an incredible tolerance for pain;
–a surprise with the dragons and especially with an adolescent Andarna. And no, this isn’t a spoiler as Rebecca talked about it in an interview. And an adolescent dragon has the same attitude as an adolescent human so that was very fun to follow!
Also know that there are a few twists with Andarna but again, I am not saying more.
–Tairn! I adore that grumpy and formidable dragon!
–the friendship as Fourth Wing is a tight unit and all these would die for their friends! It’s more than friendship, it’s found family really.
–the “quest” and I won’t explain more about it, no spoiler remember? Just know that it will be like a puzzle that Violet will go to great length to solve. Also she will flounder a lot!
–the action. There is always something happening!
–that Rebecca used smut as a side dish and not as the main course! THANK YOU for not turning into Jennifer L Armentrout! Thank you for giving us very spicy scenes but in small doses compared to the plot! Please keep doing that till the end of the series!
What I didn’t love as much:
–the romance. This will seem very contradictory because on the one end, it’s great to see Xaden so smitten with Violet and ready to sacrifice the world (like the villains do). But on the other hand, it didn’t have the angst that we obviously got when we are in the “enemies to lovers stage”. Also there were some very frustrating arguments between them and Xaden if willing to grovel and be more transparent was not ready to be transparent about everything and that was frustrating.
-that Violet made all the wrong choices compared to Fourth Wing. I guess it’s called growing up but that was painful nonetheless.
–a big plot twist that was hard to believe. Honestly, it was too extreme for me. Not telling more.
-the length or rather that at some point it felt repetitive, maybe the failure felt repetitive, and I can’t exactly pinpoint what made me feel like that;
-as I said about, a choice Rebecca made for the ending.
That being said, with the enormous pressure Rebecca was under and considering it’s a second book, I think it’s mission accomplished and it was a very good second book!
I know that I can’t wait for book three.
“We do not eat our allies. Find another snack.”
Thanks for reading.