Review: Iron Flame - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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.

Book Type:

Fantasy / Romance

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Iron Flame
By Rebecca Yarros

Review: Iron Flame

“The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity.”

I dug into IRON FLAME with trepidation—like everyone, I was obsessed with FOURTH WING and wondered if this highly anticipated follow-up would meet my wildly high expectations.

Let’s get that out of the way first—I loved it.

(Do not keep reading if you’ve not read FOURTH WING, but no major spoilers for IRON FLAME)

This world that Rebecca Yarros has forged—teeming with dragons and magic, treachery and retribution, love and friendships—is one in which I’m deeply steeped. While the first book set up the dynamic, lore and characters, IRON FLAME spends much runway on Violet’s struggles… said another way, it delves into the “messy” of it all.

In the aftermath of what transpired in Athebyne, Violet battles to process her emotions (especially when it comes to Xaden), to carry the burden of what she must do, to distance herself from those she cares for most. As a result, we see the toll it’s taking on her. Make no mistake, however, Violet’s badassery is in full display throughout the book, but her overall arc begins to build with these experiences, likely helping to shape where she’ll end up by the series finale.

There was so much to relish in this sequel. As in FOURTH WING, Tairn and Andarna are the absolute highlight. Their individual personalities and dynamic are as fascinating and complex as that of their riders, and I could read a hundred more pages on just them. Secondly, despite Violet pushing some of her friends away to protect them (in beginning), her relationships shine throughout this novel. We get more from Rhiannon, Ridoc, Imogen, Brennan, Mira, and so many others old and new, and I loved reading about their dynamic and seeing each of them step up for each other.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t insane for the romance this time around, and again, perhaps that’s par for the course with what Yarros has in store for us. Xaden and Vi have undeniably hit a rough patch in their relationship, (trust) issues plaguing their every interaction. And by the book’s end, they find themselves at another massive impasse. I’m rooting for them though, and I’m glad we’re getting to know more about Xaden’s past too.

While the novel had a slow start for me, it accelerates into a fever pitch that made it impossible to put down. Yarros once again leaves us breathless at the end, my heart pounding, brimming with equal parts emotion, shock, and impatience for what’s to come next. These books have brought me so much joy: I love reading them and love talking about them with friends even more as we all theorize delusionally at where the story will go. The countdown for Book 3 has officially begun…


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