Iron Flame
Grade : B

I have been looking forward to Iron Flame since I finished the amazing Fourth Wing. (It is necessary to read Fourth Wing first.) Iron Flame starts where Fourth Wing left off and continues with Violet and friends going back to Basgiath War College for their second year of dragon rider training. There’s more magic, dragons and romance and while I didn’t love it as much as Fourth Wing, I was very happy to be able to continue on with the story. (There are a few spoilers for Fourth Wing in this review in case there are readers that haven’t read it yet.)

The novel’s pace felt slow in the beginning. Yarros spends a lot of ink explaining about the politics and the rules of the world she’s created. I felt she could have edited this but, fortunately, the story picked up in the second half and soon there was nonstop action. I wanted to devour it but it’s over 600 pages so it took a while!.

Violet is an admirable heroine. Despite having a chronic illness, she tenaciously fights to help the revolution she joined in the end of book one. Again and again, she faces peril–she routinely gets beat up–but every time, she jumps back up, ready to try again, with the help of her friends and her dragons. And just as was true in Fourth Wing, the dragons are a highlight here.

Now that she is in her second year of dragon rider school, Violet (and her friends) learn more about their different types of magic and powers. They also learn more about what is really going on in their world–it’s clear they’ve been lied to about the war going on outside of their city. As they work to overthrow those in power, Violet and her cohorts face great danger. This is on top of the training which is perilous and just like in Fourth Wing, there are students that do not survive.

Iron Flame is very much a romantasy and our couple, Xaden and Violet, are compelling. Xaden is a wing leader and the leader of the revolution. He is at a different location so they only get to see each other one day each weekend and Violet is upset when she finds out Xaden has kept secrets from her – but they are war secrets, so he is trying to protect her! They end up bickering about this when they see each which got old but Xaden confesses his love to Violet and I thought he was very convincing! Together the two are incendiary and though they spent too much time bickering, I did enjoy the very hot ways they made up!

Tairn, one of Violet’s dragons, might be my favorite character in the book. He is wise and protective. The two speak to each other telepathically and I loved how he looks out for her and comes to her rescue. Violet’s other dragon, Adarna, is a teenager now and is so sassy she made me laugh. Another character that is back is Dain, a Wing Leader and friend of Violet’s from her youth. In the Fourth Wing, he betrayed Violet and is now trying to redeem himself. I’m still not ready to trust him even though Violet and her friends do. We also see Violet’s best friend Rhiannon again. She is calm, patient and a great leader of their group and it’s lovely to see her friendship with Violet. There are also new students that bring a lot to the story, like Jessinia, a cute first year student and squire that is hearing impaired.

And, just like in Fourth Wing, the ending has a shocker of a cliff hanger. I can’t imagine how it will be resolved. Here’s hoping the next book in the series comes out sooner rather than later!

Overall, though I enjoyed this, it felt too long. Violet and Xaden seem to be quarreling every time they saw each other, and this was a bummer, especially because they are so rarely together. But, the dragons, the magic, and the characters are superb and I think readers that enjoy fantasy romance will enjoy this – just make sure to read Fourth Wing first. I don’t know where the next three books in the series will take us, but I’m along for the ride!

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner

Grade: B

Book Type: Fantasy Romance

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : November 18, 2023

Publication Date: 11/2023

Review Tags: The Empyrean series

Recent Comments …

Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers.
Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments