BOOK REVIEW: Iron Flame {The Empyrean, Book 2} by Rebecca Yarros

"I waited six hundred and fifty years to hatch. Waited until your eighteenth summer, when I heard our elders talk of the weakling daughter of their general, the girl forecasted to become the head of the scribes, and I knew. You would have the mind of a scribe and the heart of a rider. You would be mine."

It is so, so rare for me to leap into a sequel immediately following the completion of book one; but in the case of Rebecca Yarros' Iron Flame, it was a non-neogtiable. You guys, the impact these characters had on me in Fourth Wing was something I was so not ready to leave behind; thus, I dove directly in, and OMG all I can say is how on earth am I supposed to wait until January for Onyx Storm?

Now twenty-one-years-old, Violet Sorrengail accomplished the unthinkable during her first year in the Riders Quadrant at Basgiath War College: she survived. And not just survived...she thrived - bonding to not one, but two dragons during Threshing {the standouts Tairn and Andarna}; finding a mate in the unlikely {yet oh so swoon-worthy} Xaden Riorson; and coming into her own, showing her classmates just how badass she truly is. But Year One is done. Everyone knows that the true time to weed out the weak, the vulnerable, the unworthy...isn't during the torturous time of Threshing. No, it's during Year Two - when you've developed a sense of cockiness, confidence, and the incorrect feeling that you are untouchable that the true weeding out process begins. Welcome to Year Two.

Violet is known for being weaker and frailer than her fellow Dragon Riders; she's also known for not allowing those things to stop her. Strong of mind, and incredibly determined, Violet is entering Year Two ready for anything training has to throw at her. After all, she has seen what it's like on the outside, borne witness to the terror that lies outside of Navarre. While it's a knowledge that haunts her every sleeping {and waking} moment, it's also the driving force behind her will to succeed. Yes, it's grueling; yes, it's brutal; yes, it will test tolerance of pain and torture...but it's not impossible. The new Vice Commandant, Varrish, however, is hellbent on making it so. At least for Violet. From the moment of his arrival, Varrish develops a hyper-fixation on Violet, Tairn, and Andarna - issuing threats, torment, and persecution all in the name of showing Vi how utterly powerless she is. But he's wrong. Vi is anything but powerless. And even if it kills her, Vi is dead set on protecting her friends and exposing the true secret that has been hidden at Basgiath War College for centuries.

Yarros had better start churning out novellas from all of the POVs because let me tell you this is a cast of characters that I cannot get enough of, and I will shell out cash for each and every one of them - especially if we get one from my sassy sweetheart Andarna and my hilarious teddy bear Tairn because they are two of my all-time favorite characters in literature and I would die for them. Yes, if you hadn't already surmised, I'm here for the dragons, the rest of the characters are just a very welcome bonus. But I digress...

Iron Flame gutted me in ways I never thought possible. Multiple hallucinations {or were they?} from a character I'm still mourning from Fourth Wing; the return of a villain I hoped never to see again; all of the questions surrounding Andarna's sleep for the first half of the book {ngl I suffered severe anxiety during this period}...I mean, it was gut-wrenching. Not since J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter have I felt such a strong pull to a fictional world and the characters therein, but Yarros has just nailed it. Despite the fact that there are loads of characters throughout, they are so distinguishable based on their traits and personalities that, love them of loathe them, they are unforgettable. Most unforgettable, at least for me, are the dragons - I absolutely cannot get enough of them. The way that they communicate telepathically is just brilliant and something I look forward to as I turn each page. And Violet? I liked her in Fourth Wing; but she just blew me away in Iron Flame. Like, she has literally cemented herself in my top 3 of favorite fictional female characters.

Kudos to you Ms. Yarros...you are a true queen. I am eagerly awaiting Onyx Storm.

Star Rating: *****



ellie said...

Thanks for the beautiful review! I will keep this author in mindπŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Ivy's Closet said...

Oh, you do know how to make me want to run out and get this book. Thanks so much!

Caitlin&Megan said...

It is so tempting! Thanks for the great review!🍧🌈🌸

R's Rue said...

Glad you loved it.

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