Fourth Wing Summary with Free Printable Book Club Questions

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Finding a book that I can just get lost in doesn’t happen as often as it did when I was younger. I’m not sure if I am just more picky now. If the topics are just all too “overdone”. Or what the issue is. Maybe it has just been one very looooong slump.

This book broke that.

This is a book that I was willing to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to read.

Ignored the show that everyone else was watching. Obsessed over while I was making dinner. Thought about while I was driving.

It. Is. That. Dang. Good.

There has only been one other time in my life when I anxiously anticipated a book release date. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows in July of 2009 and now Iron Flame. It is going to be a very torturous wait for the rest of this series. Unless she does something really out there with the storyline, I’m hooked.

Fourth Wing Official Synopsis

Fourth Wing, written by Rebecca Yarros, is an enthralling fantasy novel that revolves around a fierce and elite world of dragon riders. It’s the first book in the Empyrean series and showcases a captivating tale of Violet Sorrengail, a 20-year-old from the fictional land of Navarre.

Violet’s journey leads her to Basgiath War College, located in the Scribe Quadrant, where she is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and study books and history. The novel takes readers on an action-packed adventure as Violet and her fellow cadets navigate the intricacies of becoming dragon riders for the kingdom of Navarre.


This gripping story is packed with an extensive list of characters, plot twists, and intense action that keeps readers engaged and eager to explore further. From heart-wrenching reveals, such as the separatists aiding the “enemy,” to the existence of venins or Brennan being alive, readers are bound to be captivated and engrossed in the world Rebecca Yarros has carefully crafted.

Readers looking for a leisurely book club discussion can explore multiple thought-provoking questions related to the novel. For instance, they can discuss the effectiveness of foreshadowing used in the book, as well as the ethicality of keeping secrets between characters, like Xaden’s allegiance.

Attention-grabbing and immersive, Fourth Wing proves to be a fan favorite in the realm of fantasy novels and a wonderful conversation starter for book clubs. You can download the Fourth Wing PDF in the Catalogue.

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Book Club Questions

A Summary of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

In Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, we are introduced to a world filled with magical dragons, war, and romance. The protagonist, Violet Sorrengail, defies her expected role as a scribe due to her physical frailty and instead finds herself joining the Riders’ Quadrant.

At a war college, Violet and the other cadets face great challenges to prove themselves as dragon riders for the kingdom of Navarre. Coming from a prestigious family, Violet is the daughter of a war general and sister to two heroes, making her journey even more significant.

As the tale unfolds, readers are captivated by the determination and resilience displayed by Violet. Despite her weak muscles and ligaments, she persists in her pursuit of becoming a rider. Along the way, she forges new friendships and encounters more than just dragons; she discovers love and explores the depths of passion amidst the turbulent backdrop of war.


The Characters

In the captivating fantasy novel, Fourth Wing, the complex characters add depth to the story and capture the readers’ attention. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key players in this story.

Main Characters

  • Violet Sorrengail: A 20-year-old scribe-in-training who was never meant for war due to her weak muscles and ligaments. She’s strong-willed and determined to overcome obstacles, proving herself more than just her physical limitations.
  • Dain Aetos: Initially a good guy figure, Dain is a friend to Violet, but later developments in the story reveal that he may have more in his sleeve than the reader initially perceives.
  • Xaden Riorson: Xaden, the misunderstood character who first comes across as ruthless but later reveals a different side to him as the story progresses.

Other Characters

  • General Lilith Sorrengail: Violet’s mother, the General, is a stern, strong, and influential figure. She appears to be heartless initially, but as the story unfolds, it reveals how she seeks the best for Violet and her own motives.
  • Violet’s Father: A scribe who heavily influences his daughter’s upbringing, preparing her for a life dedicated to knowledge and books.
  • Rhiannon Matthias: Violet’s friend in Basgaith. She is a resourceful and determined character in the Fourth Wing, known for her unwavering dedication to her goals.
  • Liam Mairi: He is assigned as Violet’s friend and protector. He is Xaden Riorson’s foster brother. A character that exudes charisma and charm, often using his wit to navigate complex situations.
  • Jack Barlowe: Violet’s enemy and antagonist throughout the book.
  • Mira Sorengail: Violet’s sister and a current Rider. She possesses an enigmatic aura, hiding her true intentions beneath a mysterious facade.
  • Brennan Sorengail:  Violet’s older brother. He died in the Battle of Aretia, killed by Xaden’s father. Brennan is described as a brilliant strategist who has left a diary behind for both sisters to use to overcome the challenges of Basgiath.

Professors in Basgiath

  • Professor Carr: helps cadets learn how to nurture their signets, develop shields, and deal with lesser magic. Violet describes him as imposing, and intimidating.
  • Professor Devera: teaches Battle Brief.
  • Professor Emetterio: the PE teacher who oversees the physical training of all cadets.
  • Professor Kaori: teaches cadets about the different types and breeds of dragons.
  • Professor Markham: is a scribe who teaches Battle Brief.

The Timeline of the Book **SPOILERS**

The dates during the events of the book fit into the 2025 calendar.

  • 5 years before the book starts – the end of the rebellion
  • Mid-late February – Violet starts training
  • Second last week of July (Chpt. 1) – Conscription Day
  • Next day (Chpt. 4-6)
  • Last week of July (Chpt. 7) – Assignments are chosen but not shown, Violet sees the Xaden’s night meeting
  • First week of August (Chpt. 8) – Challenges start
  • The first week of September (Chpt. 9) – Violet spars with Xaden during challenges
  • The second week of September (Chpt. 10)- Gauntlet practice starts
  • 2 days after Violet burns Aurelie’s belongings, Xaden tells Violet that the right way to complete Gauntlet isn’t the only way.
  • September 29th (Chpt. 11+12) – Gauntlet and Presentation day
  • Wednesday October 1st (Chpt. 13-16) – Threshing
  • The next day Imogen starts training Violet
  • The first week of November (Chpt. 18-19) – Violet sees Jesinia, Dain finds out that she can’t keep her seat, Jeremiah is killed for being an inntinnsic, that night Violet is attacked in her sleep by the unbonded around 2 a.m.
  • The next day (Chpt. 20) – Amber is executed
  • End of the first week of November (Chpt. 21) – Liam starts Archives duty with Violet
  • The second week of December (Chpt. 22) – Violet starts channeling, she learns to shield, she and Xaden kiss that same night.
  • The next day (Chpt. 23) Garrick and Xaden spar shirtless.
  • Winter solstice – Challenges are meant to resume but they end up being delayed a few weeks
  • The second week of January (Chpt. 23-24) – Challenges resume, Jack challenges Violet, Xaden gives her the daggers he had made
  • Early March (Chpt. 24)- Violet and Xaden talk with Colonel Aetos and General Sorrengail on the way to the flight fields (a reference to Violet knowing where her father’s important notes are in the archives)
  • Mid-late March – the start of squad battles
  • April (Chpt. 25) – last squad battles challenge, they steal the map from General Sorrengail’s office
  • Later that week (Chpt. 26-27) – Violet’s squad goes to Montserrat
  • Mid-May (Chpt. 28) – the first battle of the War Games, Violet kills Jack
  • Same day (Chpt. 30) – Violet and Xaden have sex
  • Mid-June – Xaden tells Violet about Athebyn and then time jumps to July 1st
  • July 1st (Chpt. 31-32) – Unification day – Anniversary of the Battle of Aretia
  • July 2nd (Chpt. 33) – start of the War Games that sends the group to Athebyn. It’s meant to last 5 days,
  • Same day (Chpt. 36) – Liam dies
  • July 5th (Chpt. 39) – Violet wakes up
  • July 10th – Graduation (book ends before this)

Books Like Fourth Wing

If you’re looking for more novels that will give you the same excitement and adventure as the Fourth Wing. I’ve compiled a list of books that offer similar themes, like finding your strength, found family, institutional deception, and loyalty. Here are some suggestions to satisfy your craving for more like Fourth Wing.

Books to read …:


Top 4 is based on best sellers with top ratings. The above links are affiliate links. I may receive a small bit of compensation if you purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

The Aurelian Cycle is a book trilogy most like Fourth Wing if people are into YA books. The whole set is out and ready to binge.

It’s full of so many of the same elements that made Fourth Wing so exciting — dragon-riding, an emotional connection between dragon/rider, high stakes, a contest/trial element (for the position of First Rider), revolutionaries, war, action, battles etc.

There is a romance but it’s a bit more subdued comparatively to Fourth Wing.

Read it if you are looking for: dragons and dragonriders, political intrigue, war, tournament/contest.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1)

If you want more deadly academies and have already read Divergent and Scholomance, then try Red Sister. No dragons here, but the book presents some mighty deadly nuns in training. The plot offers a similar medieval-ish setting stocked with betrayals, hard-core training, mystical talents and political shenanigans.

“Epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale but on speed.”—Fixed on Fantasy

Read it if you are looking for: More dragons, fast adventure, fantasy and science-fiction mixed.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night

Think Hunger Games and Vampire wrapped up in a page-turning spicy romantasy.

It’s got the high stakes of Fourth Wing along with a really good spicy enemies-to-lovers book trope and a character who is super underestimated and the ultimate underdog like Violet was. The main character is a human going up against vampires who already want to kill her for just being her not to mention the process of eliminating their competition.

Read it if you are looking for: a spicy fantasy romance, enemies to lovers, a deadly trial/competition element, an underdog story

A Shadow in the Ember

A Shadow in the Ember is the first in the new Flesh and Fire series. It’s a prequel of sorts to From Blood and Ash but it can be read as a standalone if you haven’t yet started that series

At the heart of this romance are Ash and Sera, the Primal of Death, and the Maiden who was born to end him.

Read it if you are looking for: flirtatious and humorous banter, forbidden romance,


About Rebecca Yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a New York Times bestselling author known for her captivating stories in the romance and fantasy genres. With a flair for creating relatable characters and rich, immersive worlds, she has captured the hearts of many readers.

Her most recent work, Fourth Wing, is the first installment in the Empyrean series. Set in the kingdom of Navarre, it follows the journey of Violet Sorrengail and her fellow cadets as they strive to become dragon riders. The novel’s combination of action, adventure, and romance has led to comparisons with beloved fantasies like Harry Potter – although it should be noted that Yarros’ work stands on its own merits.

In addition to her success as an author, Yarros is also a military wife and mother of six children. Her background and personal experiences often inform her writing, lending authenticity to the challenges her characters face. Despite her busy life, she remains dedicated to crafting stories that engage and inspire her readers.

So if you’re looking for a new fantasy series to dive into, give Rebecca Yarros’ Fourth Wing a try. With its compelling world-building, memorable characters, and thrilling plot, you’ll surely find it an enjoyable page-turner.

crystal book ends with fourth wing dragon quote
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Quotes from Fourth Wing

These quotes provide a glimpse into the story’s intense emotions, intriguing characters, and riveting plot. They can be used as conversation starters in book clubs or simply enjoyed by those looking for a taste of the novel’s captivating language.

“A dragon without its rider is a tragedy. A rider without their dragon is dead.” – Rebecca Yarros, Fourth Wing

“There’s nowhere in existence you could go that I wouldn’t find you, Violence.” – Xaden Riorson

“You are not attracted to toxic men, I remind myself, and yet, here I am, getting all attracted.” Violet Sorrengail

“Hope is a fickle, dangerous thing. It steals your focus and aims it towards the possibilities instead of keeping it where it belongs -on the probabilities.” – Xaden Riorson

“One does not live a century without being well aware of the space one takes up.” – Tairn

“Nature likes all things in balance.” – Andarna

“I am the sky and the power of every storm that has ever been. I am infinite.” – Violet Sorrengail

“We will feast on their bones, Silver One.” – Tairn

“You gave me your heart, and I’m keeping it.” – Xaden Riorson

3 Main Book Tropes

In the engaging New Adult (NA) fantasy novel, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, there are several notable literary tropes that captivate readers and contribute to the tale’s success. The top three:

The Chosen One: Violet Sorrengail, the protagonist, is a 20-year-old aspiring dragon rider. As she begins her journey at Basgiath War College, it becomes evident that she has a special connection to dragons. Her exceptional bond with these mythical creatures sets her apart from others, marking her as the chosen one and a vital component in the kingdom of Navarre’s fight against its enemies.

Fantasy Warfare: The centuries-long conflict between Navarre and its neighboring kingdom, Poromiel, adds a layer of tension and danger to the narrative. This trope of fantasy warfare effectively pits dragons against gryphons (eagle-headed, lion-bodied creatures) and showcases thrilling battle sequences that leave readers on the edge of their seats.

Friends Turned Lovers: An intriguing romantic subplot emerges when Violet and her childhood friend, Larkin, start their journey together with the same goal of becoming dragon riders. As they progress through rigorous training, face life-threatening challenges, and grow closer to their dragons, their friendship blossoms into a deep, passionate love. This trope offers emotional depth to the story and adds another dimension to Violet’s personal growth.


Want a cheat sheet for Fantasy Romance book tropes?


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