I Choose Violence

In love with this blend of fantasy and romance

That was one wild ride. I felt every turn of this dragon and was struggling to hold on to the page the entire time. Obviously, this book is all over the internet. The community is full of hype about it, so I finally had to pick up after a friend recommended it as well. It was an enchanting story and I loved every moment of reading.

Violet Sorrengail was meant for a quiet life among the books that she loves, but her General (and mother) has ordered her to join the elite dragon riders. Now she must fight for her life against the dragons and her fellow riders to make a place for herself. While she is training, the ongoing war is taking a deeper toll on the countryside. The protective wards are failing and allies are dying daily. What is leadership not telling it's new recruits?

“Lies are comforting. Truth is painful.”

Gaelic Names and Their Meanings

One of the standout features of Forth Wing is the author's clever use of Gaelic words.

Dragons only reveal their full name to their rider, as part of their special connection. The use of Gaelic words gives the universe depth and adds to the magical atmosphere. Each name carries its own significance and adds depth to the story. It felt like a unique touch that made the world concept even more enticing.
When I realized that "tàirneanach" is the gaelic word for "thunder" it seemed obvious that Violet's magic would be lightning but in the way that is poetic and beautiful not trite.

World Building

While the Gaelic names for the dragons added an appealing layer, I couldn't help but feel that the overall world-building was slightly lacking. The author presented a fascinating magical world, but it wasn't as fully developed as I had hoped. I wanted to learn more about the history, politics, and cultures that shaped this realm. Forth Wing leaned more towards a Young Adult vibe, catering to a broader audience, but leaving meticulous world-building enthusiasts like me craving more intricate details. For example,

we spent a year with these students but never once interacted with any infantry or healer students. I am optimistic that Iron Flame will start to expand the world and provide a more rich context for the characters and politics of this world.

The Balance Between Romance and Fantasy

Brace yourself, romance lovers! Forth Wing offers a healthy dose of spicy romance that intertwines with the fantasy elements. The lack of world-building underscores that this book (not unlike A Court of Thorns and Roses) is more of a romance set in a fantasy world than a true high fantasy. If, like myself, you enjoy a fusion of these genres this might be just up your alley -- If you're looking for High Fantasy you might consider looking elsewhere.

Personally, I loved the romance. I have a soft spot for any morally gray character and I always enjoy an enemies-to-lovers evolution so this was "Gets-you-into-trouble-and-you-like-it level of hot" for me.

I'm not afraid of hard work, especially not when I know just how sweet the rewards are. I would rather loose this entire war than live without you, and if that means I have to prove myself over and over, then I'll do it. You gave me your heart, and I'm keeping it.

Violet's Character: Strengths and Weaknesses

I really loved how Yarros set up Violet as a smaller, more vulnerable rider. The beginning felt incredibly reminiscent of Ender's Game and in the same way, had me excited for a protagonist that had to use their cunning to take command.

“You are the smartest of your year. The most cunning.” I gulp at the compliment, brushing it off. I was trained as a scribe, not a rider. “You defended the smallest with ferocity. And strength of courage is more important than physical strength."

Violet had moments of brilliance and strength, but it left me slightly frustrated when she missed subtle cues that were evident to the reader. As an intelligent character, I expected her to showcase more astuteness and perceptiveness when confronted with challenges.

To me, it was obvious once I realized that book wasn't in the Archives that book was not just folklore.

“Remember that folklore is passed from one generation to the next to teach us about our past. If we lose it, we lose the links to our past. It only takes one desperate generation to change history- even erase it.”

Overall, Forth Wing is a captivating read that blends magic, romance, and dragons. The Gaelic names bestowed upon the dragons infused the story with an extra layer of enchantment. However, the world-building could have been more extensive to satisfy my hunger for a fully immersive experience. The balance between romance and fantasy sometimes tilted more towards the former, diluting the unique fantasy elements. Despite some minor shortcomings, Forth Wing is an enjoyable adventure that will appeal to fantasy enthusiasts looking for a touch of romance and a coming-of-age story. I'm personally counting down until November.