I’ve got to be honest; some of BookTok’s recommendations are overrated. Some books are good but don’t deserve all the praise they get. Some books don’t get enough attention on BookTok, but that might be more of a demographic issue than anything. Fourth Wing deserves all the hype. I haven’t devoured a book that fast in a minute. I enjoyed everything, and November 7th can’t get here fast enough. Fourth Wing might be the most enjoyable book I’ve done for Book Club ever. But what makes this book so dang entertaining?
Outside of the characters, romance, and overall plot, the world-building in Fourth Wing has something special that instantly sucks you into the world. Some of my favorite series have that IT factor. Percy Jackson, The Summoner Series, The Beginning After The End, and A Court of Thorns and Roses all have that thing that sparks my imagination and lets me escape into a new world full of cool and mysterious things. Fourth Wing instantly sparked my imagination without needing to info-dump all over the place. I loved the specific branches of the military while also setting up the hierarchy of who is the top dog and who isn’t as “cool.” I liked how we jump into an ongoing war between countries without really needing to understand the geopolitics that fantasy loves to rely on recently.
But most importantly, the single best world-building aspect of Fourth Wing is the Dragons. Who doesn’t like dragons? Any and every franchise that has dragons is infinitely better than those that don’t have any. But you give me a smart, witty, slightly grumpy old dragon, and I will sing your praises until I die. I want Tairn to be in my head at all times like he is with Violet. It would be the funniest thing ever.
Magic and Powers
I usually love complicated and unique magic systems. Fourth Wing’s magic system is anything but complicated or unique. Dragon riders are given power through their dragons that is unique to the rider and their personalities. It’s as basic as it gets, yet it doesn’t feel boring or old-fashioned. Some people have ice powers or fire powers; some can see far. Even the weaker seeming abilities have their moment to shine. It’s not just about brute strength. In war, it takes all sorts of skills to collect intel, interrogate, and spy. Battles are won on the field, but wars are won with intelligence, and Fourth Wing does a great job of highlighting people’s abilities outside of brute force and destruction. So while the magic system is basic, it doesn’t feel bland.
I don’t know about you, but I love an enemies-to-lovers story. (Especially if the enemy is a bad boy, which Xaden is.) Okay, maybe he isn’t a bad boy, but Xaden presents himself as such because he must protect the marked kids below him. He shoulders their burden and takes as much of the hate they all receive because he is their oldest. He is the big brother who protects his people, and it’s so nice, but he is also a cold-blooded killer and a bit of a dick to those around him. But his banter with Violet, their tension, and the forced proximity of these two enemies through their mated dragons turning into a romance that might rival Feyre and Rhysand makes me more excited to read the next book. (Again, November 7th can’t get here fast enough.)
I enjoyed this book. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was infinitely better than I thought, considering it was a BookTok recommendation. The world building has something special that makes you want to read more, to learn more about the world. The characters all feel unique and memorable. (If they live long enough for you to learn their name.) Violet doesn’t have pick-me energy like some lead characters do (I’m talking about you, Feyre). Dragons are the coolest, and you can’t go wrong with adding them to your story.
4 out of 4 wings. (I felt like a kid again the way I was sucked into this book.)