Books,  Reviews

Iron Flame

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“The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity.” Xaden Riorson

Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College?Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.

Now the real training begins, and Violet’s already wondering how she’ll get through. It’s not just that it’s grueling and maliciously brutal, or even that it’s designed to stretch the riders’ capacity for pain beyond endurance. It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.

Although Violet’s body might be weaker and frailer than everyone else’s, she still has her wits?and a will of iron. And leadership is forgetting the most important lesson Basgiath has taught her: Dragon riders make their own rules.

But a determination to survive won’t be enough this year.

Because Violet knows the real secret hidden for centuries at Basgiath War College?and nothing, not even dragon fire, may be enough to save them in the end.

Synopsis source: Goodreads


Genre(s): Romance, Fantasy, New Adult
HB&W Rating: 3.75
View on Goodreads
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Holy cliffhanger, Batman!

Well, I’m still enjoying this series. I’m not sure I loved this one as much as Fourth Wing, but I still really liked it.

I got frustrated with Violet and Xaden at times with their trust and communication issues, which got a bit tedious. But the action was non-stop and I absolutely LOVED Tairn and Andarna’s bickering (“We do not eat our allies.”), which had me smirking and outright laughing pretty frequently. I loved all the Liam references, keeping his memory alive in this book since he was a favorite in the first book.

I will say that I felt like there was a lot that happened but that not really a lot happened, as in there was plenty of action, but only some of it moved the plot forward. It made for a loooonnnggg book. Also, I sort of gave up trying to keep all the different riders, flyers, dragons and griffins straight. There were A LOT.

There were some really great lines in this book, just as in Fourth Wing. Some came from Violet, but a lot of them came from Xaden, cementing him as everything we would want in our book boyfriends. I love that he’s still the one who encourages Violet to put herself on the line and do things, something he’s never faltered on.

I’m sorry if you expect me to do the noble thing. I warned you I’m not sweet or soft or kind, and you fell anyways. That is what you get, Violet – me. The good, the bad, the unforgivable. All of it. I am yours.

He is the horizon and nothing exists beyond for me.

Love, at its root, is hope. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for what could be. Hope that the someone you’ve entrusted your everything to will cradle and protect it. And hope? That shit is harder to kill than a dragon.

The spicy scenes kind of missed the mark in this one for me. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t memorable. I still recall their first time together in Fourth Wing and get a bit warm, but this book didn’t really have anything that compared. Maybe the throne scene, but, meh, even that was ruined by the dirty talk.

Sometimes the audio narrator could be heard swallowing into the mic, which icked me out a little and the cadence and tone she used for Ulysses’ and Tairn’s voices were the same, which confused me a little until I realized who was talking. Still, she did a great job portraying the emotion and excitement of the characters in a way that really grabbed me and pulled me in.

Even with my issues, I really enjoyed it, listening at every opportunity and feeling bereft when I finished, probably mostly because of that cliffhanger and the author’s penchant for an abrupt “The End.”

Until next time,

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