By Lily Lovette--Eagle Staff Writer
Dragons, secret romance, magic, dark colleges, a corrupted government, danger: what else could you need to compile a perfect fantasy book? Published on April 5th, 2023 “Fourth Wing” is a newly released dark fantasy by Rebecca Yarros and it’s taking this year's readers by storm.
One of the main issues in the fantasy genre is worldbuilding. It can often make it difficult to understand exactly what's going on and can lead to books being hard to get through. Places can be hard to pronounce, magic systems can be complicated, and largely made-up worlds can leave readers feeling lost within them.
However, “Fourth Wing” seemed to have skimmed by all of those issues completely. From the very front to the back, the world is mapped out compellingly and clearly. There is a map of the world on both sides of the book, both hardcover and paperback. I found that I scarcely needed it, seeing as Yarros creates such a vivid yet simple magical world.
Yarros isn’t just skilled in worldbuilding; her award-winning artful character building shows in the book as well. The heroine in the story is multidimensional and Yarros makes you want to root for her from the very beginning. At the beginning of the book, she wishes for a quiet life but then is forced into a different and dangerous path due to her family line. Watching her grow in the underdog-type role throughout the book is a truly rewarding experience.
Another element that grows in the novel is the relationships. A strong romance in adult fantasy is usually what binds the story together and the slow burn adds much-needed tension in the fast-paced book. The relationship has development and much like the main characters arcs it leaves you rooting for them.
The non-romantic relationships also play an immense role in the story. The dynamic between the heroine and her family gives her character depth and leaves room for her to have flaws. The side characters are just as fleshed out as the main ones. Yarros gives them chances for mistakes, romance, and heart-wrenching emotions leaving readers with the feeling that the book isn't too focused on one character.
While “Fourth Wing” wasn’t Yarros' debut novel, the reception of the book is introducing new readers to her previous works. Rightfully so, this exhilarating dark fantasy has left readers wishing they could read it for the first time again.