Explore the Fourth Wing series in order (also known as the Empyrean) by Rebecca Yarros to learn everything you need to know about this wildly successful dragon-themed book series.
Never did I EVER think I would get into a fantasy romance series, let alone one set at a war college and involving dragons. In fact, if I were to name the things I would normally avoid in a potential read, it would be this. But, Fourth Wing started intriguing me when I saw that even readers like me (who read a lot of classics and literary fiction) were praising it.
It seemed that out of nowhere, EVERYONE on social media was talking about the dragon books, and NONE of it was bad. So, I decided to dive in, and I’m here to tell you that the first book, Fourth Wing, totally lives up to the hype! I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and placed it on my list of best books of 2023.
I think that what’s made it so universally successful is that she balances the escapism of fantasy, romance, and dragons with the harsh realities of the real world (namely, war and the telling of history). And, she does so with a lot of rich details that make it utterly unique and truly memorable.
Yarros is a long-time author, so I’m just thrilled to see her find this success with a series that seems very aligned with herself. (She has a love of history and dragons, and she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which the protagonist has.) It just always brings me joy to see authors hit it big commercially later in their careers. Undoubtedly, her life is now forever changed.
So, whether you’re new to the Fourth Wing series, or you already started it and are looking for more, this post details the Fourth Wing series in order, along with other facts you need to know about it. The goal is to provide details that will help you answer any and all of the questions you may have about the series generally.
Fourth Wing Series in Order
How many books are in the Fourth Wing series?
The total number of books in the Fourth Wing series (Empyrean) by Rebecca Yarros is five. The first book, Fourth Wing, was published on May 2, 2023. The second book, Iron Flame, was published on November 7, 2023.
Details of books three through five have not yet been released; however, Yarros told Today that the series arc explores “[w]ho’s allowed to tell our history, and what happens when only people in power are the ones who record our history[.]” She also has said she’s writing slower now and book three has a release date, but she can’t divulge it yet.
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Details of Books in the Fourth Wing Series
Fourth Wing (Empyrean #1 of 5)
- #1 New York Times bestseller
- A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book
- #1 USA Today bestseller
- #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller
- #1 Sunday Times UK bestseller
- #1 Bestseller list Australia
- Fourth Wing Genre: fantasy romance (romantasy)
- Fourth Wing Tropes: enemies to lovers; forced proximity
- Fourth Wing Number of Pages: 528 (hardcover)
- Fourth Wing Publication Date: May 2, 2023
- Fourth Wing Paperback Release Date: to be announced
- Fourth Wing Maturity Rating: 18+ based on graphic sexual and war-themed content
- Fourth Wing Spice Level: 2 out of 5 (Chapters 30 and 32 have spice)
- Fourth Wing Trigger Warnings: war, battle, hand-to-hand combat, perilous situations, blood, intense violence, brutal injuries, death, poisoning, graphic language, and sexual activities
In Fourth Wing, Violet Sorrengail is a 20-year-old resident of Navarre, and she’s about to enter Basgiath War College in the Scribe Quadrant, like her father, studying books and history. But, her mother, the Commanding General, has other plans and orders her to seek entry into the elite Riders Quadrant, which is extremely dangerous and deadly.
In fact, as the first sentence of the book warns, the day on which entry is sought is the deadliest. And even if she makes it through, as her mother, older sister Mira, and older brother Brennan did, only a fraction will live to graduate.
Violet herself is petite and frail, so she’ll have to fight extra hard not just to succeed, but also to survive, especially since people like the powerful Wingleader Xaden Riorson have it out for her. He, and many of the others, are only there because of the fallout from their parents’ rebellion, after which Violet’s mother executed them.
Circumstances may bring them closer than they ever thought they’d be, however, and it’s a heart-stopping journey of not just dragon riding, but also magical powers (signets), symbols (relics), powerful books, a deadly bridge, a gauntlet, a Squad Battle, War Games, mythical creatures (gryphon, wyvern, venin), and even love.
Beyond the intrigue, there also remains an overarching theme about the re-telling of history that begins to reveal itself, and in this particular book, it can be summed up simply as “things are not what they seem.”
Buy Fourth Wing:
Iron Flame (Empyrean #2 of 5)
- Iron Flame Number of Pages: 640 (hardcover)
- Iron Flame Publication Date: November 7, 2023
- Iron Flame Paperback Release Date: to be announced
- Iron Flame Maturity Rating: 18+ based on graphic sexual and war-themed content
- Iron Flame Spice Level: 2 out of 5 (Chapters 12, 27, 37, and 48 have spice)
- Iron Flame Trigger Warnings: war, intense violence, death, grief, torture, fire, brutal injuries, confinement, graphic language, and sexual activities
Iron Flame is a long and epic sequel that spans two parts: the first is a slower-paced one dedicated primarily to character introductions, history telling, and fantasy world-building, and the second is a fast-paced action-packed battle of numerous forms against dark wielders.
It begins where the shocking finale of the first book left off, as Violet learns more about the big surprise that was dropped in the final pages.
Thereafter, Xaden graduates from Basgiath War College and heads to battle, while Violet begins her second year, undergoing brutal training like interrogations. Meanwhile, first years like Liam’s younger sister Sloane arrive for Conscription Day, and Violet conducts intense and secretive research about all the shocking revelations she’s learned and what can be done about them.
This all sets the stage for more action and surprises than you can imagine, all leading to another shocking ending that leaves you wanting more. It’s a more difficult read in many regards, including its length, details, and pacing, but it is just as immersive.
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Frequently Asked Questions
There will be five total books in the Fourth Wing (Empyrean) series by Rebecca Yarros. The first book, Fourth Wing, was published on May 2, 2023. The second book, Iron Flame, was published on November 7, 2023.
Yes. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is going to be a series of five total books, otherwise known as the Empyrean series. The second book, Iron Flame, was published on November 7, 2023. No details about books three through five have been released to date.
The age rating for Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is adults age 18 and over, due to sexually explicit content, explicit content, and adult themes like violence and death.
Trigger warnings for Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros include war, battle, hand-to-hand combat, perilous situations, blood, intense violence, brutal injuries, death, poisoning, graphic language, and sexual activities.
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is an enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity fantasy romance novel.
Yes, there will be a third Fourth Wing book by Rebecca Yarros, as the series will include five books total. No details about the third book have been released yet.
This guide to the Fourth Wing series in order aimed to answer any and all of the questions you may have about the Empyrean book series generally. If you’re still on the fence about whether to read it, I 100% wholeheartedly recommend you give it a shot (even if it’s not your usual book genre, as it wasn’t for me either). I honestly haven’t heard one bad review yet!
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And, if you’re already hooked on reading the Fourth Wing series in order, then check out these posts for more helpful information: