If you haven’t yet read The Fourth Wing, enter the world of an elite training school meant to teach collegiate dragon riders the art of war–except they haven’t met their dragons yet, and not all of them will survive.
Violet Sorrengail was always supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant. In a family full of dragon riders, she knows that the art of war runs in her blood–but she’d prefer to study it among the solitude of the library, not in the field with her sister and her mother. But, when it comes her time to leave home and enter the quadrants, her mother, legendary Captain Sorrengail of the Dragon Quadrant tells Violet she has no choice: she will become a dragon rider. There is no other option.
But the world of Basgaith, the war college meant for dragon riders, was not built for Violet, who has always been the smallest of her class, and hasn’t spent her life training to be a dragon rider, unlike her peers. And, fewer and fewer dragons and bonding with students every year, meaning that Violet’s chances of even getting close enough to be a dragon rider might be slim. And yet–Violet can’t help but try her best to make it to the day that the dragons and riders meet. Because, even if dragons are supposed to incinerate the fragile, maybe there’s enough time for Violet to train and become strong. Maybe, just maybe, she can survive and come out on top.
Violet Sorrengail from The Fourth Wing might be one of my favorite main characters because of her relatability. Something I find so interesting about fantasy novels lately, is that despite being in a fictional world, the characters can be so realistic (you can read about my experience with realism in ACOTAR here). Violet is full of integrity, empathy, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself when she needs to. She also has one of the best growth lines in any character arc I’ve seen in a while.
So, here’s a few things that I really enjoyed about her personality (warning—spoilers ahead!):
#1: She Sticks to Her Guns
If I took a shot every time Dain tried to convince Violet to sneak away to the Scribe Quadrant and abandon her Wing?! Uggggh Dain. I seriously cannot believe how many times he tried to control Violet! BUT, every single time Dain got in Violet’s way, she was polite, thought about what he said for a hot minute, and then followed her gut feeling. I mean, it only took her like 500 years to figure out what she wanted, but she stayed true to herself the whole time instead of letting any of the other recruits (or Dain) sway her, which I really admired.
#2: She Adapts to New Challenges
When Violet first gets to Basgaith, it becomes pretty clear that she is at a disadvantage. During the first few fighting matches, when she has to train by facing her classmates on the mat, she’s definitely struggling to win–and she remedies that by taking a volunteer position in the kitchen and sickening her opponents. Prrrrobably not the fairest move, but the other recruits aren’t playing fair either. AND, they already have physical advantages on Violet. So, Violet uses her knowledge as her advantage to get an even fight.
Another way that Violet adapts to new challenges is after she gets her dragon. Tairn is huge and Violet is the smallest in her quadrant–maybe among all of the recruits. One of her biggest struggles from this point is forward is staying ON her dragon, which also means staying alive. So, when she’s presented this challenge, Violet adapts by utilizing a leather saddle so that she can kick ass like everyone else. Even when this happens, she’s less worried about how she’ll be seen than how her dragon will feel about wearing the saddle. There’s something to be said about that.
#3: She Doesn’t Lose Sight of Her Morals
Alright, let’s be real. The biggest villain in The Fourth Wing is probably freaking Jack, right? I cannot BELIEVE the crap he pulled trying to pull daggers on Violet at every possible moment, not to mention trying to go after other weaker recruits. But every time that Violet gets in contact with Jack, she still takes the high road. Even at her physically weakest, it’s clear she can outsmart him–we learn this from the very first day when she throws the rulebook at him. And yet, time after time she gives him chances. She could have killed him a hundred times over, and she probably knows that her morals put her in jeopardy. And yet, it’s these same morals that make her different from her mother, who shows no emotion or compassion for others.
If the ending of The Fourth Wing shook you the same way that it did for me, don’t worry, Iron Flame, the second book in the series, comes out November 7th. You can preorder it from Amazon by clicking here.
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