I was excited to dive into Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros and return to the Empyrean series. Swoons, battles, tests, discoveries and twists have me yearning for the next book in this addictive series. Narrated by Rebecca Soler & Teddy Hamilton, you’ll want to grab your earbuds.Iron Flame
by Rebecca Yarros
Series: The Empyrean #2
Narrator: Rebecca Soler, Teddy Hamilton
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.5x
She survived her first year at Basgiath War College . . . but the danger is only beginning.
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.
The tale picks up shortly after Fourth Wing. Violet has survived her first year at Basgiath War College but now faces a whole new set of challenges. Our hero graduated last year and the two have to be content seeing each other during breaks. In the second school year there is a new commander who seems determined to break Violet. The story that unfolds held me captive from beginning to end. I laughed, shed a tear and screamed through scenes.
In Iron Flame, Yarros fleshes out more of the world, introduces us to new characters and turns the suspense up a notch as war enters the equation. Violet is tested and some aspects of it are dark. There are triggers here and if violence is an issue for you, proceed with caution. I loved seeing the growth in Violet as she test her abilities, and commands. I became attached to characters, enjoyed the dragons, and was fascinated by the different factions.
The book falls into two parts. Part one takes place at Basgiath War College and part two focuses on the Revolution. Yarros paced the story well with plenty of action and a buildup to a cliffhanger ending that left me shaken. We suffer loss, gain knowledge and find ourselves wanting more. It’s going to be awhile for the next book, but we learned there are seven planned…so that is exciting.
The romance is fun with plenty of banter, quibbles, and tests between moments of heat. Violet tested me. Sometimes she gets caught up on things, but she is fearless and loyal. Despite my annoyance at Xaden for placing the burden of sharing & truths on Violet, I adore him. He is confident, loyal and sexy.
Secondary characters are well developed, allowing me to form strong opinions and endear me to this motley cast of characters, from riders to staff. We travel to different parts of the world, learn more about the wards and see other creatures. Violet even begins training to control her magic.
I confess aspects of the ending blew my mind. I didn’t predict or see twists coming, despite having guessed some. It was brilliant, and I needed a moment after listening to collect myself. I loved the magic, beasts, and passion.
The audio was better than then its predecessor. Rebecca Soler narrates most and was health this time around. Teddy Hamilton does some parts from Xaden’s point of view. Both were wonderful. Post production still had some issues with volume changes, swallows and empty spaces. I still recommend listening and found increasing the speed slightly helped.
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