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Fourth Wing Chapter 1 – Read Along Book Club

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Written by: Cory

Empyrean Series Book Club Fourth Wing Chapter 1 Read Along

Please make sure to read Chapter 1 of Fourth Wing first as there will be spoilers ahead. Only the first chapter will be discussed here. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Chapter 1 of Fourth Wing introduces us to a high-stakes, vividly described world where dragon riders are both the elite and the most at risk.

We meet Violet Sorrengail, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the brutal and competitive realm of Basgiath War College, a military institution for dragon riders. Despite her desire and preparation for a quieter life as a scribe, Violet is volun-told into the Riders Quadrant by her mother, General Sorrengail, a formidable figure with a reputation for ruthlessness.

The chapter skillfully sets up several key conflicts and themes:

Family Legacy vs. Individual Choice

Violet struggles with the weight of her family legacy. Her mother and sister, Mira, are accomplished riders, and her brother, Brennan, was a celebrated hero. “At twenty-six years old, Mira’s a younger version of our mother”.

This legacy clashes with Violet’s own desires and perceived capabilities. She’s only had six months to train for the Riders Quadrant. She’s wanted to be a Scribe, like her father, and she was trained as such all her life. We also learn that her father and brother has died some time ago.

The pressure to live up to her family’s expectations is palpable and shapes much of Violet’s internal conflict.

Dragon Bonds

Right off the bat, we learn that there is a bond between humans (called riders) and dragons. Violet’s mother, for instance, has a signet power she can channel thanks to her bonded dragon Aimsir.

We also learn that her sister, Mira is bonded to a dragon.

Preparation vs. Reality

Despite six months of intense physical training, Violet feels woefully unprepared for the trials ahead, highlighting the theme of preparation versus the harsh reality of the Riders Quadrant. Her journey underscores the idea that true preparation extends beyond physical training, touching on mental and emotional resilience.

Her sister Mira offers her a dragon-scale vest and proper rider black gear to survive the parapet and the first year in the Riders Quadrant.

Survival and Sacrifice

The brutal nature of the Riders Quadrant, where death is a constant companion, is introduced early on. The narrative hints at the sacrifices and difficult choices Violet will have to make to survive in a world where the bond between rider and dragon is life-defining. The enemy, those with relics are also introduced in the first chapter, as being the children of the separatists.

But there is also friendship here. The exchange of boots between Violet and Rhiannon before crossing the parapet symbolizes the sacrifices and unity required to survive. It also speaks volumes about Violet’s personality.

Belonging and Isolation

Violet’s isolation is a recurring theme. Despite her name and lineage, she feels disconnected from the world of riders. Her interactions with other characters, including the tense and hostile encounter with Xaden Riorson, son of the so-called Great Betrayer, underscore her struggle for belonging (and fear of being killed!).

Courage and Determination

Violet’s crossing of the parapet, a dangerous and narrow path leading to the Riders Quadrant, serves also as a metaphor for her journey. Despite fear, external pressures, and physical challenges, she demonstrates courage and determination, key traits that will undoubtedly be tested and developed as the series progresses. And with Violet crossing the parapet, we’re also entering the fantasy world to its fullest, being one of the few books where the heroine leaves “her old life behind” and enters the “new world” so fast!

My take

Fourth Wing Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for a rich narrative full of complex characters, political intrigue, and the personal growth of a young woman navigating a world where the bond between dragon and rider can mean the difference between life and death. The vivid descriptions, emotional depth, and the immediate introduction of high stakes promise a compelling tale of adventure, resilience, and the search for identity.

Easter Eggs to note

Spoken like the daughter of a scribe.”

“Really damned quick. Lightning quick. What I lack in strength, I make up for in speed.”

You’ll do just fine. All Sorrengails do just fine.

There are only two ahead of us now—a woman with a full pack, whose high cheekbones and oval face remind me of renderings of Amari, the queen of the gods.

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Hello! This site is dedicated to the Empyrean Series by Rebecca Yarros. I’ve made this place to explore the rich world of Empyrean, full of characters, theories, and places. Each post is carefully researched and updated with the newest details from the series. This site is also a great spot for discussing theories about the Empyrean Series. 🐉
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