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Unleashing The Heat: A Book Review Of Iron Flame- The New Adult Romance Fantasy Novel With Epic Dragon Riders And A War Against Evil

Iron Flame Book Cover by Rebecca Yarros
Iron Flame—A New Adult Fantasy Romance


Genre: Fantasy Romance (Romantasy)

Iron Flame brings us back into the world of Navarre, a kingdom protected by magical wards and the most elite army in the land: dragon riders. We've got all the elements of a romantasy at play, featuring dragons, magic, evil sorcerers, and very spicy romance.

Plot (Book Blurb)

“The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity.” —Xaden Riorson

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.


Violet Sorrengail is back, and this time, she's not as weak or helpless as she used to be. Her bonds with both her dragons are stronger than ever, but in this book, she is struggling with issues around trust with Xaden and Liam's death. She is put through the ringer as Xaden continues to play mind games with her, and occults his past and current dealings in his rebellion. In this second year at Basgiath, she's also faced with a new foe, the Vice Commandant, who has it out for Violet.

Violet continues to be a survivor, though I have mixed feelings about how she manages the situation with Xaden. In the beginning, I thought she was way too hard on him, and then later I thought she was too easy. Her character does little to grow as far as her emotional maturity, but she does strengthen her signet and learns to better control her power.

Xaden Riorson, on the other hand, changes very little. He remains dark and mysterious, elusive, and secretive. He also stays true to his original goals of being a rebel fighter. We learn more about him in this book, including that he is the rightful heir to Tyrrendor and was previously betrothed!

I hate to say this, but I did not like Xaden's character as much in this book. Like Violet, I think he grew very little (if at all), remaining rather static and flat. However, if you love a good misunderstood bad boy, morally grey men, or an alpha male with a "touch her and die" attitude, then he is most definitely still all those things.

Romance & Spice Level

Spice Level: 🌶️🔥🔥🔥🔥 (HOT)

Some like it HOT, and if that's you, then this is your book. We've got multiple open-door sex scenes with zero filter and all the language you can imagine.

Tropes & Universal Fantasies

This is the book for you if you like books containing:

➡️ Torture/Captivity/Violence/War

➡️ Rebellion/Revolution

➡️ Dragons

➡️ Morally Grey Male MC

➡️ Misunderstood Bad Boy

➡️ Touch Her and Die

➡️ Strong Female MC

➡️ She Saves Him & Saves Herself

➡️ Academy/Boarding School Setting

➡️ Magic

Iron Flame Book Review: Final Recommendation

If you read Fourth Wing and want to know what happens next, then definitely read it. But be prepared for a very large book with little forward movement in the plot and little development in the main characters or in their relationship.

Be forewarned that Iron Flame ends in a cliffhanger, with a plot twist many did not see coming.

For spicy romance fans, this book definitely checks the box.

I do not recommend this for younger readers. Consider Iron Flame rated "R" for violence, sex, and language.

Please note that the Empyrean series is best enjoyed in order.

Reading Order:

Book #1 Fourth Wing

Book #2 Iron Flame


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