A review by sauvageloup
Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


another extremely gripping read!

- the writing is just addictive, even though 600+ pages of small text, I didnt want to put it down.
- overall, i enjoyed this more than the first i think, there were less tropes i didnt like and the writing felt better.
- xaden does finally tell violet his secrets which was character growth.
- the twists and turns were fun to read and I didnt predict many, if any, of them.
- while impulsive, violet does show her intellect in figuring shit out and I liked
how protective she was of Sloane and that she confided in her friends despite xaden's reservations.

- I like the reveal about
andarna being a whole different species, even if it did make violet even more of a "Special" woman, in that andarna picked her out of everyone. And I liked andarna's sass and rebellion as a teenage dragon, as well as her wing being damaged by her disruptive sleep. that felt like good consequences for how Andarna saved violet's life
- I liked the bits of humor, with ridoc and tairn's sarcastic sass, as well as Andarna's.
- the angst overall was excellent, there was all different types and all of the characters went through the wringer in one way or another!
- I also liked the team dynamics a lot, with ridoc, imogen, rhiannon and the rest banding round violet and teasing her.

- biggest issue was just how many names there were. i just lost track. needed a list of characters and their roles desperately. I couldnt remember who garrick was, was still learning dragon names at the end, and thought Tairn was the biggest dragon. i did read it fast, but it did suffer from the fantasy book disease of an overstuffed cast (imo).
- the argument between xaden and violet was repetitive, which was noted but still a bit frustrating. like, the growth in xaden finally revealing his big secret(s) seems to just be that violet wore him down and he was worried they'd die. so.
I didnt like violet's mum being redeemed tbh. I prefer the message that it's ok not to reconcile with abusive parents, and I didnt really enjoy the revelations about her mum making xaden protect violet and her mum dying for her. maybe a personal preference tho.

- Cat was an annoying development and I didny really enjoy any of her sections. I think women managing to work together and get on dispite history involving a man is far more interesting than being petty. I know its brought up that Cat just wants xaden's crown, but it still felt like the catty (hah) ex trope.
- also, just personally, I skipped some of the sex. i thought the sexual tension between them was written great, but I would have been happy with a fade to black. but that's just how the book is.

all in all, this was highly addictive and I loved a lot of the ideas and the bits of humour. despite some significant flaws, definitely want to read the next!

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