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Empyrean Series by Rebecca Yarros - foggy mountain scene
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Riding with Dragons: A Deep Dive into Rebecca Yarros' Empyrean Series

Welcome to the fantastical realm of the Empyrean Series by Rebecca Yarros, a captivating journey of dragons, signets, and enduring friendships. 

The Empyrean is a fresh, new-adult fantasy series woven by Rebecca Yarros. The inaugural book, Fourth Wing, hit the shelves in May 2023, followed by the sequel, Iron Flame, released in November 2023, half a year later.

Navarre, a kingdom embroiled in war, heavily relies on its dragon riders. These individuals are hardened warriors, fearless and merciless, who endure three years of lethal rivalry and rigorous training to earn the privilege of being selected by a dragon. The Rider Quadrant of Navarre is a place where death can strike anyone, at any time, for any cause.

Meet Violet Sorrengail

In 'Fourth Wing', we meet Violet Sorrengail, a 21-year-old protagonist who bonds with two dragons, Tairn and Andarna, thereby acquiring a potent lightning signet. Her journey continues in 'Iron Flame', where she develops another signet and uncovers a surprising secret about Andarna. Violet, with her fierce loyalty and protective nature, is at the heart of the series.

Violet plays the role of a scribe. Petite, scholarly, and perennially delicate, she understands that her survival hinges on maintaining a safe distance from the battlefield. However, her mother, famed general Lilith Sorrengail, begs to differ. Every Sorrengail has been a rider, and she won't allow Violet's frequent fractures to be an exception. Consequently, at the tender age of twenty, Violet is thrust into the first of many potentially fatal trials, and against all odds, embarks on her journey towards greatness.

Character List in the Empyrean Series:

Complementing Violet's journey is Xaden Riorson, a 24-year-old lieutenant from Basgiath War College and the heir apparent of Aretia. His character evolves as he aids Poromiel in fighting venin, reveals a second signet, and vows to protect Violet at any cost.

Violet's family also plays a vital role in the series. General Lilith Sorrengail, her mother, is a Rider based at Basgiath War College who sacrifices everything for her children. Her father, Mr. Sorrengail, was a Scribe who trained Violet for the same profession before his untimely death.

The series also introduces us to a host of other characters, including Violet’s older sister Mira, a Captain and accomplished Rider, and her brother Brennan, a lieutenant colonel believed dead but found alive in Aretia. We meet Dain Aetos, Violet's best friend and the Fourth Wing Wingleader, and Rhiannon Matthias, a patient and kind friend to Violet who develops her summoning signet. 

In the Empyrean series, Garrick is counted among Xaden Riorson's closest allies. A newly commissioned lieutenant, he serves alongside Xaden at the Samara station. Meanwhile, Bodhi, Xaden’s cousin and a third-year cadet, wields a formidable counter-signet ability that inspires both awe and fear.

Jesinia Neilwart, a scribe from the Scribes Quadrant, aligns herself with Violet and her friends in their resistance. Her invaluable assistance helps Violet uncover crucial details about the wards.

Colonel Aetos, father to Dain Aetos and confidante of Violet’s mother, Lilith Sorrengail, reveals his true colors in 'Iron Flame'. Spoiler alert: He's exposed as a villain who not only is aware of the venin but also collaborates with them, ordering them to assassinate Violet and others involved in the Battle of Resson. 

Nolon, an aged Rider, attempts to heal Jack Barlowe’s soul. Despite assisting Violet during a second year test, he later betrays her in what he claims to be a necessary move for the kingdom's safety.

In 'Iron Flame', we meet several new characters. Suri, a brunette with a single silver streak in her hair, is described as wide-shouldered with bony fingers adorned by a giant emerald ring. Felix, a large man with a calm voice, has a thick silver beard and an ebony hand. He plays a pivotal role in helping Violet further hone her lightning signet. 

Trissa, a petite woman with glossy black hair, Major Ferris, an older man with an eyepatch, a hawkish nose, and thinning gray hair, and Ciaran, a brave fighter chosen by Xaden Riorson for War Games, all add richness to the story. Eya, a fair-skinned brunette Rider with a pierced eyebrow, and Masen, a bespectacled Rider, both participate in the Battle of Resson.

Lastly, we meet Major Burton Varrish, the newly appointed Vice Commander of Basgiath War College. Known for his ruthlessness and cruelty, he was previously suspended for causing deaths during his brutal interrogations. 

Each character in the Empyrean Series adds a unique layer to the narrative, enhancing the richness and depth of this captivating world.

The Professors

We encounter a variety of professors who play crucial roles in guiding our characters.

Professor Carr is a key figure who aids cadets in nurturing their signets, developing shields, and mastering lesser magic. With his hair and surprising physical strength, he is an imposing and intimidating presence, as per Violet's description.

Professor Devera, with her short hair and black brow - a stark contrast to her deep brown skin tone, instructs the Battle Brief. She imparts crucial knowledge and tactics to prepare the cadets for combat situations.

Professor Emetterio is the equivalent of a Physical Education teacher, ensuring all cadets maintain their physical fitness to meet the rigorous demands of their training.

Professor Kaori, identifiable by her dark eyes, is responsible for enlightening cadets about dragons. Her teachings help cadets understand these magnificent creatures better.

Professor Markham, a scribe by profession, also instructs the Battle Brief, offering a unique perspective on strategic warfare.

Lastly, we have Professor Grady, who teaches the critical Rider Survival Course (RSC). His lessons equip cadets with the necessary skills to survive under harsh and challenging conditions.

Each of these professors contributes significantly to the development and growth of the cadets in the Empyrean Series.

Setting of Empyrean Series

The Empyrean Series is set against the backdrop of the a world teeming with intrigue, power struggles, and magical creatures. This universe is meticulously crafted, with every detail contributing to the overall narrative, making it an immersive read.

The unnamed continent is split into two rival kingdoms, Navarre and Poromiel. These kingdoms have been locked in conflict for over four centuries. The Esben Mountains act as a natural barrier between the two, while the Barrens, a desolate desert region, lies to the far east of the continent.

Navarre, the larger kingdom to the west, is subdivided into six provinces:

  • Luceras Province
  • Calldyr Province, home to Calldyr City
  • Tyrrendor Province, the most expansive province. It was the last province bordering Poromiel to ally itself with King Reginald. Despite a failed secession attempt 627 years later, it remains a crucial part of Navarre. With its rugged mountainous landscapes, bordered by the Emerald Sea to the west and the Arctile Ocean to the south, Tyrrendor is nearly invincible. Its geographical separation from Poromiel is marked by the Cliffs of Dralor.
    • Key Locations: Lewellen and Aretia
  • Morraine Province, hosting Basgiath, Chantara, and Montserrat
  • Deaconshire Province
  • Elsum Province, featuring Chakir, Sumerton, and the Athebyne Mountain Ranges

Poromiel, the other kingdom in the Known World, sits between the Barrens and Navarre.

This kingdom boasts fertile fields producing grains and unique textiles and is rich in unique crystalline gems that can enhance minor magical abilities. It consists of three provinces:

  • Krovla, the southern province that borders Tyrrendor and the Cliffs of Dralor
  • Braevick, situated near the Esben Mountains, which form a natural border with Navarre
  • Cygnisen, also neighboring the Esben Mountains

Between the vast expanse of Navarre and the fertile fields of Poromiel, the unnamed continent presents a diverse and intriguing landscape for the unfolding story.

Is the Empyrean Series being made into a T.V series?

It has been announced that Amazon MGM Studios picked up the rights to the series. It is supposedly wanting to move quickly on developing the Fourth Wing into a T.V series.  

The Empyrean Series by Rebecca Yarros is a must-read for any fantasy enthusiast. Its unique blend of characters, plotlines, and world-building makes it a standout in the genre. Stay tuned for more updates on the series, and remember - in the world of Empyrean, anything is possible! 

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