Updated: Jul 29
Omgosh. So many emotions from finishing this book.. 🐉✨ 📖 Dark fantasy, scorching romance, politics, betrayal...
Be warned: "Fourth Wing" by Rebecca Yarros, a New Adult dark fantasy, is not for the faint of heart. They really should emblazon that content warning somewhere obvious, perhaps at the bottom of the blurb, and like, not buried after the Table of Contents, where it promises:
"Includes war, battle, hand-to-hand combat, perilous situations, blood, intense violence, brutal injuries, death, poisoning, graphic language, and sexual activities that are shown on page."
And it definitely does NOT disappoint.
An instant TikTok sensation, there are many debatable good/bad aspects of this book.
Some people thought the swearing was gratuitous. The value of life was definitely cheap. The audiobook quality was perhaps not the best. And I, like many others, didn't realize this book was SUPER chonky (646 pages!) and it's highly likely I'll never do that again. (Haha.)
BUT apparently I will happily ignore ALL the bad stuff as long you can give me scorching romance and enemies-to-lovers tension like this.
If you have an emotional hangover after reading this book, I don't blame you. In fact, I 100% sympathize. So I've hunted down these fabulous reads with the same totally addictive major story elements from Fourth Wing.
dragons, shifting or riding or both
enemies-to-lovers (or wannabe enemies-to-lovers!)
Without any further ado, I bring to you 13 fantastic books to cure your hangover after reading "Fourth Wing", or its official title, "Fourth Wing: TikTok's newest fantasy romance obsession."
Note: This list is a mix of mostly Young Adult, some Upper YA/low-steam New Adult, and a couple of steamy New Adult, as will be noted with the descriptions.
Do you want more dystopian war games?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart.
For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.
Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….
Do you want more dragons?
Stoking The Embers (The Dragon Duels Book 1) by Laura Greenwood
Dragons, politics/corruption, war school/academy in a dystopian society.
Two hundred and fifty people go into the Dragon Duels. One in fifteen come out.
When Raine finds herself part of the quarterly Dragon Duels, she has to do everything she can to survive without losing herself in the process. Teaming up with a volunteer from the White Towers is the last thing she thought she'd do, but Cobalt has the information she needs to live to win, and she isn't about to let that slip through her fingers.
Escaping from the dragons is only half the battle - does she have what it takes to win the rest?
Enchanting the Dragon Lord: Kingdoms of Lore Book Three by Alisha Klapheke
An enemy princess. A cursed prince. A kiss of flame.
When artifact-hunting princess Brielle discovers a rune stone, she unwittingly calls forth a wild dragon bent on destruction. She's ready to slay the beast up until the moment he shifts into a gorgeous man with tortured eyes.
Dorin has no idea what he did wrong, but there is no doubt he is cursed. For the last month every morning he wakes covered in blood with no memory of the night. He fears the worst... And now he's trapped.
Brielle has until dawn to get Dorin out of her father's castle, or heads will roll. Can she outsmart her father's assassins and save the cursed prince?
Or will their forbidden love burn them both to the ground?
Upper YA/teen-friendly NA.
Curse of the Dragon Heir by S. R. Breaker
A headstrong Fae mage accidentally sets a mysterious evil demon free but he may be the key to unlocking her powers…
Second-born of the High Fae mage family of the Priori clan of Arcadia, Soleia was only expected to do certain things. Mind her dull familial duties. Undergo training to master portal summoning, the rarest form of casting among her people. Free a dangerous demon from a fifty-year-old curse and release him into their village -- well, that was an accident!
If only the Priori elders' solution wasn't to bind the evil demon to her to ensure everyone's safety. If only Soleia hadn't been lying about actually having any powers all these years. If only the gorgeous demon's intense gold-red gaze didn't send delicious shivers up her spine.
Soleia can no longer escape her fate. She has to harness her magic, keep the cursed demon at bay, and somehow keep her secret.
But the demon has secrets too. And while Soleia discovers that he is much more than he seems, a decades-long conflict for the fate of Arcadia comes to light. It could also be the key to unlocking her powers...
Upper YA/teen-friendly NA.
Dragons' Daughter (The Wordmage's Tales) by Astrid V.J.
Shifting dragons, a disadvantaged MC, wannabe clean enemies-to-lovers in a dystopian society.
Life in Aeco City is hard. No one knows this better than Fernanda, the orphaned half-elf. After seeing her parents killed by humans and shunned by the elves, she is left to the bitterest of existences. But even the hardiest of pickpockets and shoplifters must have a refuge, and Fernanda’s is at the heart of the city, in a location where she must always stay hidden for if she were ever discovered, she would be put to death. One night, Fernanda faces off a pair of thieves wanting to make away with the consecrated jewels of her sanctuary. Can she stand by and watch as they plunder the last haven she has?
Xavier has been trying to find a way back to Fernanda. Since he left the sanctuary, all he can think about is the “family” he was forced to leave behind. After years of trying, he finally has an opportunity to get back inside and get Fernanda out of danger, but to make it happen, he has to lie to a friend—a lie that risks bringing death in its wake.
Bound By Dragons: A Standalone Fantasy Romance by Alisha Klapheke
I was born to ride dragons and no one can steal my fate...
All half-Fae Tahlia ever wanted was to become a Mist Knight, a dragon riding warrior defending the kingdom's wild north coast. Sadly, she never had the right blood, the right ancestors, the right anything. But when an opportunity to take her employer's place arises, she's willing to risk death by fire and sneak into the tournament that will name the next Mist Knight.
Second in command of the Mist Knights, full-blooded Fae noble Marius prides himself on living a strictly disciplined life. He has his plan: Wed the commander's daughter. Rise to his father-in-law's role when the time is right. But he never saw Tahlia coming...
Tahlia is determined to burn her way into the Mist Knights' world and take that handsome Marius along for the ride.
Upper YA/steamy NA. Please check content warnings.
Do you want more politics, intrigue, and betrayal?
The Fair Queen: An Enemies to Lovers YA Fantasy (The Fair Chronicles Book 1) by Lyndsey Hall
Enemies-to-lovers romance, betrayal, politics, intrigue galore set amidst war.
Aria is bored of her small town and dreams of a life filled with excitement and adventure. Until an eye-opening encounter at the summer fair sees her ripped from her normal life and thrown into a nightmare.
Dragged through the Veil into the Fair Realm by a strange, silver-eyed boy and his band of fairy soldiers, Aria discovers she is the legendary Fair Queen, the subject of a prophecy that promises to bring an end to the centuries-long conflict between the Five Kingdoms.
With terrifying creatures on their heels, and a tyrannical king who will stop at nothing to prevent the prophecy from coming true, Aria will have to rely on her wits if she’s to escape the Fair Realm with her life.
But can she resist the charms of her dark and mysterious captor, or will the fae prince steal her heart?
Songs of the Piper: The Complete Series by Alice Ivinya
Dragons, clean enemies-to-lovers, war games, politics, with a disabled MC.
Adelaide is the only person unable to hear the Pied Piper’s music, and so the only one immune to his spell.
Now she and her blind friend must risk everything to free the children trapped in an eternal dance. But to rescue them she must face the Heartless Queen, who will do anything to keep them, and survive her twisted games.
Adelaide finds she has no choice but to trust the man she should hate and hope he is not playing games of his own.
If she fails, the children will be lost forever.
Where Shadows Lie (The Last Gift: Arc One Book 1) by Allegra Pescatore
Disabled since childhood, Elenor was content to live in her brother’s shadow, besting her cousins at cards and sneaking her girlfriend into her room at night. Now she’s next in line for the throne and beset on all sides by factions out for blood. With time ticking down until someone manages to kill her too, Elenor will be forced to choose between accepting her father’s despotic rule or risking everything for her late brother’s lofty ideals.
Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the death of the Chosen One has inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives, unaware of the danger they carry with them.
Upper YA/steamy NA. Please check content warnings.
Salt: A New Adult Dystopian Romance by Liz Shipton
Disabled FMC, secret government plot in a dystopian society, snarky banter, and plenty of spice.
Bird Howsley is a drunken sailor with a knack for making bad decisions.
Unfortunately, she lives in a brutal dystopian water world where survival depends on being a strong sailor and making smart choices.
Bird has one lifeline: her level-headed sailing teacher, Sargo Paz. He's a second-generation immigrant working hard to prove himself, and for reasons Bird can't fathom, he seems to like her.
But when a cryptic message from her dead brother sets Bird on a mission to find answers about her past, one reckless act puts her and Sargo in the crosshairs of a dangerous underground organization that wants them dead.
Forced to flee their hometown, they sail into the Salt—where close proximity and harrowing seas stir up turbulent feelings, and they discover that the organization they’re running from runs deeper than they know…
Upper YA/steamy NA. Please check content warnings.
Sowing (The Purification Era Book 1) by Angie Grigaliunas
Gritty, rebellion, low spice enemies-to-lovers, secrets, and political intrigue.
For Ariliah, life under the militarized Hulcondans is one of order and safety. Despite the soldiers’ ruthless policies, she trusts their judgment. They alone provide protection from the enemies lurking beyond the city wall.
For her older sister, Rabreah, every glance from a Hulcondan is a threat. Though even a whisper against them is treason worthy of death, Rabreah is determined to end their tyranny. Joining an underground resistance is her only hope – until she realizes she doesn’t know the people she’s aligned herself with at all. Unsure who to trust but unable to back out, she must work alongside the attractive yet infuriating rebel leader who reminds her far too much of the soldiers she hates.
But with subversive posters appearing throughout the city and people dying on the blade of an unknown assailant, the sisters’ world begins to crumble.
And as the line between friend and enemy blurs, both girls must face the truth: everything is about to change.
Upper YA. Please check content warnings and triggers.
Do you want to read an incredibly well-written, amazing, fast-paced, thrilling fantasy adventure with an intricate plot about a disabled/bullied girl who fights to get into a flight squad for the important war, overcomes all odds, including corruption at the highest levels, gets the best powers, falls in love with the wing commander she's meant to hate, and later finds out her view of the entire world's history has been absolutely and completely 100% incorrect?
Then I highly recommend you read this one:
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Spensa's world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity's only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what's left of the human race.
Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's - a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa's chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They've doubled their fleet, making Spensa's world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .
I honestly can't get over how similar the plot of "Skyward" is to "Fourth Wing" (minus the spice, of course) but maybe that's just me. Lol.
So have you cured your Fourth Wing hangover yet? Let us know in the comments if you found any other books that help!
This article was written by S. R. Breaker.
S. R. Breaker is a USA Today Bestselling Author of fast-paced, offbeat YA/NA fantasy romance books. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and two kids. Suburban mum by day and author by night, she loves to live vicariously through her characters. They don’t have to vacuum all day long and are almost always guaranteed to survive any fantastical or thrilling incidents, no matter how treacherous she writes them.