Main / Books / Iron Flame / Summary

Iron Flame

Recap, Summary & Spoilers

The Full Book Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for Iron Flame

Quick(-ish) Recap

Four-paragraph version:

In Part I, When Violet returns to Basgiath for her second year, all riders who were at Athebyne are being hunted. Because the revolutionary town of Aretia has a unpowered wardstone, Violet makes it her mission to learn how to power up a wardstone so they can put up a new ward against venin - the corrupted souls attacking outside Navarre's borders. Meanwhile, Xaden works on building a forge in Aretia capable of smelting daggers that can kill venin.

With the help of her squadmates and a cadet called Aaric (who is secretly King Tauri's son), Violet steals two journals from the royal vault written by the First Six (Lyra and Warrick) with the information about how the wards were built. However, in doing so, Violet's activities are revealed. Lyra's journal is taken. When Dain learns the truth, he helps Violet escape, along with Xaden and Garrick. Tairn shares the memory of the battle of Resson with all the dragons, to be passed along to their riders, to ask them to join the revolution. They then all flee to Aretia, along with a horde of other riders who have joined their cause.

In Part II, At Aretia, the cadets are organized to continue their training. By negotiating for a "luminary" (needed to heat dragonfire) with Viscount Tecarus, the forge is completed, and a group of gryphon rider cadets join them at Aretia. Violet also learns that Xaden's dragon previous bond to someone in Xaden's familial line (his grandfather) means Xaden has a secret second signet -- he's able to sense people's intentions. Meanwhile, Violet struggles to learn to control and aim her lightning strikes, and she gets the wards up based on instructions in Warrick's journal just before a major wyvern attack. However, a private meeting with Violet's mother, General Sorrengail, reveals that Warrick's instructions are flawed, and she secretly gives Violet Lyra's journal instead, saying that above all she wishes for her daughters to live.

Despite the hostilities with Navarre, when the venin launch a major attack on Basgiath, Violet and Xaden knows all of Navarre will fall if they don't come to their aid. It begins with the discovery that Jack has turned venin. Before they can stop him, he breaks the wardstone protecting all of Navarre. The battle is brutual, an attack of a thousand wyvern against an unwarded Basgiath with all its forces and the many gryphons rushing to defend it. As they battle, Brennan mends the wardstone. Jesinia determines that it requires seven types of dragons for the ward, and Violet realizes her dragon Andarna is not a black dragon but a seventh breed of dragon. Violet is about to burn out trying to imbue the wardstone with power, but her mother stops her and gives up her life and power for it instead. The ward is raised and the wyverns fall. But the book ends with Violet ominously noticing a red tinge around Xaden's eyes after the battle, indicative of someone who has turned venin.

Part I

Returning to Basgiath

Violet Sorrengail recuperates at Riorson House, a large stone fortress in the town of Aretia that the revolutionaries are rebuilding secretly. She's just fought in a treacherous battle with venin at Resson near the outpost of Athebyne, which resulted in the deaths of Liam Mairi and Soleil Telery.

She and her brother Brennan, who now goes by the name Colonel Aisereigh, discuss how Violet is better off not knowing the details of the revolutionary plans until she can master her shields, to ensure her mind can't be read by Dain Aetos, which could reveal their secrets.

From her experience at Athebyne, Violet now knows that that Navarrian authorities are hiding the presence of venin - corrupted souls who channel energy by draining the lifeforce around them - from the people. The gryphons from the neighboring kingdom of Poromiel have been attacking Navarre because they need a specific material - an alloy used to power protective wards that is also the only way to kill venin. Xaden and the revolutionaries have been smuggling this material out of Navarre to help Poromiel.

Along with the other cadets, Violet returns to Basgiath, where she is now a second-year. Violet immediately breaks into Liam's room to take a bunch of letters, which would otherwise be burned in accordance to the tradition when someone dies. She asks her friend Rhiannon Matthias to safeguard them.

Then, Xaden immediately publicly confronts Colonel Aetos about the orders they were given. Xaden claims that Aetos sent them into battle with gryphons (instead of revealing the presence of venin) at Athebyne. Aetos is chided by Violet's mother, General Sorrengail, for emptying out a strategically important outpost for a school activity.

Xaden is promoted to Lieutenant, and he's assigned to the outpost of Samara. Xaden and Violet are both given orders that they will each be allowed leave once every two weeks, which means they can only see each other once a week, which will be difficult for their dragons and limit their communication abilities because they'll be too far away from one another. Meanwhile, Rhiannon Matthias is promoted to become the squad leader for Fourth Wing's second squad, and Dain Aetos becomes the Fourth Wing's new wingleader.

Before Xaden leaves, Colonel Aetos reminds both him and Violet that "Secrets die with the people who keep them". And as the year begins Violet and the other cadets who were at the Resson all begin to be subject to a number of assassination attempts.

New Developments at Basgiath

On Conscription Day, Liam's younger sister, Sloane Mairi shows up, though she makes clear to Violet that she hates her and blames Liam's death on her. Violet is determined to help ensure Sloane's survival anyway, in honor of Liam. King Tauri's third son, Cam, also shows up, using the pseudonym of "Aaric Graycastle" to hide his identity. Both Sloane and Cam make it across the parapet alive and are enlisted into Violet's squad. Violet soon realizes that her mission to help Sloane will be complicated by the fact that Sloane is a very poor fighter, unlike her brother.

As the year proceeds, there are a number of strange new developments at Basgiath. They've also introduced a new element to one of their training missions where they give the cadets an elixir to temporarily prevent sever their bond to their dragons and prevent them from using their signet powers.

There also seems to be something going on in the infirmary where one of the room is guarded, and Nolon seems constantly exhausted. Eventually, it's revealed that Jack Barlowe (who Violet dropped a mountain on last year) is the patient that Nolon has been working on, and he's alive still. Oddly, Jack is now nice to everyone and even saves Violet's life.

At Samara, Xaden continues his mission of supplying Poromiel's gryphon fliers with daggers to fight the venin. He is also working on a forge to smelt more daggers. The forge requires a "luminary" to intensify dragonfire so it's hot enough. The alloy needed for the daggers also has to be imbued with power by riders who have the ability to do so and that power can be used up, so the alloy will eventually need to be imbued again and again.

Meanwhile, Violet begins to secretly do research at the Archives on how the founders of Navarre, the First Six, build the wards that protect their kingdom. Aretia has a wardstone but they don't know how to power it up. She struggles with not being able to tell her squadmates -- Rhiannon, Sawyer, Ridoc -- the truth about what's going on.

Violet also confronts Dain about having stolen her memory last year about Athebyne, which resulted in the fight that killed Liam and Soleil. Dain admits to telling his father about it, but denies that he knew what would happen as a result. He tells her he only did it because he was worried about her association with Xaden.

Aaric soon reveals to Violet that he, too, has found out about the presence of the wyverns and attacks by venin. It's the reason why he snuck away from his life as a prince to enlist as a dragon raider.

The Journals

Eventually, Rhiannon helps Violet out when Major Varrish searches Violet and almost discovers an alloy dagger that would've implicated both her Xaden. Violet finally confesses to Rhiannon and her other squad-mates what she's been working on. They agree to help with her research, and Ridoc mentions that he knows two of the First Six kept journals, but they're likely kept in the vault and not the general archives.

They loop in Jesinia, who identifies that they are likely in the royal vault which requires someone in King Tauri's bloodline to access. They then formulate a plan, along with Xaden, to go retrieve the journals with Aaric's (son of King Tauri) help. They manage to get in and steal them, and they contain the information on building the wards.

However, their incursion trips an alarm and Violet soon finds herself being tortured by Major Varrish. Dain is brought in to read her memories. Dain tells Varrish what he knows, but then Dain attacks Varrish to help Violet escape, telling her that she should've trusted him to begin with.

Xaden and Garrick then show up to help them escape. Violet's mother, General Sorrengail, also shows up and offers her the antidote to the elixir she was given and tells her that she was the one who asked Xaden to look out for her last year. Then, Tairn shares the memory of the battle of Resson with all the dragons, to be passed along to their riders, to ask them to join the revolution. Xaden addresses all the riders, asking them to join them. Professor Devera steps up, saying she's been waiting for this moment. They then all flee to Aretia, along with a hoarde of other riders who have joined their cause.

Part II

In Aretia

Violet awakes in Aretia, and Andarna finally awakes from Dreamless Sleep. The council has to quickly organize to absorb the influx of cadets, plus four professors, and continue to train them. Also, because Xaden has dropped wyvern carcasses at various outposts around the border, groups of riders now know the truth and also abandon their posts to go to Aretia.

Violet continues her work translating the journals. She believes that she's figured it out, but her first attempt -- getting the six most powerful riders to drip blood on the wardstone -- doesn't work. Violet also learns that Xaden's dragon previous bond to someone in Xaden's familial line (his grandfather) means Xaden has a secret second signet -- he's able to sense people's intentions.

Violet then becomes determined to help Xaden acquire the luminary from Viscount Tecarus in Poromiel. They go to negotiate but he surprises them with a venin locked in a chest that Violet has to defeat. Still, they manage to return to Aretia with the luminary. The forge is able to be completed, and a group of gryphon riders joins them as well.

Meanwhile, Violet struggles to learn to control and aim her lightning strikes, and she finally has a breakthrough in translating the journals and realizes that the "six" refers to six types of dragons, and not riders. She gets the wards up based on instructions in Warrick's journal just before a major wyvern attack.

The Final Battle

Soon, Melgren requests a private meeting where he asks for help from those in Aretia in an upcoming battle in Samara against the venin, but they decline since Samara is just an outpost. There, Violet's mother, General Sorrengail, reveals that Warrick's instructions are flawed because he only wanted Navarre to have the secret to raising wards. She says that Aretia's wards will eventually fail, and she secretly gives Violet Lyra's journal instead with the real instrutions, saying that above all she wishes for her daughters to live.

Violet figures out that the real battle against the venin is going to be at Basgiath, and many of those from Aretia race there knowing everyone is at risk is Navarre falls, with many others joining soon after. At Basgiath, they go to check the wardstone and find Jack there, who has turned venin. Before they can stop him, he kills his own dragon and breaks the wardstone protecting all of Navarre.

The ensuing battle is brutual, an attack of a thousand wyvern against an unwarded Basgiath with all its forces and the many gryphons rushing to defend it. As they battle, Brennan mends the wardstone. Jesinia determines that it requires seven (not six) types of dragons for the ward, and Violet realizes her dragon Andarna is not a black dragon but a seventh breed of dragon.

Violet quickly tries to imbue the wardstone with power but is about to burn out doing so. Her mother stops her. Instead, General Sorrengail gets Sloane, a siphon, to channel all her power and her dragon's power into it instead, instantly imbuing the wardstone but also killing General Sorrengail in the process. The ward is raised and the wyverns fall.

The book ends with Violet talking to Xaden as she ominously notices a red tinge around Xaden's eyes after the battle, indicative of someone who has turned venin. (It's implied that he had to do it in order to survive the battle.)

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Part I
Part II

Part I

Chapter 1

Recovering from the fight with the venin and the discovery that her brother Brennan is alive, Violet Sorrengail has a bite to eat with her brother, who officially goes by Lieutenant Colonel Aisereigh now. Afterwards, Violet walks through Riorson House, the stone fortress they’re currently in, to get to an assembly meeting.

Navarre’s General Melgren has the ability to see the outcome of battles, but for some unknown reason his ability is nullified if three or more people have rebellion relics — magical marks meant to denote children whose parents were part of the rebellion — imprinted on their body. By gathering here, they’ve been able to construct this place without him knowing.

At the meeting, Brennen and others discuss battle strategy. The topics of the cadets comes up because technically Violet and her squad are supposed to be participating in the War Games and are expected to return. Instead, they were thrown into a deadly battle, resulting in the deaths of Liam and Soleil. As they discuss the topic, some of them notice the presence of Violet, saying that she can’t be trusted because she’s General Sorrengail’s daughter, referencing Violet’s mother who is a high-ranking general in Navarre. However, Xaden vouches for her.

Chapter 2

After the meeting, Violet chats with Brennan alone. It’s been six years since they’ve seen each other. Brennan confirms that their sister Mira doesn’t know he’s alive.

Brennan also tells her that he thinks the venin are going to come after Navarre soon, since they’re probably hungry for the energy in the hatchling grounds of Basgiath. Melgren is convinced that the wards are infallible, so he doesn’t want to alert the people. They talk how the scribes have wiped all the knowledge about venin and wyverns out of their books. Violet notes that Brennen refers to it as a revolution and not a rebellion because he believes they can win. She also points out that the entire mountainous Southern Coastline of Navarre is exposed. There’s no wards there since it’s been assumed that the Gryphons couldn’t fly that high and that was their main threat.

Brennan tells her that this town that is currently being rebuilt, Aretia, has a wardstone, but the science of activating a wardstone is lost, so it’s essentially a statue right now. Violet thinks about how maybe the secret to activating it is hidden in the archives somewhere, but Brennan tells her that’s enemy territory at this point.

Violet expresses concern over whether they’d really be equipped to fight Navarre, recalling how the previous rebellion ended. She asks how many of them there are, but Brennen says it’s better not to tell her too many specifics while she’s not able keep her friend Dain Aetos from reading her mind yet.

Violet agrees and says she should leave before she accidentally jeopardizes something. She goes over to where her dragons are and is shocked to see that Andarna has now doubled in size and her scales are black, since only hatchlings are gold.

Violet and Xaden both think that if they don’t return, then they’ll execute everyone with a rebellion relic. However, Brennan argues that if she goes back, she’s dead either way. However, Violet insists their mother won’t let them kill her without evidence. It’s General Aetos that sent them on this deadly War Games exercise, and she doesn’t think their mother knew what would be waiting for them there.

Finally, the group decides that they should all return and that Xaden will keep training Violet to ensure that she can shield herself from Aetos at all times, otherwise the other side could learn about Aretia and endanger them all. Xaden then says that he has a plan, but they need to be back for graduation in 48 hours if it’s going to work.

Chapters 3 – 4

After eighteen hours of riding, they bring Andarna to the Vale so she can enter Dreamless Sleep and finish the growth process. Upon landing, Violet and Xaden talk. She’s still upset with him over all the things he kept from her, especially the fact that he knew her brother was alive all along.

Back at the quadrant, Xaden has a plan. Violet and Xaden immediately head into Liam’s room to grab his things which would otherwise be burnt, which is the custom when someone dies. They run into Rhiannon and Ridoc, two of Violet’s close squadmates. Violet reassures Xaden that they can trust them. Violet asks Rhiannon to keep the pile of letters they got from Liam’s room safe, and Rhiannon agrees.

Then, as they walk out for roll call, Xaden and Garrick’s names are called out on the death roll (listing all the recent deaths), and everyone turns towards them (alive).

In the courtyard, Colonel Aetos looks closely at the eight of them to see who managed to return from the death trap mission he sent them on. Xaden then loudly accuses Colonel Aetos of sending them into combat. Violet’s mother’s reaction makes her think that she genuinely had nothing to do with it.

Xaden says that he was sent to Athebyne and that they were attacked by gryphons. He says that Soleil and Liam along with their dragons were killed. Violet backs up his story and recounts the details at her mother’s request. Xaden turns over the paper showing the orders they were given as proof.

General Sorrengail then questions Aetos, asking why he would empty a strategically invaluable outpost beyond the wards just for War Games. Aetos doesn’t have a good answer, and the general demands to see him in her office privately. As he walks out, Aetos hisses at them they all know that they weren’t attacked by gryphons.

When Dain sees Violet, he comes towards her to touch her (in order to read her memories), but Violet recoils and threatens to cut his hands off. Xaden then loudly makes it clear that Dain should not be touching Violet, at her request, so that everyone can hear.

Then, as a third year, Xaden graduates and is officially commissioned as a lieutenant in the army of Navarre, so the Fourth Wing will be assigned a new wingleader.

Chapter 5 – 6

Afterwards, the cadets all celebrate graduation in the gathering hall. They talk about how, as second-years, they’ll be able to visit the village of Chantara which provides supplies to Basgiath, though technically the trips should be for worship purposes only. The second-years also don’t have chore duty anymore, and they can also receive letters now. Fraternizing between the quadrants is also permissible now.

Quinn, one of the now-third years, reminds the new second years that it’s not a great idea to get too close to the first years since many of them will not make it through the Threshing.

Violet sees that Xaden is preparing to depart. Violet declines to sleep with him even though he’s leaving since she’s still upset about him keeping secrets from her. Xaden maintains that he’s trying to help lead a revolution so he’s going to have to have some secrets.

They’re approached by Aetos who introduces them to the new vice commandant, Major Varrish. He also has orders from Melgren saying that Violet will only given two days of leave once every fourteen days, which are to be used only to fly with Tairn directly to and from Sgaeyl’s current duty station or location.

Xaden has the same leave policy, which means that they can only see each other every seven days. Because of the bond between their dragons and them, they know that amount of time apart it will be very painful for all of them, since Tairn and Sgaeyl are never apart for more than three days at a time. Beyond that, they also can’t use their telepathy at that distance, they can only sense each other’s emotions.

Before Colonel Aetos leaves, he insinuates that something might happen to Violet or her sister Mira if the truth of what happened is spread around. Aetos says that “Secrets die with the people who keep them”.

Xaden departs, telling Violet they’ll see each other in seven days. Then, they’re told that Dain Aetos is their new wingleader and Rhiannon is their new squad leader.

Chapter 7

The squad goes to Rider Survival Course (“RSC”) with Professor Grady, who addresses all the second-years. He says that at 89 riders, they are the smallest class to walk this hall since the First Six. He says that RSC is about how to survive if you become separated from your dragon behind enemy lines and that they’ll be tested twice — first in a few weeks and next around mid-year. He warns them that as part of the course they’ll be tested to see that they can withstand interrogation techniques at various times — in other words, they may be abducted and tortured.

Afterwards, Violet heads to the archives and asks her friend Jesinia if there’s any books about the founding of Basgiath or why they chose this location for the wards.

Chapter 8

On conscription day, they get ready for the new first-years to cross the treacherous parapet. Violet us assigned to help with roll call as they cross. She’s surprised when she sees someone she recognizes, Cam, who puts his name down as Aaric Graycastle — he’s King Tauri’s third son. His older brother died during his Threshing three years ago.

Liam’s younger sister, Sloane Mairi, also shows up. Despite their orders not to help the first years, Violet gives Sloane some advice. However, when Sloan realizes who Violet is, she’s angry with her, accusing her of being the reason that Liam died. Violet watches as Sloane makes it across alive. Aaric survives as well.

Afterwards, both Sloane and Aaric are assigned to Second Squad, Flame Section, Fourth Wing, which is Violet’s squad. Sloane tries to argue, but is quickly shot down. Afterwards, the dragons come to inspect the classes, and a group of first years freak out and try to run. Major Varrish’s dragon, Solas, ends up torching them and Violet runs to cover Sloane, causing her back to get burnt. When Solas is about to torch another group of cadets, Tairn roars in to stop him, threatening to kill his rider.

Chapter 9

In the morning, Violet has started running. Imogen asks her why, and she says it’s because she watched the venin drain everything from the land as she channeled. She knows how fast it moves and she knows she can’t outrun it right now so she’s going to start running, and Imogen agrees they should run together.

At the Battle Briefing, Professor Devera and Colonel Markham introduce the course for the benefit of the first-years. Devera then talks about a Gryphon attack at the southern border as well as an attack at Athebyne. It occurred a few days after Violet’s battle near there, and it sounds like the target was to get weapons, probably black daggers to fight venin which need weapons made of a very specific material to be be defeated. They also suspect that they’d gotten word that Athebyne was going to be cleared out for the war games, but they got there too late which indicates that there’s a delay in the information they’re getting.

After class, Rhiannon tells Violet she thinks something is going on at the Infirmary. Nolon, a mender, looked terrible and apparently there’s a room that’s being guarded now. Violet suspects they might be torturing someone by breaking their bones and forcing Nolon to repeatedly mend them, since Major Varrish is known for using torture to extract information.

At the gym, the first years have matches. Someone comes in looking for Violet Sorrengail, and one of the new cadets, Nadine, jokingly says it’s her and the guy grabs her head and snaps her neck.

Chapter 10

Seeing Nadine is dead, Violet then attacks the guy, an unknown first-year. Violet and the guy and he puts up and impressive fight, repeating the line that “Secrets die with the people who keep them”. However, Violet manages to kill him.

Violet then watches Sloane fight and is surprised to see that she is terrible, considering how her brother Liam had been the strongest fighter in his year. Violet is concerned since she wants to help keep Sloane alive.

When she gets back to her room, Xaden is waiting. She asks him about his assignment at Samara, and he says that other people are jerks to him because of his rebellion relic. They chat a little more and Xaden needs to leave, but he leaves her a letter.

Chapter 11

Imogen and Violet are out for a run when Jesinia comes looking for Violet. She gives her another book, this one about the early riders, and ask her for help in translating some stuff. As the pass by the Archives building, a second-year is getting dragged out, and Jesinia says it’s probably because of a book request they disapproved of and she notes that she has to log all the books the people request.

Later Rhiannon asks Violet how things are with Xaden. Violet has been avoiding Rhiannon because she’s not one of the people who were at the battle at Athebyne and she’s been told only to talk about it with the people that were there. But she finds it difficult not to tell Rhiannon the truth, and it’s difficult to explain what happened with Xaden (and him hiding things from her) without explaining what happened at Athebyne.

At the flight field, Ridoc mentions to Violet that Professor Kaori has been talking about rumors of the presence of another black dragon, and Violet worries that someone has seen Andarna, who is in a vulnerable state due to being in a Dreamless Sleep. Major Varrish then approaches Violet and asks about Andarna. He demands that she ride her next week and mentions that her father had been writing a book about feathertails.

On the field, Dain performs a difficult maneuver with his dragon to land and quickly dismount. Violet knows it’ll be difficult and dangerous, and she also knows that it’s useless, since the real battle they need to fight is with venin which requires learning to get off the ground faster as opposed to stuff like this.

Afterwards, Violet and Bodhi chat before she heads to Samara. Bodhi mentions that he had a second assassination attempt against him, since is seems someone is trying to kill off the people who were at Athebyne. He also accidentally mentions Xaden’s past involvement with someone named Catriona. Violet is about to depart when Major Varrish stops her, demanding to search her pack. He finds nothing, and she departs.

Chapter 12

As Violet and Tairn approach Samara, Tairn warns her that it’s known to be brutal here. She makes her way to Xaden’s room in the barracks, but it’s empty. Instead, she sees that he’s outside in a fight. A spectator, Cornelia Sahalie, tells her that there’s only one pass for the Lieutenants to be able to leave this weekend, so if you want it, you have to fight for it. Cornelia also mentions that she knows Violet’s sister Mira.

After Xaden manages to win the pass, he and Violet have some time alone. After some intimate time, Violet asks him about what they’ve been smuggling out. He talks about an alloy that is used both to extend the power of the wards that protect Navarre, but can also be used to forge weapons to kill venin. The alloy has to be imbued with power by riders who have the ability to do so and that power can be used up, so the alloy will eventually need to be imbued again and again.

Xaden also says that Aretia is working on a forge to smelt the daggers, which requires a “luminary” to intensify dragonfire so it’s hot enough to smelt.

Chapter 13

After returning to Basgiath, Violet is ordered into training at the flight grounds, where Major Varrish fulfills his promise to punish her if she failed to show up with Andarna. He makes her make lightning strikes until she nearly burns out. Afterwards, Violet is unwell and the others help her recuperate. Tairn assures her he’ll deal with it via the dragons to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

At the gym during sparring sessions, Imogen and Violet talk about how the guy they saw getting hauled away because he made a request for a book that he shouldn’t have, Navil Jacek, was found beaten to a pulp, and they suspect Professor Markham had him killed.

Violet also watches as Sloane continues to struggle and notes that she’ll have a match on Monday and thinks about how to help her. Imogen says she plans to offer Sloane some help.

Suddenly, someone throws a bag over her head.

Chapters 14 – 15

Violet regains consciousness and sees that she’s with Professor Grady. Rhiannon, Sawyer, and Ridoc are all there as well as a group of Infantry cadets and some Healers and a scribe. She realizes she’s been abducted as part of the RSC class. They offer them something to drink that severs their connections with their dragons. It also prevents them from using their signet abilities.

Then they’re assigned squads and told that they need to go find a location marked on a map and secure it. They’re then told that there’s another group out there too. Their dragons are hunting the other group and the other group’s dragons will be hunting them.

The group heads out on their mission doing land navigation, but the end up arguing with one another. Finally Brisa realizes they were given two different maps, which is why they’re all so confused. Suddenly, Baide, an orange dragon that had been bonded to Jack Barlowe until Violet killed him, appears. He assesses the group, and the riders all instruct the others not to run and not to show fear. However, one of the infantry tries to run, the squad leader Tomas chases her to stop her and he’s blasted with fire and dies. Baide then leaves.

Afterwards, they make camp. Rhiannon keeps on trying to talk to Violet about various things including the “gryphon” attack at Atheblyne, but Violet struggles to hold a conversation with her knowing that she’s keeping stuff from her. Rhiannon tells Violet that she knows something’s up, that she’ll be here when she’s ready to tell her, but asks her not to insult her by lying.

When the mission is complete, they give them an elixir that restores their bond and their signet abilities. Tairn notes that the use of the elixir to remove their bond and signet abilities is a new development this year, and Rhiannon comments on how strange it is that they would actively find ways to weaken them. She thinks there’s a lot of strange stuff going on this year like the assassination attempt on Violet as well as the guarded infirmary doors.

Chapter 16

When they get back, Violet goes to visit the archives and asks Jesinia about what happened with Jacek, saying that he was killed afterwards. Jesinia tells her that he wanted an account of a border attack that never happened, but he kept insisting that he did because he had family that was killed. He returned multiple times asking for it, so Jesinia sent the request up the line of command, not realizing this would be the result.

Violet then asks about the wyvern book she requested last year and asks if Jesinia recorded that request. Jesinia admits that she didn’t, which is probably why Violet didn’t get hauled away as well. Jesinia says that if Violet has a copy of a book that doesn’t exist in the Archives, it means that the Archives are incomplete which is technically a treasonous thing to say. Jesinia also tells Violet that she hasn’t recorded any of her requests this year.

Jesinia finally asks Violet what it is she’s really looking for, and Violet admits that it’s information about the wards and how the First Six built them. Jesinia thinks and says that she can only let one book go missing at a time, but that she has something in mind, and tells Violet to come back on Saturday.

At the gym, Violet smiles over at Eya, a cadet in the first squad who had helped her during her near-burnout. They’ve since become friendly, and Eya has been friends with Xaden since he was ten. Eya’s mother had been a rider as well as a member of the Tyrrendor government.

Ridoc tells Violet and Rhiannon about seeing Nolon, the mender at the infirmary, the other day, who seemed to be completely tied up most of the day. He also says that there was an air wielder there that looked just as exhausted. They all wonder what is going on in that guarded infirmary room.

When it’s Sloane’s turn to spar, Violet knows she’ll win because Violet has used some herbs to ensure that her opponent Dasha wouldn’t be feeling well. After Sloane wins the match, Violet tells her this and demands that she let Imogen assist in training her. When Sloane refuses, Violet says that she has fifty letters that Liam wrote for her, and every week that she trains, Violet will give her one of them. Finally, Sloane agrees.

Meanwhile, Violet has been reading the books that Jesinia has been providing to her one-by-one. She’s supposed to see Xaden at the end of the week, but instead she gets searched by Major Varrish and told that Xaden is currently on 24-hour duty so they won’t be seeing each other that week.


Chapter 17

The next morning, Violet tells Imogen that she thinks leadership is purposely keeping her and Xaden apart as punishment for not producing Andarna. At Battle Brief, they discuss the numerous attempted border crossings hear strategic outpost and Violet gets frustrated at the lies she’s hearing. She runs to the Archives to calm down, but Jesinia chides her, saying she’s going to get them caught if she shows up randomly like this.

Chapter 18

When Xaden shows up the next week, he sees the research she’s been doing and gets angry because he knows the danger she’s putting herself in. He then asks to go with her to the Archives to meet who she’s been working with, and Violet reluctantly agrees. There, Violet returns the books Jesinia gave her, and Jesinia gives her back the book of wyvern folklore that doesn’t appear in the Archives.

Chapter 19

A few days later at at the flight maneuvers class, Violet and Rhiannon talk about Major Varrish’s strange interest in Violet and how there seems to be something off about his orange dragon. Today, he tells her that he’s charging her with dereliction of duty for Andarna’s refusal to appear for maneuvers. However, Tairn argues with Solas, saying that dragons don’t answer to humans, and it results in Tairn piercing Solas’s throat as a warning. He forces Major Varrish to get on his knees and to apologize.

Afterwards, Violet and Rhiannon talk about the brutality of Basgiath and whether it’s necessary. Violet tells Rhiannon that she thinks it probably is, given what is waiting for them out there. Violet doesn’t tell her the details, but talks about watching her friends die and the need to be stronger and better. She nearly tells Rhiannon the truth, but Major Varrish interrupts them to do a search of Violet’s pack yet again.

Chapter 20

Soon, Violet is back at Samara to see Xaden. When they reunite, they kiss passionately, but they’re interrupted by Mira, who has just been stationed here. As Mira and Violet chat, she resists the urge to tell her that Brennan is alive. Violet asks Mira why she was moved here, and Mira says it’s because this outpost has one of the biggest power supplies for the wards, so they need her signet ability of extending the wards here just in case.

Violet asks Mira more about what she knows, and Mira explains that the wardstone’s power extends out like an umbrella with spokes and the alloys boost that power at the end of the spokes to extend its reach. Violet keeps asking questions until Mira warns her to stop. Then, she talks about questioning the information they’re being given in the battle briefs.

Finally, Violet suggests that the real perpetrator of the damage on these border towns could be wyverns, but Mira is completely dismissive of the idea and tells Violet she needs more sleep.

When Violet talks to Xaden again, she asks him about the book about weaving that he left with her after graduation, and he hints that it’s something she might want to learn, though Violet is unsure why she would care about weaving fabric knots. She also asks him about the alloy they’re looking for and what it’s made of and he says that it’s “an amalgamation of Talladium, a few other ores, and dragon egg shells”. He says the egg shells are metal and carry magic even after hatching.

Chapter 21

The next day, Violet’s arm is in a sling due to having tried the flight maneuvers that Tairn warned again. She put her name on Nolon’s list to be mended, but was told it was unlikely he’d have time before it already healed by itself.

In class that day, Professor Devera fills in for Professor Levini. She says he got called away because of an attack, where one recent graduate has died, Masen Sanborn. Violet wonders if the attack was an excuse to assassinate Masen, since he’s one of the revolutionaries.

Today, the professor asks about differences between Navarre and Poromiel. A student responds that the areas in Poromiel tend to maintain more of an individual cultural identity compared to Navarre, which is concerned more with unity. Navarre was originally six provinces – Calldyr, Deaconshire, Elsum, Luceras, Morraine, and Tyrrendor. In order to unify, they talk about the languages that were given up, parts of the culture and how traveling in and out of Navarre is controlled.

Violet talks about how they have the archives, but everything had to be translated and it’s hard to know what was lost in translation. There aren’t any books older than 400 years in the archives so the originals aren’t accessible. Rhiannon also speaks up about they lost their folklore in the unification. All of those stories are nowhere to be found now.

At the gym, Violet continues to ignore Dain, knowing he may try to read her memories. Finally, he demands that they spar, which he’s able to dictate as wingleader. Violet knows it’ll be an opportunity for him to get to her.

As they tussle, Dain says he just wants to talk to her. He admits that he took her memory about Athebyne, but he denies knowing that his father would be sending her to her into a deadly battle. Violet tells Dain that he destroyed their friendship when he violated her by stealing her memory, and it got Liam and Soleil killed.

Before Dain voluntarily taps out, Dain also tells her that he was just genuinely worried about her and Xaden because her mother was the one who scarred Xaden (he has lashes on his back, one for each child of the revolutionaries), and he was afraid Xaden was trying to hurt Violet.

Afterwards, Rhiannon pulls her aside. She asks about what happened with Violet and Dain, and Violet finally admits that he stole a memory from her. Rhiannon brings up the other riders who were with her at the War Games are being targeted or killed. Finally, Rhiannon asks how Liam’s dragon Deigh died, and Violet flat-out refuses to answer.

After Aaric’s match, he has a broken wrist. Violet offers to bring him to the infirmary. On the way, Aaric tells her that his father thinks he’s on his 20th birthday tour. Then he tells her he slipped past his guards in order to get here, and he hints that he knows what’s been going on with the wyverns and venin, since he’s noticed the presence of the alloy daggers on his guards. He says that it’s reason why he’s here.

Chapter 22

When Violet reunites with Xaden, Xaden finally lets her in more on what he’s been working on. He tells her that they need a firsthand account from one of the First Six that is untranslated. They’re interrupted by Major Varrish who says he’s taking Violet for interrogation training. Xaden argues that Violet is injured, but Major Varrish doesn’t back down.

Chapters 23 – 24

At interrogation training, Violet is given the information that “the key is in the desk drawer” to protect. Other cadets — Ridoc, Rhiannon and Sawyer — are given other information. They’re told that there’s a patch they can win if they manage to escape but no group has done it in the past decade.

Then, they’re told to tell the group a secret of theirs, and Violet chooses “Our infantry is killing Poromish civilians at the border” which is something she learned at Samara. They’re given food and water, but Violet smells that the water is like the one they were given at land nav training and tells the group not to drink it so they can maintain their connection to their dragons.

Next, they’re brought into a chamber. The other three are chained up, and Violet is instructed to sit on a chair. Two people come in and wail on her and the rest of them, demanding their secrets. Then, they leave and come back hours later and do the same with other people sitting in the chair.

Finally, Dain Aetos is brought in by Varrish. Dain looks upset when he sees how beat up Violet is. He tells Major Varrish that riders should be healthy before interrogation assessment. Varrish insists that he use his signet on Violet, but Dain refuses. As Varrish talks, it becomes clear he’s in charge of training Dain to use and extend his signet, and Violet wonders what Varrish’s signet is.

Dain refuses and walks out. Varrish then punches Violet and she blacks out.

When she reawakens, Nolon is hovering over her in the infirmary. She’s brought back to the interrogation room now that she’s mended by Nolon, and he purposely does not lock the window. He then asks Varrish for his help. Rhiannon then tells the group they need to escape now since she suspect Varrish might actually kill Violet. Violet admits to the group that she knows something, but she can’t tell them because it would make them all targets to be killed as well.

Sawyer uses his abilities to get open the first door. Then, at the main door, Violet notices one of her daggers is hot and tingling. She runs the dagger near the door and it unlocks. They all exit.

Chapter 25

Outside, Professor Grady greets them and asks about Violet’s dagger. She says she got it from Xaden. Rhiannon then asks for the patch for escaping. Later, they talk about how two second-years have now died in interrogation training.

At Battle Brief, Violet and her friends find leaflets saying that Poromish city of Zolya has fallen to dragon fire, many civilians are dead, and the General Fenella of Poromiel is dead. Everyone who sees them is shaken since they don’t think that Navarre would massacre civilians like that.

When Professor Markham arrives, he sees them all discussing and tells them to give him the leaflets to be discussed another day, shutting down the discussion. He then dismisses the pamphlets as propaganda. Then, Professor Markham welcomes back Jack Barlowe, who Violet previously dropped an entire mountain on, who is apparently still alive. He’s the patient that Nolon has been working on mending.

Then in Battle Briefs, Professor Devera says that Samara has been attacked and a rider has been severely injured. Violet immediately leaves class.

Chapters 26 – 29

Violet rushes to Samara only to see that Mira and Xaden are fine. Xaden gets had at her at first for being irrational and coming here when she didn’t have leave, but the two end up making up and having sex. Afterwards, they leave to make a drop of daggers in Poromiel.

They soon rendezvous with some gryphon fliers that Xaden recognizes. Syrena greets them. Xaden has daggers to give her, but is upset with Syrena and demands to know why Samara was attacked.

There’s also a beautiful woman with Syrena and Violet can tell from the way she looks at Xaden that she has deep feelings from him. She’s referred to as Cat, short for Catriona, and Violet realizes she’s the person that Bodhi had referred to as having some type of previous relationship with Xaden.

Xaden and Violet tell her that these attack have to stop. If they weaken the wards, the venin could infiltrate Navarre’s hatchling grounds and at that point venin would be unstoppable. Xaden tells them that he’s doing his part to smuggle daggers out and that he’s been working on trying to acquire the luminary needed for the forge. However, Cat insists that he’s had opportunities to acquire the luminary from , but he’s just not willing to pay the price.

Afterwards, Violet asks Xaden if Cat is his ex, and he admits that she is. Then, Violet asks what Viscount Tecarus wants in exchange for the luminary that he’s been unwilling to give. Xaden says that Tecarus wanted to watch Violet wield her power in exchange for permission to use the luminary. However, Xaden want to keep it, not just permission to use it, and he believes that Tecarus means to capture Violet to use her signet for his own purposes.

Violet tells him about all the new developments at Basgiath and the elixir that dulls your connection to your dragon as well as your signet abilities. She says she thinks that she can make the antidote if she gets her hands on a sample, though, or else Brennan can. When Violet departs, she feels good that she and Xaden are finally trusting each other with information.

Back at Basigath, Violet knows she’s going to be punished severely. Professor Emetterio comes by and tells her that people are angry with her and gives her some advice to blame it on the strong bond of her dragon — saying that he doesn’t have favorite cadets, but if he did that’s what he’d say.

When Violet heads back to her room, her friends are there, but Varrish intercepts her. Violet is in a panic as he checks her jacket, knowing that she has an alloy dagger in there that could implicate Xaden. Before Varrish can close the door to separate her from her friends, Violet eyes Rhiannon and the dagger.

Varrish is about to mete out punishment, but Professor Kaori intervenes. He says that he and Panchek agreed that Violet would not be punished for what was clearly the decision of her mated dragon. He says that Violet clearly needs to work on her shielding abilities, and as a second-year it’s not expected to be perfect yet.

Violet checks her jacket afterwards and sees that her dagger is gone, but Rhiannon reassures her that she managed to pull it in through the wall with her signet ability. Then, Rhiannon demands to know why this dagger is special. Finally, Violet tells her that it’s used to kill venin.

Chapters 30 – 31

Violet explains to Ridoc, Sawyer and Rhiannon everything that happened at Athebyne and with the venin. She tells them that the dragons know all about it, and Rhiannon’s dragon confirms it. Violet tells them that the Empyrean is split. Some of the dragons want to act, and others don’t which is why they haven’t been telling the riders about it yet.

She says it’s estimated that the venin will arrive at their borders in about a year. Violet says that Rhiannon’s family that lives near the border should really leave.

After learning the news, they all discuss it and agree that they should help Violet to research powering the wardstone. Violet says that what they really need is an untranslated primary source that older than 400 year old, but the Archives doesn’t contain anything like that. However, Ridoc pipes up and says that he knows two of the First Six kept journals that are somewhere here, but it’s likely in a vault somewhere and not in the general Archives.

As expected, Jesinia doesn’t know anything about any type of vault, but she continues to give the group books to research. Meanwhile, Violet is concerned that Andarna still hasn’t awoken from her sleep, though Tairn tells her not to worry. They all also find it weird that Jack is now being suspiciously nice to everyone. Soon, the Threshing for the first-years arrives. Aaric bonds with a Blue Clubtail while Sloane bonds with a Red Daggertail.

After the Treshing, Violet goes to take her turn being on watch. She goes to relieve Eya, when four assassins show up. The fight is deadly, and Eya is killed. Violet is dangling off a precipice about to be killed when someone stabs her attacker.

Violet is shocked to see that her savior is Jack Barlowe. Jack says that he didn’t know it was her when he went to save her, but he says that he’s been given a second chance at life and sees things differently now. And he says that since she tried to kill him once, now they’re even.

Afterwards, Ridoc comes to find her after meeting with Jesinia. She says she’s located the vault that they think the journals may be in, but it’s warded and they need someone from Kind Tauri’s bloodline to get through it since it’s in the royal vault. Of course, Violet know Aaric will be perfect for this.

Chapters 32 – 34

When she’s reunited with Xaden again, she tells him the truth about confiding in her squad. She also says that Imogen told Quinn. She also loops him in on the plan to steal the journals, and he gravely warns her that they’ll be killed if caught.

Violet invites Aaric there to tell them about the plan and expects that he’ll readily agree. However, when he sees Xaden, he recoils. He accuses Xaden of killing his brother Alic, and Xaden responds that Alic was a murderous prick who deserved to die.

Aaric still agrees to the plan since he apparently hates his father more, but there’s tension between the two. The group heads down to the archives, where Jesinia tells them they have one hour to get in and out before the Archives wards kill them.

They proceed into the sublevels. At the vault, Aaric pulls Violet through to help in searching for the journals of Warrick and Lyra. As they work, Aaric tells Violet that his brother who is in line to be king, Halden, also knows about the venin but isn’t doing anything about it.

Time starts running low. They manage to find the journals at the last minute, but they need to run out of there.

They make it out at the very last second, though Aaric’s hands are injured from grabbing the journals through a ward. Rhiannon takes him to the infirmary to see if Dyre can help with the healing, since they don’t want to attract any attention.

Afterwards, they look through the journals and confirm that Warrick’s has the information they need. Violet tells Xaden to take it to Brennan to translate.

Violet is feeling positive and hopeful when Nolon approaches her with some lemonade. She sees Jack nearby. She drinks the lemonade and quickly realizes something is wrong when she can’t reach Tairn anymore. Then, Major Varrish appears.

Chapter 35

Violet awakes in a prison cell. Nolon asks why she stole Lyra’s journal, which he produces. He says that they tripped the wards, which sent an alarm to Markham. They want to know how she did it, who she did it with, and why. Another cadet, Nora, is there, whose signet is detecting lies.

From their questions, Violet picks up that they haven’t actually been able to get into the vault to confirm that this is the original. She hints that this could be a reproduction which means they have no proof that she’s done anything.

Violet wakes later after being tortured and she imagines Liam talking to her and telling her to stay strong. She’s been tortured for two days now. Many bones in her body are broken. Varrish talks about how if Xaden breaks the Codex by coming to Violet’s aid by abandoning his post, then he’ll really get to strap him into this chair and question him. Violet realizes the whole point is to set a trap for Xaden.

Violet then brings up Solas, saying that Tairn is going to be hunting his dragon for this.

The torture continues. She is mended and them more bones are broken. Dain is brought in. He is incredulous that they’ve been torturing her for five days. Varrish says it’s because she’s conspiring to bring down the wards by stealing this journal which contains details on how the wards were built. Dain is suddenly angry with her that she’d been hiding stuff from him because she’s conspiring against Navarre.

As Dain leans in to read her memories, Violet forces herself to focus on showing him Liam’s death and the presence of venin…but it’s a failure. Dain sees that she’s been smuggling weapons. He tells Varrish and he tells him that they’ve been making many shipments.

Outside, there’s a call for all leadership including Major Varrish to report elsewhere because of a border issue.

Dain is about to stab Violet with the dagger as punishment for lying to him when suddenly he turns and stabs Varrish. Then a blade kills Nora as well.

Chapter 36

Violet looks the see the Xaden has killed Nora. Garrick is there, too. She tells them that Dain saved her. Xaden says that the rest of her squad have been under guard after trying to mount a rescue mission. Meanwhile, leadership is being called away because Xaden has killed a bunch of wyvern near the border and they are trying to deal with that.

They group of them are on their way out when they are stopped by General Sorrengail. She gives Violet an antidote for the elixir she’s been fed. Her mother asks to talk to Violet. Violet confronts her about knowing about the venin. Her mother tells her that she forced Violet away from the scribe quadrant to get her away from Markham who is committed to keeping up the lies about the venin. She also says that she was the one who called in a favor from Xaden and asked him to protect Violet his first year. Then, she leaves.

Tairn says that the Empyrean has decided that it’s up for the dragon and rider themselves to decide if they want to leave and help with the revolutionary cause. He also says that he’ll be waking Andarna soon, but he’s concerned because no adolescent dragon has stayed in the dreamless sleep for this long. As they head out, Violet asks Tairn to share the memory of what happened at Resson with the other dragons to help them pick a side.

In the courtyard, Xaden addresses all the riders, telling them to consider the truth and potentially join the revolution. Professor Carr comes to attack them, but Bodhi uses his signet of being able to counteract others’ abilities to stop him. Meanwhile, Professor Devara steps forward to join them, as does a massive riot that flies with them to Aretia.

Part II

Chapter 37

Violet wakes up in Xaden’s room in Aretia, fully mended. They have passionate sex.

She emerges from the room to find cadets everywhere, ready to be a part of the cause. Xaden meets with the council, which is pissed about being suddenly exposed without warning and the sudden influx of cadets. They say it’s likely that Melgren will know about their location now and launch an attack. Xaden reminds the group that this is his home.

As the meeting ends, Violet feels as Andarna awakes from Dreamless Sleep.

Chapter 38

Violet goes to see Andarna, who goes off to find food. Tairn tells Violet in private that Andarna has not developed as normal because of how much energy she expended at Resson and the times she was forced to fly and her Dreamless Sleep was interrupted. There’s a set of muscles that would permit her to fly that haven’t properly developed. He says it’s unlikely she’ll ever be able to bear a rider.

Soon, the Council gets organized so that the cadets have been organized and they are back in classes, with Professor Emetterio working on training them. Council Member Kylynn takes over doing flight maneuvers with them. Battle Brief takes place in a large theater, though Violet wonders why they decided to build this instead of something else, with Professor Devera and Brennan presiding.

Meanwhile, Violet has been making progress on translating the journal to understand how to power the ward. She believes it involves a type of blood magic.

At Battle Brief, Brennan talks about how the general public still doesn’t know about the presence of wyverns, despite Xaden dropping their carcasses at various outposts on the border. However, the military at those outposts now know. Brennan also says they’re reaching out to the families of the cadets here to offer sanctuary if needed. Brennan also says that the city of Anca was attacked by venin and fell, but they regrouped in the recently-fallen Zolya, which indicates that they plan to launch an attack from there.

Tairn then alerts Violet that a riot of forty dragons is approaching, led by Mira. Tairn nearly attacks, but Mira tells them it was Xaden who sent for them. She says that she found out the truth because Xaden dropped the wyvern at their outpost and soon their mother showed up and told everyone the truth.

Mira then sees that Brennan is alive, but punches him for keeping her in the dark.

Chapter 39

Brennan sends out riders to scout any incoming riots to see if they’re here to join or to attack, though Mira continues chastising him for letting them believe that he was dead.

Later that day, Violet sets out to make an attempt to raise the ward. They also discuss the negotiations with Tecarus — he says he wants them to come to his aid when requested and he still wants to see Violet wield, but Xaden insists Tecarus means to keep her as a weapon.

For the ritual, Violet instructs the six most powerful riders — Xaden, Felix, Suri, Bodhi, Violet, and Brennan — to drip blood onto the wardstone. They all do as instructed, but nothing happens.

Feeling like she’s failed everyone, Violet is determined to go meet with Tecarus in Cordyn and get them the luminary instead.

Chapter 40

One of the council members, Felix, is now helping to train Violet, and he wants her to focus on her aim and control, which she has clearly not learned yet. He offers her an orb etched with runes to use as a conduit until she gets better.

Afterwards, Violet talks with Mira, and she is determined to go get the luminary even if Xaden doesn’t want her to. Brennan joins them. In Cordyn, they’re greeted by a gryphon flier who is a truth-sayer (someone who can tell if others are lying) who demands that they state their true intentions. They do.

Then, Violet sees a very unhappy Xaden with them.

Chapter 41

They’re introduced to the Viscount and Violet notes that Xaden seems very familiar with this place, like he’s been here frequently. Then, they’re introduced to the Viscount’s niece, who turns out to be Xaden’s ex, Cat.

Zara, a lady’s maid, helps to dress Violet for dinner in a beautiful gown. She asks Zara about the Viscount and whether he would kidnap someone. Zara says no, but that he’s likely to make her an offer she can’t refuse so that she’ll stay, just like everyone else he collects.

Syrena also shows up for dinner, and there’s palpable tension between her and Mira due to various battles they each consider the other to be responsible for. Mira asks Syrena about her cousin, Drake, who is also a gryphon flier.

After dinner, the Viscount offers his terms. There’s a field with a Rybestad chest, and Violet is supposed to go down with him by herself, and she can’t leave until she does. After that, they’ll open discussions for the luminary. Violet quickly agrees. Xaden uses telepathy to tell Violet that the chest is priceless and is a symbol of an alliance that his father previously made with the Viscount.

Violet goes outside and Mira and Brennan joins her, but when she’s out there, a venin suddenly bursts forth from the chest.

Chapter 42

Violet pushes Mira out of the way and begins to strike. Xaden throws some daggers at them, which Violet attempts to fling into the venin. As the venin touches the ground to suck out its lifeforce, Mira throws up a ward with difficulty. She then collapses from the effort. She tells Brennan to take Mira away.

Then, Violet grabs a dagger and waits. When it gets close, she throws the daggers, pinning him down and then strikes near it with lightning, letting the rainwater around it charge and kill the venin.

Afterwards, Xaden uses his shadows to strangle Tecarus, but stops before he’s dead. Tecarus explans the the Rybstab chest keeps things suspended in air, which kept the venin from feeding by touching the ground. Xaden then threatens Tecarus again, and they go to negotiate.

They eventually agree to supply Tecarus with weapons as well as to take roughly a hundred gryphon flier cadets to Aretia to train with them in exchange for the luminary.

Chapter 43

Since the gryphons can’t fly at altitude like the dragons, they have to hike a narrow path towards Aretia to get there for around 12 hours. The dragon riders are paired off with them and hiking with them as a bonding exercise as well. Violet’s pair is Maren, whose gryphon is Daja. Maren tells her that she’s going to Aretia because it’s the best chance at survival both for herself and for her people.

Maren says that they become fliers by jumping off a cliff onto passing gryphons to bond with them, but if they miss they just land in the water and swim to shore. Then they join another branch of service, like infantry or artillery. She thinks they’re insane for killing off people on conscription day.

Meanwhile, Tairn alerts Violet that the first Aretian-born hatchling has been born on their new hatchling grounds.

By the time they’re about an hour away from Aretia, Violet is exhausted. Near the end, there’s a final difficult jump and the group bands together to figure out a way to get across, but Ridoc gets shot with arrows when they set off a trap. Luella, one of the fliers, dies and Cat blames Violet for it.

Chapter 44

Violet calls for Brennan to help mend Ridoc, and he gets to work. Suddenly, a wyvern appears. It’s cloudy so the dragons can’t see. Violet calls for every wind wielder to try to clear the clouds. Violet then mounts Tairn as they head for the wyverns to try to get them to follow them away from the others. Violet then uses her powers to kill the wyvern.

Afterwards, she talks to the others about it. Tairn says the birth of the hatchling would have alerted any creatures capable of channeling in a four hour radius, and Dain notes that Aretia probably sounds like a great place to drain if there’s a new hatchling grounds. Brennan says that the venin share a collective consciousness with the wyvern they create, so if one of them knows that this place is there and a ripe target, then they all know.

Chapter 45

The forge is now functioning, but the predators in the last month have been relentless. Meanwhile, there is still some conflict between the gryphon fliers and the riders based on past battles and deaths at each others’ hands. And Cat still seems intent on trying to seduce Xaden.

Today, Professor Trissa gathers the students to teach about runes, which he explains as “strands of magic pulled from our power, woven into geometric patterns for specific uses, then placed into an object, either for immediate work or usage at a later date”, which is a process called tempering which makes the magic active. He explains that they were banned to keep the magic out of the fliers’ hands since it allows them to magically be on the same playing field as the riders.

They then practice making runes. Cat proves to be adept at it.

Chapter 46

Later, Violet asks Xaden if he put an unlocking rune on her dagger, which is how she got out of the interrogation room back at Basgiath, and he says yes and that it responds where there’s a need to open a door. Runes are also why he encouraged her to practice weaving.

She then asks about a runestone that he keeps at his bedside. Xaden says that it’s a complicated one and Colonel Mairi (Sloane and Liam’s mother) was the last person to know how to make it. He says that this rune was made to protect someone from his father’s bloodline. He says that during the rebellion, each of the children of the officers were given them before their parents left for the Battle of Aretia.

Soon, Professor Devara admonishes all the cadets for the squabbles between the riders and the fliers. They says that for the next six hours, they can challenges whoever they want on the mats, but then all these hostilities need to be put to rest. They also say that tomorrow fliers will be absorbed into the squads of riders so that they will form teams.

Cat quickly challenges Violet.

Chapters 47 – 48

Xaden trained Cat as well so the two are well-matched. Cat says hateful things to her as they fight. Finally, Cat tries to use mindwork on Violet, and Xaden comes and stops the match.

Xaden brings Violet into a room to calm her down, and they have sex. Afterwards, he tells her that he never loved Cat. They were betrothed when they were twenty as part of the alliance his father negotiated regarding the luminary. The says the alliance fell apart when Tecarus wanted them to use the luminary there instead of giving it to them.

They then talk about Violet controlling her insecurities, since Cat’s powers can’t make her feel things she doesn’t already feel. Cat can only amplify what Violet is already feeling.

He tells Violet she need to find her center if she wants to control her emotions and her powers, since the two are connected.

Chapter 49

The next day, Violet learns that they’ve been combined with Cat’s drift, which Imogen says makes since because they’re both the strongest. Afterwards, Violet heads to the library to help her find her center. She continues working on translating and studying Warrick’s diary. A breakthrough comes when Dain mentions that he thinks one of the words was translated incorrectly.

Violet and Dain also finally talk about what happened last year. She then asks for his help with the journal and imbuing a stone with power.

Chapters 50 – 51

Violet continues training with Felix to control her powers.

She makes progress, but is greeted with the news afterwards that venin have taken Pavis in a brutal fight with heavy losses. The location indicates that they’ll be coming after Aretia soon. When she talks to Xaden, the mood is grim.

Violet and Dain continue their work on the journal until she finally realizes that powering the ward doesn’t refer to using the blood of six riders, but rather three dragons.

Violet rushes to tell Rhiannon her discovery, but she adds that she’s not sure powering the ward is the right thing to do.

Chapter 53

The problem with the protective wards is that it also renders the gryphon fliers’ powerless by nullifying their powers. Violet addresses her squad to tell them about this. She also offers them some stone, Maorsite, that they could imbue with their powers if they don’t want to be left powerless.

When Xaden returns, she tells him about her concerns about raising the wards.

A few days later, Rhiannon sets up a training for their dragons to practice detecting runes. As the squad proceeds with the training, Violet talks to Cat and Maren about how the fliers all share their runes as opposed to hoarding power.

Sloane also talks about Violet potentially getting a second signet because she has two dragons, saying that second signets generally only happen when a dragon bonds a rider in the direct familial line as its previous. Learning this, Violet realizes that Xaden must have a second signet he’s never told her about.

Then, suddenly they’re in a cave when they encounter Solas, Varrish’s dragon, and Violet screams for Tairn as she drops her conduit and it shatters.

Chapter 54

Violet knows she needs to keep Cat alive, since she’s third in line for the throne of Poromiel.

Andarna shows up and wraps herself around them to protect them from dragonfire. Solas is twice the size of Andarna but she still manages to put up a fight. Solas already has one eye missing from a previous tussle with Tairn, so Violet takes out its other eye with a dagger and then tells Cat to get out of the cave.

Violet then takes a broken shard of conduit and stabs it into Solas and wields her power, creating a huge wound. Violet is flung back, but Cat and Sloane drag her out of the cave. Andarna continues to fight Solas until he is dead.

Sloane then realizes that she drained Violet’s power as she pulled her out. Violet tells her that her signet has manifested and that she’s a siphon.

Afterwards, Cat takes Violet to a healer and thanks her for saving her life.

Chapter 55

Afterwards, Xaden and Violet have a conversation about trusting one another. Violet then demands to know what his second signet is, since his dragon previously bonded to his grandfather.

Before he can answer, Brennan sounds the alert that a hoarde of wyvern are headed their way.

Chapter 56

Andarna is in trouble for killing another dragon, but her actions have been found justifiable.

Meanwhile, Violet hurries to get the ward working. The dragons breathe fire on the wardstone, as the text indicates. They don’t have time to check if it is working before they have to rush to greet the incoming wyverns.

As Violet and Xaden wait in position, Violet tries to guess what his signet is. She thinks through aspects of his personality. Finally, Xaden tells her that if anyone knew what it was, that he’d be dead. Because he’s a inntinnsic, which is a death sentence, since it allows people to read everyone’s thoughts. In his case, he can read people’s intentions.

As the wyvern approach, Tairn senses there are 17, but they’re slowing down because they can feel the ward. Violet sees the Sage, the venin that had been at Resson. As a wyvern tries to cross the barrier, it falls and crashes below. Then, another tries and dies as well. The Sage then retreats.

After the failed attack, the atmosphere in Riorson House is joyous.

They also get news that General Melgren wants to meet with no more than two marked ones along with Violet and Mira. It indicates that their mother will likely be there and that if a fight were to break out, Melgren knows he would win (since his signet is seeing the outcome of battles).

Syrena also tells Violet that she can still use her powers, which is good news and bad news because it means something is off with the wards.

Chapter 57

Violet and others go to meet with Melgren and General Sorrengail at Athebyne. They’re offered refreshments but Tairn warns that they’re probably poisoned. Melgren says that the venin are going to attack Samara and they’re going to win. Melgren asks that they fight with them since he believes it would change the outcome of the battle. In exchange, Melgren offers to respect their independence.

There’s some bickering, but finally, Brennan steps forward, and the shock is visible on their mother’s face. Brennan says they rule by committee. And he says that they decline their offer of peace.

General Sorrengail asks to speak to Violet and Mira privately. She tells them that most of all she wants her children to live, and she tells Violet her that the wards they put up yesterday will fail, and she should cut open the bodies of the wyvern that fell yesterday. She says that Lyra felt the power of the wards should be shared, but Warrick disagreed and wanted Navarre to be supreme — so the instructions in his journal are a lie and those wards will decline over time. She then gives her Lyra’s journal.

Back at Aretia, they cut open the wyverns as instruction and find runes. The stone hums and a wyvern nearby begins to reanimate before Violet quickly kills it with lightning.

Chapter 58

Violet has been trying to get Brennan to reconsider the Melgren’s offer. Meanwhile, she is busy translating Lyra’s journal. Felix has given her a new conduit, this time with a strap so she won’t accidentally drop it.

At Battle Brief, it’s shown that their patrols believe the venin have pulled back almost everywhere now that they have their wards. But they’re still organized at Zolya, likely to prepare for the Samara battle that Melgren foresaw. The estimate is that Samara will be attacked with over 500 wyvern.

As they talk through what’s going on Violet realizes that Samara falling would not be the end of Navarre, though a large portion of it would be unprotected, since Samara mere boosts the power of the wards. Violet suspects that Melgren knows that, too.

Then, Violet realizes the Melgren isn’t able to see where the real battle is. Samara may be overrun on solstice, but the real battle will be at Basgiath, but Melgren can’t see it because there’s too many riders with rebellion relics there.

Violet tells Xaden they have to fight.

Chapter 59

Soon they reach Basgiath and they aren’t stopped by anyone. Violet rushes to tell her mother that someone is going to take down the wards and that there will be a major battle here at Basgiath. She asks her mother to please inspect the wards, and finally General Sorrengail agrees.

They go down and find that the guards there are dead. General Sorrengail then sprints forward as the rest of them follow. They find Baide, Jack Barlowe’s dragon, there near the wardstone. Tairn demands that he leaves, but he swipes at General Sorrengail.

Jack Barlowe is there and intent on destroying the ward. There’s a squirmish and finally, the ward breaks.

Chapter 60

The wardstone lies in two pieces on the ground. Jack has killed his dragon, too, but he’s still alive. Jack has turned venin. Jack starts to draw energy from the ground, but Xaden uses his shadows to pin Jack to the ceiling. They try to keep him alive to question him. Jack then reaches for the wall, and tries to drain it. Dain steps forward to read Jack’s memories, but Jack grabs him and tries to drain him. Finally, Xaden knocks Jack unconscious.

Nolon and there and acknowledges that he’s spent months trying to mend Jack’s soul, and Violet suspects that the elixir was created to separate Jack from his powers.

Meanwhile, they know that almost everyone is at Samara preparing for battle, which means Basgiath is largely unguarded and now all of Navarre in unwarded. They estimate they have about ten hours.

Chapter 61

Half an hour later, everyone is gathered at Battle Brief. Melgren and his forces won’t arrive until after the wyvern horde arrives. There’s around a thousand wyvern. Dain says that Jack’s memories show that he’s planted lures all over campus to draw in more waves. The infantry is tasked with trying to destroy them.

Devera instructs the riders to focus on the dark wielders since the rest of the wyverns will go down with them, and to fight them in groups.

As they get their orders, Violet suggests that it’s mistake to abandon the wardstone since they don’t know what power it still contains, but her mother disagrees. Soon, Brennan and many riders and fliers that had originally declined to fight show up, knowing everyone is needed. Violet then asks Brennan if he can try to mend the wardstone. He says he’ll try, and her mother agrees to have someone guard the airspace above it.

Chapters 62 – 63

Soon, the time approaches. Andarna has refused to leave. Despite being a scribe, Jesinia is also here still looking at the journals just in case she can figure something out to help in time.

It starts to rain, thanks to General Sorrengail’s signet power. Violet know it’s her way of helping to enhance Violet’s powers. The cost is that it’s harder for gryphons to fly in anything more than a drizzle.

Suddenly, the wyvern approach. Violet manages to take some out with her first strike, but they quickly realize they need to hide under cloud cover for protection. Violet fights through the first wave, but they soon see that most of the wyvern are still in the distance. Tairn notes that they are probably hunting for weaknesses.

As the onslaught continues, Violet manages to hit her targets, but she can feel the heat rising within her. Tairn warns of her potentially burning out.

Violet soon watches in horror as Rhiannon saves her from a venin, but is nearly killed herself. Then, she watches as Sawyer’s leg is bitten off, and both he and his dragon are in mortal peril. She separates from Tairn to grab Sawyer to save him, but Tairn manages to catch her as she falls. She drops off Sawyer with people to take him to the healers, willing him to live.

Tairn alerts her that Brennan has mended the stone, but the repairing the ward itself situation doesn’t seem hopeful.

As Violet fights, the venin reveal that they’re under orders to try to capture her so that the Sage can use her as a weapon. One of them manage to break her conduit. Violet is immobilized and running out of time when Andarna finally comes out of hiding to attack.

Chapter 64

Andarna roasts the dark wielder and rips off its head. As the final wave of wyvern wait, Cat tells Violet to instruct her mother to call off the rain so that the gryphons can fight since they are the most experienced at battling wyvern.

Then, Jesinia runs toward Violet. She says the main difference is that Lyra’s journal says that it requires seven, not six, dragons (“The breath of life of the seven combined and set the stone ablaze in an iron flame.”)

Meanwhile, Melgren wants to move everyone to the Vale to distract the horde, but Violet want to try to raise the wards again. They don’t have time for a decision because the leader of the wyverns approaches. Violet decides that she’s going to try to raise the wards.

Chapter 65

Violet talks to Andarna and realizes why there are seven types of dragon and not six and why Andarna gets to make her own decisions. She is not a black dragon, but a completely different type of dragon.

Violet runs to the wardstone and begins to imbue it with her power, calling for any rider who can make it to help. Violet nearly burns out trying to imbue the wardstone with her power. Her mother finally kicks her in the face to get her to stop from burning out. Instead, she instructs Sloane to siphon her and her dragon’s power and life force into the wardstone instead.

In an instant, General Sorrengail is dead. Andarna then fire up the wardstone.

Chapter 66

With the wards raised, the wyvern swiftly fall.

However, Xaden is upset after the fight. He tells Violet that she should be scared of him, and she notices a red tinge around his eyes, indicative of someone who has turned venin.

(I think the implication is that turning venin is something that Xaden needed to do in order to survive the battle.)

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!

Share this post


Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game