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Exclusive: Rebecca Yarros tells all about the next 'Fourth Wing' book — and the 3 more in store

The author of your newest fantasy obsession previews what’s to come in her five-book (!!) series.
Gypsy Thorn / Red Tower Books / Gypsy Thorn
/ Source: TODAY

Dragons and castles and combat and morally gray love interests — what more could satiate the romantasy readers out there?

Turns out, not a whole lot, because they found all of that and more in author Rebecca Yarros’ “Fourth Wing,” the new-adult fantasy epic that the internet just can’t get enough of.

A beautiful thing about this novel, published May 2 this year and already Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller, is that the obsession around it seemed to assemble at a grassroots level. It felt very word-of-mouth, like fervent recommendations were passed from one passionate reader to the next, until BookTokers couldn’t scroll without seeing that regal golden cover displayed on their feeds.

And as of today, there’s even more to marvel at. The second book in Yarros' Empyrean series, titled “Iron Flame,” out Nov. 7, has its cover art, an illustration that twins with “Fourth Wing.”

“Iron Flame” by Rebecca Yarros

“I love how it flows with the first one, and how they designed the series to go back and forth with each other,” Yarros told in an interview. In our conversation, we also dug into the next chapter of this saga — well, chapters, as in five books total — and what she’s loved about riding out this journey.

The cover art for book two is here! Tell us about what’s next for Violet and Xaden and the rest of these characters.

The book — I'm in my publisher’s house, and if I spoil anything, I think she's going to, like, burst through my door! — I can mostly say that it deals with fallout of what Violet’s discovered in the first book, and we can expect the world to expand and for the mysteries to deepen.

What can you reveal about this series as a whole? Can we expect any more books?

The books are fully potted for five books. The whole series is plotted out and arced and all of that. And I think it really deals with the theme of history: Who's allowed to tell our history, and what happens when only people in power are the ones who record our history.

Who or what was your inspiration when writing?

So, I love dragons. I don't know anyone who doesn't — us fantasy girlies, right? I grew up reading a ton of fantasy. I knew my publisher was looking for romantasy in that new-adult line — and I love new adult, I think it's such an unexplored genre. There are not a lot of books that deal with people in that period between adolescence and adulthood. I love that sweet spot. So knowing that I could definitely build it on a romance, I was in love with the forced proximity of the romance being between their dragons and not necessarily (the characters). And everybody loves a morally gray hero, so I definitely had to have that one. And because I majored in history in college, it was really, really fun to explore those themes of who would get to write down our history and what would happen, perhaps, if the history we were educated on is not accurate.

The way that this book has captivated readers is truly incredible. What have you learned about this fanbase?

This book has exploded in a way I never imagined. It's been phenomenal, mind blowing and just so surreal. (Fans) are so passionate and so talented — all of the videos and the comments. I'm really, really, really lucky. And especially because Violet has chronic illness — she has Ehlers Danlos, which is a condition I have. It's been really amazing to see readers reach out and say that it's touched them, especially those of us who have EDS, to be able to see a heroine like us with chronic illness.

Was Violet inspired by you?

Her chronic illness is mine, look at it that way. I have Ehlers Danlos, and my sons do too. So it was important to me when I brought the project to my editor, I said, “I would like to include this in there.” And we had a big talk about how representation works, especially because EDS has 13 subtypes. So we wanted to make sure that everyone felt represented. … I knew it’d be relatable because it’s her wits that make (Violet) strong — but I think what surprised me was the number of readers that came to me and said, “Thank you. I feel represented.”

What can you share about the series’ endgame? I know gritty details are under wraps, but anything at all …

I can simply say that there are definitely dragons!

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

Those who preorder “Iron Flame” will receive the limited first print edition featuring spray-painted edges with detailed map endpapers. More ways to preorder are here.