Iron Flame – Ending Explained

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Once again, Rebecca Yarros has left us with quite a doozy of an ending with Iron Flame! Lots of twists and turns, cliffhangers, and questions to be answered with the ending of this one.

And once again, I am here to give you a summary of what all went down at the end of this book and what we might see in the next book in the series!

If you need a reminder of what happened at the end Fourth Wing, you can check out my post here!

For this post, we’re going to start at chapter 55 (basically covering the last 100 pages of the book).

Also, if you haven’t read Iron Flame or Fourth Wing, there will be spoilers ahead, so read on with caution!

Iron Flame – Chapter 55 

This chapter opens up with a tiff between Xaden and Violet, which is a very recurring theme in this book.

Xaden and Violet are at odds about keeping information from each other (Violet won’t tell Xaden how to raise the wards because the riders will lose their powers).

Violet has for some time now known that the scars on his back symbolize the deal he made for the marked children of the rebellion.

Well, Violet knows that her mom, General Sorrengail, put the scars on him. And he knows that she knows and hasn’t asked him about it…it’s a bit of a mess… 

Xaden also made a deal with General Sorrengail that he would not kill Violet, and she’s insecure that he only kept her alive in the previous book because of the deal with her mom and not because he was falling for her like she was for him. 

Xaden wants Violet not to be afraid to ask him questions, and she doesn’t want to be tested about asking him the right questions, so she finally asks him the question she has been most afraid to ask. 

She knows that he has a second signet because his dragon, Sgaeyl, was bonded to his grandfather before him, and he is a direct descendant.

When a dragon bonds with a direct descendant, it either creates a second signet or makes the rider go mad (if a dragon bonds to a family member, it makes the one signet stronger).

Everyone thinks that Xaden’s Grandpa was an uncle or something, so no one is very suspicious. However, Violet knows it was his Gramps for sure.

Before Xaden can tell her anything, Brennan comes rushing in, announcing an emergency and that a horde of Wyverns is flying their way! This leaves Violet no choice but to tell Xaden how to raise the wards. 

Iron Flame – Chapter 56 

Dane, Xaden, and Violet have been spending time imbuing the wardstone that the rebellion has.

Xaden, Suri, Dane, Brennan, Rhiannon, and Violet go to try to raise the wards because Violet realized that she incorrectly interpreted the first time they tried and that they needed people of political power, not magical power.

They reach the top, where the six dragons who will be powering the wards (also, dragons can only power ONE wardstone). The Dragons breathe fire on the stone, and Violet feels a shift in power around her.

They are all very excited that it seems to work. They all fly off on the dragons towards the edge of their borders, where Wyverns have been spotted. 

Violet is at the edge of a cliff where the border of the wards is with Tarrin as they prepare for battle. Xaden and Sgaeyl arrive, and it is time for Xaden and Violet to hash it out again. 

Xaden finally tells Violet what his second signet is. Xaden is a type of inntinnsic. Xaden has the ability to read intentions; he cannot read people’s minds, but he can read their motives.

Inntinnsics are always killed because it is considered too much power and too dangerous to let mind readers live.

Xaden has told no one but his dragon, and when Tarrin learns this, he is as hurt by Sgaeyls keeping this from him as Violet is by Xaden keeping this from her. 

Violet, being the whiny baby girl that she is, of course, only sees this from her own POV, which is “Did Xaden read my emotions this whole time?” Blah blah blah!

Though, Violet does tell Xaden that her “love isn’t fickle, and he better live through this so she can ask him all the questions.” 

A storm of hundreds of Wyverns appears, and Violet and Tairn fly towards the Wyverns as Violet hopes that she rose the wards correctly for all of their sakes. 

When the Wyvern flies past the wards, its wings and head fall, and it falls to the ground…showing that the wards appear to be working!

More Wyverns fall, the Sage calls the attack, and the hoard of Wyverns flies away.

They get reports back that this wasn’t the only attack on their borders and that in several other areas the same thing happened, meaning that this wasn’t a single attack but a coordinated, planned-out ambush. 

When they return to Rioson House, they are met with a celebration of the rising of the wards. Violet and Xaden are summoned to the Assembly chamber and are met by the Assembly.

They have received a missive from Melgren asking for a meeting the following day with “whomever represents our movement—no more than two marked ones allowed—along with Violet and Mira Sorrengail.”

The Sorrengail girls both being summoned means that their mom (General Sorrengail) will be there, and they know that if a fight were to happen, it would go in Melgren’s favor (because of his signet).

On top of all this, Syrena (she’s a rider, I forgot, so I thought you might have too) shows Violet that she can still wield, which means there is something wrong with the wards and basically, there is a lot of crap on Violet’s plate to deal with.

Oh yeah, and she’s still fighting with her boyfriend, but I don’t think anyone cares at this point. 

Iron Flame – Chapter 57

The meeting with Melgren and the other Nevarrian officials takes place at Athebyne, which is the same location where the trading post that Violet and Xaden had to defend in the previous book.

Violet and Xaden talk about how Violet feels betrayed again BOO

There are seven Navarrian Riders, and Melgren and Violet’s mom lead them.

The Navarrian Riders want the Aretian Riders to fight with them against the wyvern and the Venin because Melgren has seen the outcome of the Venins’ attack and that they will lose. 

If the Venin takes down Samara or any of the outposts, the wards will fall, leaving a large area of  Navarre without any protection. 

The Aretian riders won’t agree to fly for Navarrians, but Violet feels they should help them, especially because the hatching grounds of the dragons are at stake. Brennan comes out to the group, and General Sorrengail is taken aback.

General Sorrengail wanted her daughters to come to the meeting to give them a journal that will have answers as to why their wards have failed. Warrick looked in his journal because he wanted only no one else to have the power to raise the wards.

Iron Flame – Chapter 58

This chapter opens up with Violet and Xaden finally figuring their BS out, and honestly, does anyone still care? Cause I don’t!

It is two days till Solstice, but they are still not planning on flying for Navarra. 

When in a battle brief, Violet learns that it is not Samara that is at stake but that the real fight is actually going to be taking place at Basgiath.

This means that all the Navarrian riders are at Samara, and there is no one at Basgiath, leaving The Vale unprotected and the actual target of the Venin. If the Vale is taken, ALL the wards will fall.

With this information, Violet and Xaden decide they have to go and fight to protect Basgiath and take whoever will fly with them.

Iron Flame – Chapter 59

Second Squad Flame Section all decide to go defend Basgiath along with some other active riders like Violet’s sister, Mira. Andarna insists on coming along. 

They make it to Basgiath and are met by General Sorrengail.

Violet tells her mom that they are not here to fight them but to fight FOR them and that their wards are in danger. She tells her mom that someone will try to take down the wards and that Samara is a distraction.

They go to check the wards and they are met by Nolan. Did you forget who Nolan is? Cause I did, and I was like, why should I care about this dude?! But he is kinda important.

Nolan is the healer at Basgiath, and with Violet’s chronic health issues (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), she has a close relationship with Nolan from needing to be mended so many times in her life and her time at the war school.

Nolan has been SUS this year, and we find out why very soon… 

When they’ve made their way to the end of the stairwell of the administration building where the wardstones are kept, they find the guards dead at the door to the entrance of the tunnel.

When they get into the chamber, they are met by an orange tail dragon, but it’s not just any orange tail dragon. It is Baide, Jack Barlow’s dragon. Jack is not far from his dragon, and he is pleased to see Violet.

Baide attacks them with fire and burns Ridoc’s hands.

They find Jack holding onto Baide’s neck as he stabs his own dragon in the throat, spilling her blood onto the flaming wardstone (it was lit by Baide’s firebreathing). The stone comes crashing down, and now the wards have fallen… 

Iron Flame – Chapter 60

Violet throws a dagger at Jack, and between the wound and the whole him killing his own dragon thing, she believes he only has minutes left to live.

WELL, it turns out that Jack isn’t going to die, and that is because he is VENIN! Nolan has been trying to mend Jack not from his fall off the cliff but from becoming Venin.

That is why Nolan has been so booked and busy this year. When Violet threw a dagger at Jack, she threw one of the alloy-hilted daggers at him. 

Jack is working with the Sage, and he has been working all year to bring weapons into the school.

They realize that signet blocking serum was created to try to stop Jack as Nolan used to it try to get him under control. However, Dain is able to see Jack’s memories, so he knows what is coming for them.

They gather with all the cadets at the school and in battle brief to prepare for the Wyvern massacre that is about to take place.

Jack has used lures to help summon the Venin. Each of the squads is to work together in a section that they are to stick to in battle to try to stay organized.

Violet tries to get Andarna to leave and return to Aretia, but Andarna insists that she will be “where she is needed.” 

When they get their assignments of where each squad will be placed to defend, Violet is concerned that they are leaving the wardstone undefended. Violet speaks up about this, but they don’t seem to care, and no one listens to her. 

Xaden and Violet go back to her old room to rest before the oncoming battle, and they start getting to it, but right as they are about to YOUKNOWWHAT, Brennan knocks on her door. 

Brennan has arrived, along with the Gryphon flyers and another backup from Aretia.

Brennan will try to mend the wardstone. Rhiannon’s squad requests permission to guard the airspace above the wardstone chamber to hopefully give Brennan time to mend the wards, and General Sorrengail approves. 

Iron Flame – Chapter 61

Andanra joins Violet and Tairn, along with the rest of the Fourth Wing members, in protecting the air space above where Brennan is working.

They promise each other that “no one dies today”. Violet tells Andarna to stay hidden, and she seems to blend into the stone (keep this info in your mind).

General Sorrengail uses her signet to create a storm to help Violet’s lightning signet be amplified. When the Wyvern arrive there are WAYYYYY more of them than they had anticipated. 

The battle begins and Violet uses her signet to hit as many of the flying Wyverns with lightning while they are still in the sky. Violet and Tairn fly through the sky while she strikes the Wyvern with lightning, and Tairn attacks them.

Violet and Tairn leave their spot in the skies above the battle because, though it was giving them good leverage to strike with lightning, they have now become a target.

On the way down, a Venin jumps from its Wyvern onto Tairn’s neck and goes to kill Violet. She throws a dagger at him, but he catches it, and as he raises it to kill her with her own blade, Rhiannon jumps from her dragon to Tairn in front of Violet. 

Iron Flame – Chapter 62

Rhiannon fights the Venin and wins (cause girl-boss, duh). Violet and Tairn go to help Sawyer and Ridoc, but Sawyer, in an attempt to save his dragon, gets his own leg bitten off by a Wyvern.

Violet cuts herself out of her saddle (much to Tairn’s dismay) and does a running land towards Ridoc and Sawyer. She grabs Sawyer and freefalls till Tairn catches them, saving Sawyer and his dragon.

They land, and Violet calls for a healer and is met by Daja, Marren, and Cat.

The girls say they will take care of Sawyer, and as they go to leave with Sawyer, a dark wielder appears and tells Violet not to bother to run. She will drain the ground beneath her!

Cat runs to Violet, and the dark wielder tells them that she is under orders not to kill Violet, the lightning wielder, because she will be so much fun for “him” to wield (the Sage, that is).

A second Venin appears and uses his powers to suspend Violet in the air. Tairn and Xaden rush to get to Violet but are too far out.

Violet thinks she sees something moving behind the Venin. It’s Andarna who is using her chameleon-like powers to blend in with her surroundings! 

Iron Flame – Chapter 63

Andarna fire breaths (cooks) then eats the Venin (yum).

Violet and Xaden (who has now shown up), along with Cat, go into the halls of Basgiath and are overwhelmed by how many wounded riders there are. 

Violet and Xaden enter the battle planning when Violet sees Jesinia running towards them with Lyra’s journal.

Violet discreetly goes over to Jesinia and she tells her that she has found the lie.

The lie is the number seven, meaning that they do not need six different dragons but SEVEN different breads of dragons. There is no known sevens breed of dragon, so they are very confused by what this could mean. 

As Violet tries to process what the “seven” dragons could mean, she has a realization that is not revealed to the readers.

But come on, we KNOW it’s Andarna.

Violet joins Xaden along with her mom and the others in the battle meeting. 

The leaders of Navarre are planning to abandon the fortress and the wardstone and put all defense into protecting the Vale (where the dragon hatching grounds are).

Violet protests this plan and says she can fix the wardstone (with her new information about Andarna).

At this moment, they see that the leaders of the Venin have arrived on the battleground. Violet convinces her mom, General Sorrengail, to help her imbue the wardstone and raise the wards. 

Xaden says he will go  onto the battlefield with Sgaeyl to buy Violet time to imbue the stone.  

Iron Flame – Chapter 64

Violet knows that if they raise the wards here at Basgiath (because dragons can only breathe life into one stone ever), she will not be able to raise the wards at Samara.

Xaden tells Violet that she is his home and that it doesn’t matter to him about the wards as long as she is alive. 

Violet asks the dragon Codagh if he will be the Black Dragon to breath fire on the wardstone. Xaden is confused because he thinks Andarna is a black dragon but she asks him to not press because it is a secret that is not hers to tell.

Xaden kisses Violet goodbye and goes to buy her time on the battlefield and Tairn goes with him. 

Violet runs to the wardstone where she meets Brennan who has just finished healing the stone.

Violet starts to imbue the wardstone, but she’s pushing herself too far.

Andarna meets her in the chamber and we finally get some answers on what type of dragon Andarna really is. Turns out she is a seventh breed of dragon!

We never get the name of what type of dragon she is, but her scales are able to change colors and help her blend in with her surroundings.

She portrays herself as a black dragon because she wants to be like Tairn. Andarna chose Violet because she has the heart of a rider and the mind of scribe, different like herself.

Violet’s mom comes down to the chamber just as Violet starts to burnout. General Sorrengail kicks her daughter hard and it pushes her away from the stone.

General Sorrengail is telling Sloane that she has to do “this” as she puts her hand on the stone.

Sloane’s signet is a siphon so she can absorb power from sources such as other riders or dragons and imbue it into something (or someone) else.

General Sorrengail plans to sacrifice herself though Sloane’s powers to imbue the wardstone. And honestly, Genreal Sorrengail needed a redemption arch so this was a good plot point. 

Violet’s mom dies, and her sacrifice powers the stone and raises the wards once Violet has the seven dragons breath fire into the stone. 

Iron Flame – Chapter 65

The Wyverns begin to fall from the sky, proving that the wardstone is working again. Tairn tells Violet that Xaden lives and she feels relieved.

She is looking for Xaden when Tairn tells her that Xaden is in the courtyard. She meets him along with Sgaeyl and tells the dragons that they need to go catch yo with each other.

Xaden is standing with his feet close to the edge and she asks him if he is okay. Xaden tells her that he killed the the Venin who had a hold on him. Xaden tells Violet it is safer for her to stay in Navarre, and she responds:

Xaden tells her that what she should be scared of is him. He finally looks into her eyes and she is horrified to see that his eyes now have a red ring. He’s like Jack Barlow, turning Venin!

Iron Flame – Chapter 66

This chapter is from Xaden’s POV, and we see what happened to him at the battlefield during the fight with the Venin general.

Xaden wakes up with Violet next to him and he dresses quickly and leaves before Violet wakes.

He keeps himself wrapped in his darkness and sneaks to Jack Barlow’s cell. He asks him for the cure to his new Venin predicament.

Jack tells him there is no cure and that they are brothers now…then the book ends! 

Iron Flame – Thoughts & Review

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found this book to be SO hard to keep track of in terms of lore, characters, and places.

And I’m a fantasy girlie, so it’s not like I am just not used to the genre and all the fantasy elements you need to keep track of.

I’m not sure if it comes down to the writing feeling so chaotic and information dumpy in this book or if I just do NOT care about the characters enough to bother to remember them.

There was just something about this plot that was so difficult to follow with the writing and pacing of this novel.

I definitely think that the book was too long, and if Violet and Xaden had just stfu for one second, it could have been two hundred pages shorter.

I also found the spice 🌶️ in this book to be so bland and awkward. I love steamy scenes in books, but I really was not interacting with any of them in this book.

Also, Jack being the villain AGAIN was so predictable and boring.

I didn’t see Xaden becoming Venin, so at least I felt something at the end of the book, but I was kinda hoping for maybe an enemies-to-lovers moment with Jack or something. I don’t know, just not him being the bad guy again… 

Anyways, what did you think of Iron Flame? Let me know in the comments! 

Happy reading!

-Paisley

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