The Empyrean Series (Fourth Wing) – Special Editions Roundup
I had a request from a reader to put together a collector’s guide to all of the editions of The Fourth Wing, along with sharing my thoughts on the book. So here you go Annelise! I hope it helps you and maybe some other random readers out there in Internet-land!
Collector’s Notes & FAQ
Why are people so excited about this book?
The hype around the first book in the Empyrean series, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, brings to mind the global phenomenon that was the Harry Potter series, with first edition books selling out the whole print run in record time, scalpers getting crazy high prices on resale, and a whole host of love in the review sphere.
However, unlike the first Harry Potter book, which had a tiny print run and built its initial popularity through word of mouth, Fourth Wing benefited from a huge marketing campaign. As this book was the first release from Entangled’s new imprint Red Tower Books, this included major TikTok outreach with custom ARCs, influencer swag and final hard-copy distribution, bookstore galley mailings with Indie Next campaign, author appearances at conferences and conventions, a robust print and digital ad campaign, direct library marketing, and sprayed page edges for the first print of the US edition.
It’s also a fun read that cuts across all sorts of genres – including fantasy, dragons, school days, military heroes, and romance. I really enjoyed it, I’ve recommended it to others, and I’ve included a short review below if you’re interested.
What are the other books in the series?
It’s anticipated this will be a four-book series. The second title is Iron Flame, releasing November 2023. Future titles have not yet been made available.
Are all the editions the same size?
No, editions from different countries are usually different sizes, so if you want to mix and match you’ll have to be comfortable with different heights in your shelf. Where possible, I’ve included dimensions to help you decide what you want.
Has Rebecca Yarros written anything else?
Rebecca is actually quite a seasoned author with plenty of other titles under her belt if you’re interested in checking them out. Here’s a link to the author’s website, where you can find out about her many other series and stand-alone books.
Is this a complete list of Fourth Wing special editions?
Review – Fourth Wing
The plot of this new adult novel revolves mainly around Violet Sorrengail, a 20-year-old resident of the fictional kingdom of Navarre. Originally destined for the Scribe Quadrant at Basgiath War College, Violet’s plans take a dramatic turn when her mother, the Commanding General, demands she join the dangerous and deadly Riders Quadrant instead. Her goal is to survive and eventually graduate, a feat accomplished by only a fraction of the cadets. Violet faces additional challenges due to her Ehlers-Danlos syndrome—a connective tissue disorder that causes chronic pain (a condition also suffered by the author, so it is sensitively and authoritatively handled).
Alongside new friends and her loyal companion Dain, Violet navigates treacherous obstacles and dangerous rivalries within the college, including her strained relationship with Wingleader Xaden Riorson, whose father played a role in her brother’s death. Without revealing too much, Violet and Xaden’s journey takes them through deadly physical challenges, tactical training, and a growing bond that evolves from enemies to lovers. The romance unfolds gradually, and is grounded in the complexities of shared loss and unexpected circumstances.
Amidst an entertaining blend of fantasy, romance, intrigue, and life-or-death suspense, the novel also explores themes of the true nature of power and manipulation of history, adding depth for literary-minded readers. There are a couple of ‘spicy’ chapters (shifting it from what I would otherwise have categorised as a young adult writing style to new adult content), and although the novel reaches a satisfying conclusion, it does culminate in a cliff-hanger that leaves readers anxious to read the next volume. I’ve recommended it across ages and genders and all have enjoyed it, so hopefully you will too.
Iron Flame, Book 2
I’ll do a full roundup of editions for the second volume in the series, Iron Flame, when the printing date gets closer and we know a bit more about who’s doing what. However, as some of these editions are already starting to sell out, I’ve started collating them for you here early.
US Standard Edition Hardback
Entangled Publishing (Red Tower Books), 640p, 9781649374172. 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5cm. Released Nov 7, 2023.
Special features: All US edition first printings will have solid black sprayed page edges and mapped endpapers.
Waterstones Special Edition
Entangled Publishing (Red Tower Books), 512p, 9780349440187. 24 x 15.6 x 2.2cm. Released Nov 7, 2023. RRP GBP£22
Special features: UK edition with stencilled page edges.
Note: these have been added to the website several times, but almost immediately sell out. It is anticipated there will be at least one more opportunity to order.
→ Check availability at Waterstones
Australian Special Edition Hardback
Hachette, 512p, 9780349440262. 23.4 x 15.3 x 2cm (note that the publisher has said these will be the same size as UK editions, but retailers list a different size). Released December 12, 2023. RRP AUD$49.99
Special features: Stencilled page edges and mapped endpapers.
(Limited online availability, you may be able to place orders in-store.)
Fairyloot Special Edition
Fairyloot exclusive edition (Piatkus), 512p. Will ship Feb/Mar 2024. RRP GBP£24 / USD$33
→ Check availability at Fairyloot (Early access Oct 19, 2023.)
Fourth Wing, Book 1
US Standard Edition Hardback
Entangled Publishing (Red Tower Books), 528p, 9781649374042. 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5cm. Released May 2, 2023.
Special features: All US edition first printings featured dragons stencilled on black sprayed page edges. (Later editions have plain white page edges.)
Australian Special Edition Hardback
Hachette, 512p, 9780349440194. 23.4 x 15.3 x 2cm (note that the publisher has said these will be the same size as UK editions, but retailers list a different size). Released November 8, 2023. RRP AUD$49.99.
Special features: Stencilled page edges, with black & white mapped endpapers.
Book Clubs & Boxes
Fairyloot exclusive edition. Will ship September/October 2023. RRP GBP£22 / USD$30
Bookish Box Edition
Tipping the Scales subscription box June 2023.
Special features: Hard case illustration, stencilled page edges and illustrated endpapers by @vera.drmanovski. Four page overlays by @dianaworak. Metal corner protectors. Signed by the author.
German Standard Hardback: Flammengeküsst
dtv, 768p, 9783423283403. Released June 15, 2023. Translated by Michaela Kolodziejcok, illustrated by Melanie Korte. RRP €24.
Special features: First printings have sprayed page edges, hard case illustration under the dust jacket and mapped endpapers.
Dutch Limited Edition Hardback: In Steen Gebrand
Z&K, 644p, 9789020554045. Released October 25, 2023. RRP €25.
Special features: First printings have stencilled page edges, illustrated endpapers and two maps.
→ Buy from So Many Pages
Custom Sprayed Edges
As this is a pretty popular title, many artists have created custom editions with stencilled or hand-painted page edges and these may well be cheaper than the first editions being scalped at crazy prices. The list below is not exhaustive, but represents a collection of pretty and professional options from reputable sellers across a range of prices. (If you’d like to submit another edition for consideration here, feel free to contact me!)