Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Published by: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Pub Date: September 5, 2017
Format: hardcover | Source: library
Genres: young adult, fantasy
In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.
As much as I enjoyed the first few Throne of Glass novels, they started to unravel for me in later installments so I was wary about reading Tower of Dawn. But I have to eat my words because I really really enjoyed it! I actually read 600 pages in one day haha. It reminded me of what I used to love about the series- the rich world building, piecing together the history (and mystery) of this world, meeting new characters. Sarah J Maas still writes too much in my opinion- she’s extremely wordy and uses 10 adjectives when maybe one would do- but I can’t deny that she always pulls me into the story!
I’ve always liked Chaol Westfall and despite understanding how some will view his storyline as ableist and maybe even offensive, it’s not my place to comment on that issue. I enjoyed his emotional journey but I do think it would have worked better for the story if the healing had been focused on purely the magical element of the injury. I also loved Yrene Towers- she was strong in so many ways. She was talented, and snarky, and angry, and loyal, and a really good foil for Chaol. I enjoyed getting to know her personal history and seeing her relationships with the khaganate and the other healers; it made her a richer character. I also warmed to Nesryn much more than I did in Queen of Shadows; she’s given more agency and her own adventure independent of Chaol which really helped the two of them grow the ways they were supposed to. Her chapters with Sartaq were some of my favorites.
Surprisingly I loved the romances in the book- it’s almost astonishing to see that SJM remembers how to write a slow, trust building relationship (or two), like she did in the first three books. I was really shipping both ships, hard. I can’t get around the fact that SJM writes terrible, dramatic sex scenes but there were mercifully few in this installment haha. Tower of Dawn really does remind me most of Heir of Fire thematically. And despite some info dumps, I looove learning more about the ancient world and the conflicts. There were twists that surprised me (one made my jaw drop!) and I really loved the new setting and characters.
I think it was a good change of pace to get away from Erilea and Aelin & Co. It made the story feel fresh but there were still enough plot points to tie it into the main narrative- in some ways I think it would have made sense to cut both Tower of Dawn and Empire of Storms in half and meld them together. There were quite a few convenient moments and the relationships are still too heteronormative and matchy-matchy but for these characters, it worked because the time was put in to make them REAL relationships. I really liked Tower of Dawn and I think fans of the first couple books will feel the same way. I can’t wait to see how everything wraps up in the 7th book. It’s going to be epic!
Has a series ever pulled you back in after you thought you were done? Are you looking forward to the seventh and final Throne of Glass book next year?