Even if you couldn’t care less about Chaol Westfall, Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas is a definite must-read for all fans of the series. Too many important things happen. Big things. Might-change-the-course-of-the-war kind of things.
Besides, even if it’s marketed as “Chaol’s book”, Tower of Dawn is not, in fact, just about Chaol.
Two sides of the story
Essentially, the story in Tower of Dawn has two routes: Nesryn’s and Chaol’s. They may have travelled to the southern continent together, for the same purpose, but their own personal journeys take them far from each other.
Chaol, confined to a wheelchair, gets stuck with the royal family and their vicious games. And politics. Because those are always fun, especially when you suck at them as much as Chaol does.
But his story is the one that takes us to the mysterious magical Torre Cesme. And Yrene Towers, whom, if you don’t remember, Celaena met on her journey to the desert. Yrene certainly has not forgotten the girl who changes her life. Which, of course, gave me a lot of feels. Figures.
Unfortunately for Yrene, Chaol’s arrival basically ruins all of her plans. And that’s when she already hates him. Then she gets caught up in a murder investigation. Or two. Worse, she is clearly the target. But why is the question, and the answer just might change the course of the upcoming war in the north.
Chaol’s story, of course, is about healing. But not just his. And not just physical.
Nesryn, on the other hand, opens up the southern empire for us. From a very vantage point. A southerner herself, she is a character who has returned home after a long and painful absence. Seeing her with her family, seeing her happy, had my heart aflutter and my tears on the verge of spilling. Finally, she is living. Finally, she is the heroine of her own story.
Then, things get even better. Because accompanying Nesryn is a prince. A very sexy, very charming prince by the name of Sartaq. On his flying ruk, he takes Nesryn on a grand adventure that changes everything. Can I just swoon for a second?
Because these two had me giddy and giggling, crying and screaming. I call that a success.
Fae lore, anyone?
If you’ve read any of my earlier Throne of Glass reviews, you probably know how much I adore the world, the magic and the fae. If you haven’t, here’s the short version: I’m an unapologetic junkie.
That’s why I wasn’t that excited for this book – Nesryn and Chaol have little to do with magic or fae. They’re as human as they come. Turns out, humans are excellent at digging out pieces of fae history and stumbling upon ancient fae ruins. Which hold secrets buried an eternity ago. For good reasons.
So if you’re worried that lack of Aelin means lack of all things exciting – rest assured. It’s all here.
Admittedly, Tower of Dawn is a lot less epic than the rest of the series. Especially after Empire of Storms and its brutal ending. The pace, too, is a lot slower, concentrating on healing, rather than fighting. Things do get a bit more wild towards the end, but for the most part, there isn’t much action. Just court games and short ventures into the wild.
And yet, it works.
Much needed: a glass of wine
I knew I would enjoy Tower of Dawn because I enjoy (understatement of the world) all books by Sarah J. Maas. (Told you, I’m addicted.) But I didn’t expect to actually love it. Because I am one of those people who really appreciates Chaol’s character arc, objectively, but doesn’t much care about him otherwise.
Tower of Dawn did not change my opinion of Chaol. I still don’t care. His chapters were the least exciting for me. But once again I marvel at how wonderfully he transforms, grows, heals. Especially when it comes to Aelin; seeing his view on their catastrophe of a relationship was a treasure.
The stars of the show, for me, were uncontestedly Nesryn and Sartaq. I love their story, I love their relationship, I love the world they showed me. (Not gonna lie, for most of their scenes, I had A Whole New World from Aladdin playing in my head.)
But also: that last chapter was so uncalled for. No amount of wine that can ease the suffering that comes from waiting for the conclusion. Even when paired with chocolate.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #6
Published by Bloomsbury on September 5th 2017
Fae, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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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.