I know this one’s been around for a while now, but I always tend to read Throne of Glass books around Christmas time, so it’s finally time to recap!
Although this review will be spoiler-free, of course as it’s the sixth book in the series so there will be unavoidable spoilers for the previous books.
All Those Informational Bits:
Title: Tower of Dawn
Series: Throne of Glass (#6)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: 05/09/17
No. of Pages: 672
So…What’s it About?
This installment in the Throne of Glass series follows former Captain of the Guard-turned-Hand of the King, Chaol Westfall, and current Captain of the Guard Nesryn Faliq as they travel to the Southern Continent in search of allies in the war against Erawan. During the negotiations, Chaol also searches for help from the Torre Cesme, the home of the world’s most renowned healers, in hopes that they might be able to heal his shattered spine. However, securing an alliance and learning to walk again might not be as easy as they first thought. With time ticking to save their friends, Chaol and Nesryn will have to give it their all to weave their way through the danger they face on all sides.
Penny for my Thoughts?
Firstly, no, I’m not really a fan of the cover (was totally looking forward to seeing Chaol in a dress on the back), but it’s not the worst cover in the world, and it’s definitely grown on me over time.
To be honest though, the reason that I was slightly more hesitant going into this one was that it started off as a novella and ended up being over 650 pages long. Whilst I did enjoy Empire of Storms and A Court of Wings and Ruin, I found the pacing of both of them to be slightly off and they took me a while to finish, so this alteration in length set alarm bells ringing.
Having said that, my worries were completely erased as soon as I eased into the story following everyone’s favourite ex-Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall (okay, I might be a bit biased, but still). In the previous few books I’d felt a bit distanced from Chaol (as well as Dorian, but that’s a discussion for another time), but this novel gives us to get reacquainted with him as well as learning more about Nesryn and discovering a brand new city and a set of interesting characters.
The city of Antica was a nice and refreshing setting to what we’re used to seeing in Adarlan and Terrasen, and the way in which the Kaghan, its ruler, chooses his heir is a different aspect that has a pronounced effect on the relationships between a lot of the secondary characters, and by extension, our main protagonists. As well as keeping up with Chaol and Nesryn, we are introduced to a new protagonist, Yrene Towers, who is tasked with seeing to Chaol’s recovery.
I found Yrene to be really likeable; she’s not afraid to give Chaol a piece of her mind and stand up for herself, but in a manner that’s very different to the way Aelin goes about it. Her backstory is pretty interesting but tragic, and honestly, I need to take my hat off to her for all she’s pushed through without letting go of her morality. Also, I had a niggling impression that I recognised the name – now I know why!
Chaol’s story in this novel is definitely based more on his healing process, not just physically but mentally, after recent events. Every step, no matter how small, had me cheering and smiling silently to myself (which, admittedly, might’ve gotten me some strange looks from various family members, but I really don’t care). It was a engaging and heartbreaking journey into rediscovering this character that I care so much about.
Finally, we got to learn more about Nesryn as she visits her family in Antica and goes on an unexpected adventure. It was nice seeing ho her skills developed even more and getting to know what she’s like outside of her duties as Captain of the Guard. I would still like to know more, but there a quite a few things set up here that I hope are developed further, so here’s to hoping!
The one criticism that I’ve seen pop up a few times is that as this plot runs parallel to that of Empire of Storms, the story was less exciting as you already know what happens in terms of Aelin and co. However, I personally didn’t find this to be an issue, and even thought that it added to the tension whenever someone brought their quest up, but that’s just me.
The only problem that I really had with this novel was some of the… interesting descriptions used during some more intimate scenes, but that’s not really too much of a problem.
I do actually like the way that relationships (both romantic and not) are dealt with in this one though. It shows that sometimes things just don’t work out, and that even those with tenuous bonds can come together if the need is great enough.
Sarah J. Maas hits her stride once again with this brilliant story that welcomes back an old favourite character and brings in a variety of new ones to love (and hate).