Tower of Dawn – Sarah J Maas
Release date: 5 September 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★ – 9/10
Book Depository link
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) blurb:
Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need — and will honour it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realise they could engulf them both.
In this sweeping parallel novel to the New York Times bestselling Empire of Storms, Chaol, Nesryn and Yrene will have to draw on every scrap of their resilience if they wish to save their friends. But while they become entangled in the political webs of the khaganate, deep in the shadows of mighty mountains where warriors soar on legendary ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival — or doom them all…
OMG. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the quality of books that I have managed to read this year absolutely blows my mind. This book is the release date twin to Godsgrave, and despite receiving the ARC of it, I had always said that I expected Godsgrave to be better because ToD was about Chaol and there would be no Rowaelin, so it would probably not be that good. I would be eating my hat right now if I had have bet on this. (Not that it’s as good as Godsgrave, because I don’t think it is, but that I would be rating it 9/10 stars…)
So, in this book we pick up after the events of Queen of Shadows as Chaol and Nesryn are sailing off to the southern continent to find an army and heal Chaol’s broken spine. At this point we basically pretend that the souls-crushing events of Empire of Storms never happened… which is totally fine by me!
This book’s plot, while a little predictable (don’t get me wrong, they were possibly more ‘hopes’ than ‘predictions’) was intriguing and, as per usual, so well thought out. Also, with all the things that were revealed in this book, I absolutely cannot wait to for the entire gang to meet up and share information. The things the readers know that they don’t is blowing my mind right now!!
The characters, as per all of Maas’ books, just astound me with their depth. I just didn’t like Chaol in the first few books, then I loved hating him in Queen of Shadows and in the first half of this one, but then, you know, he just goes and bloody redeems himself somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not out there waving flags for him, but he’s ok. His character development in this is great, and you really get to see what all the self-loathing for the last four books has been about. It makes the reader more sympathetic towards him.
Nesryn, I wasn’t really a fan of either — she always came across as stuck up and aloof (please keep in mind that this never seemed to bother me with Celaena). I still didn’t love her at the end of this, but again, I definitely had a new appreciation towards her.
In terms of new characters, let’s start with Sartaq, the second son of the Great Khagan. Holy moly. Now THIS is a prince I can get on board with (after Rowan obviously). He has a giant bird that he flies on. It could be that I love Kadara more, and therefore Sartaq by default, but he was pretty damn cool throughout the entire book. I like that he did things his own way and stuck to his convictions, screw the consequences. That he did this while still being a team player and having the welfare of the Rukhin at the forefront of his thoughts only shows what a telling hero he is. The fact that he has also been adopted by them and his close relationship with his hearth-mother and her granddaughter speaks volumes for his character. Basically he’s now one of my faves!
Princess Hasar, the first daughter of the Great Khagar. Hasar I found a really intriguing character. She reminds me of maybe what Aelin would have been had she been brought up normally and nothing had ever happened to her parents or the Court of Terrasen. She is entitled, selfish and manipulative — always demanding things her own way, yet she has that softer side she reserves for her lover that is rarely shown. I’m looking forward to reading more about her…
Yrene Towers. Now here is a character that I can absolutely get behind from the start. Funnily enough, she’s not new to the series in this book like the others are. If you can’t remember her, keep reading because it soon becomes very obvious who she is and how she got where she did. I cannot wait to go back and reread all the books again, because there is not a single sideline character that has not somehow ended up having a pivotal role in this series. It seems to be the magic in the series. Meet someone four books ago that just has a weird minor role in a few chapters? BAM! They become a main character later! There are few writers who do this well, but Maas definitely has this down-pat. I love Yrene. Her optimism, sweetness and strength is what really makes her likeable. Don’t get me wrong, she is not a Mary-Sue (I’ll explain what this is in a footnote if you don’t know what a Mary-Sue is) she definitely has her bad points, but I really liked her.
Basically, all this book made me do is look forward to the next one even more. Bring on 2018 books!! (But not the year yet, because I want to enjoy my holidays in Nov/Dec!)
NOTE: I haven’t taken a proper picture of this one yet, so you all get to enjoy my mash up of the TWO book boxes that I received this book in, plus some other Throne of Glass merchandise that I already owned. For reference: I got the paperback with The YA Chronicles, and I got the hard cover with Fanciful Box.
** Mary Sue: While originally a term used to describe all-round AMAZING characters in fanfiction (they can do anything they set their mind to, and they have basically no faults), this term has been adopted into nearly every part of entertainment. For example, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, many people described Rey as a Mary-Sue (because she had no training, but could out-Jedi Ben Solo).