Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) - Sarah J Maas

This review contains spoilers.

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) - Sarah J Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) 
Author: Sarah J Maas
Released:  September 5th 2017
Rating: ★★★1/2

Add on Goodreads
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


I was excited to read Tower of Dawn, as Chaol had always been one of my favourite Throne of Glass characters. I started to like the book series less after Aelin left Adarlan in book 4, so I haven't read Empire of Storms (yet). Perhaps a bit dumb, as this book runs parallel to it, but I didn't feel as if I was missing a lot. Same went for the fact that I read the last ToG before that a very long time ago - the basic plot lines were enough to understand this book. A good thing as I hate books that expect you to remember all details from a previous book published two years ago... 

But now onto a review of Tower of Dawn!


This book is definitely a slow burner. It's a whopping 664 pages long, of which the first half is mostly a long introduction to the new country and characters. If I think about it, not a lot happens even in the second half. Only towards the very end when several plot twists pop up, some action occurs. I was never bored, but I think (based on Goodreads reviews) many will agree that it would have been better some few hundred pages fewer. It really is a book based on characters and world-building, which is not a bad thing, but you must like the lack of adventure. As someone on Goodreads summarised, it's a story of healing and hope, which is a nice change. The rest of the Throne of Glass series is more action-packed to my knowledge.

World Building

As always, Sarah J Maas has been able to create a vibrant storyworld. I get a kind of 'Game of Thrones' vibe: siblings fighting over the throne, tribes with long haired warriors who ride in the desert, demon invaders. I read Maas got her inspiration from Genghis Khan, although I know too little of his history to confirm this. I like the different settings in book, namely the palace, Torre and warrior-homes, although the latter remained a bit vague to me (what exactly is a Ruk? what is a hearth-mother? how do all these tribes function?).


One characteristic of Sarah J Maas books: so. many. characters. I always love how she can give even the smallest characters a distinct personality, but I get so confused by the (often strange) fantasy names. Maas must really add a character list at the end of the book.

The book has separate POV's of Chaol, Nesryn and Yrene. At first, I didn't understand why Yrene had her own POV and found it a bit annoying, but she grew on me. The name of the POV is not mentioned at the beginning of chapters, which in some books can be confusing, but here it is very clear who was talking.

I like Chaol's character development. His darkness from the earlier books is explained and lessens throughout the book - I'm glad he's happy again at the end. He deserves that.
SPOILER. I do wish Maas had treated his handicap a bit differently. Chaol never really accepts his condition and is healed quite quickly - I found this somewhat easy. Then, at the end, when he is wounded again, I thought: 'Oh, now he gets to finally accept his handicap', but he fights it, then he gets healed again (How Yrene healed him exactly is still a mystery to me - that special type of magic was never mentioned before, a bit convenient). After that he is handicapped part of the time, but he suddenly seems to be okay with that. Not a very convincing character development TBH.

I didn't really have a lot of feelings for Nesryn at the beginning of the book, and still not that many at the end. Same goes for Yrene (yes, I should probably have read the Assassin and the Healer before this, but ain't nobody got time for that). They both seem like lovely, strong women, but I just didn't really feel a connection to them. 
This while some of the minor characters I would have loved to hear more about, such as Kashin (what are his feelings for Yrene?) or Borte (why did she choose to marry that person whose name I forgot?).

SPOILER. That Chaol and Yrene, and Nesryn and Sartaq would become a couple was very obvious from the beginning. I wish Maas had made the connection or struggle between Chaol and Nesryn a little stronger. Now they were already grown apart from the start, making their breakup inevitable.


There are several plot twists at the end, some of which were shocking, others I had seen coming from a mile away. 
SPOILER. For example, the twist that Aelin was Yrene's helper was obvious to me from the start, it couldn't have been anyone else. The twist that Duva was the Valg demon was not obvious, but I found it a bit easy as we didn't see her that much during the book.
Let's just say I wasn't as flabbergasted at the end as with some of the Throne of Glass books (nr. 3 :O) and the happy-peppy romance level was very high.

The last chapter about Fireheart was confusing, as I didn't know who that was about. Probably something I missed from not reading Empire of Storms...

I would definitely recommend reading this book if you liked the rest of the Throne of Glass series. 

I give the book 3,5 stars. 

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