REVIEW: Tower of Dawn ~ Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas’ novella-turned-novel is, unsurprisingly, exceedingly beautiful.
Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge and 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 legendary Torre Cesme for the wounds that Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help a 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 darkness from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realise it could engulf them both.
And deep in the shadows of the distant mountains, where warriors soar on mighty ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival – or doom them all.
I didn’t go into this book as excited as I have done for the ‘main’ Throne of Glass series, purely because Chaol isn’t a character I’m that bothered about. I will admit to being a bit bored towards the beginning of the novel (after the simply stunning descriptions of Antica, this new world Sarah has landed us in, of course). I didn’t care enough about Chaol or Nesryn to warrant reading a book so huge. However, as the story went on, I felt myself being pulled more and more into the tale. Although I wasn’t overly keen on Nesryn’s point of view until the final third of the book, I was keenly aware of the importance of the discoveries she was making, and I was definitely enjoying her POV by the end.
There is so much to take in in this novel – and not just from the whole new land to explore. There are dozens of new characters, new motives, and new information that is just riveting. Each time a new discovery was made my brain whirred to process it all, and to look ahead to the impact it would have on the final novel (coming out next year). Pay attention to this novel! There are so many vital pieces of information that could just as easily doom, as it could save, our favourite rag-tag crew.
Sarah J. Maas is an excellent world-builder, we knew this already. Yet bringing us into a whole new place this late in the series – and doing it so perfectly – is something to admire. And how she manages to write such breath-taking, astonishing, scenes is beyond me. I don’t understand how she can keep all this information in her head, to reveal at the absolute perfect moment. For this reason, above all others, she will remain one of my favourite authors.
I loved the introduction of new characters. There were so many different personalities going on, so many different people, yet each character was rounded with his or her own flaws and merits, their own motives and problems. I also loved getting to know Yrene more (if you haven’t read about her in The Assassin’s Blade then make sure you do so – preferably before reading Tower of Dawn!). She’s such a complex character, and her development, along with Chaol’s was simply wonderful.
I came out of this novel unbelievably happy – and with a newfound respect for Chaol. His character development has been stunning, and I am so glad of the way Sarah has written it. There were reasons to dislike him in the previous novels, however this book has shown his side of the story, and has shown him redeeming himself, forgiving himself. The length of the novel was certainly needed to make all of this feel right.
All I have left to say now is bring on the final novel! As much as I don’t want this series to end, Tower of Dawn has made me hungry for more. I need to see how everything plays out, I need to see character reunions, the passing on of newly-learnt information – I need to know Aelin is okay!
Don’t be put off if you don’t particularly like Chaol, or if you find earlier chapters a little lacking – it is beyond worth it and I urge every single one of you to pick up this book as soon as you can.
I didn’t immediately fall in love with the novel, yet I was completely head-over-heels by the end. This book was definitely needed to set things right, reveal information, and to create a more complete sense of the world of Throne of Glass.