Review: Tower of Dawn - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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.

Series:

Throne of Glass

Book 6

Book Type:

YA/NA Fantasy

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Tower of Dawn
By Sarah J. Maas

Review: Tower of Dawn

“You looked at me without an ounce of pity. You saw me. Not the chair or the injury. You saw me. It was the first time I’d felt … seen. Felt awake, in a long time.”

Sarah J. Maas delivers all the feels with TOWER OF DAWN. Loyal readers of the series have long awaited to see how Chaol’s narrative would unwind, what path he would take following all that’s transpired. This story certainly gave us that and more.

We saw deeper story lines for other characters like Nesryn and Yrene too (more on Yrene below). Front and center, however, was Chaol’s journey of healing.

Chaol—who has always been loyal, strong—shattered right along with the glass castle. He’s been ripped apart emotionally, roiling in guilt over the blame he feels for letting his men, those he cares for, down. Now, his broken body sits in a chair, a vessel for his deeply broken spirit.

So he and Nesryn travel to Antica, in hopes the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme will heal his body. They also hope to make allies of the southern empire in the looming war.

Nesryn and Chaol meet the current khagan (Urus) and his children (one of which will be chosen to rule): Arghun, Sartaq, Hasar, Kashin and Duva. The youngest of them all, Tumelun, is at the center of a mysterious circumstance which has upset the entire family.

All these new characters, along with the healers we meet, are crucial to Nesryn and Chaol’s futures, as fates twine together in ways unforeseen.

We meet Yrene Towers, a profoundly gifted healer who is sent to work on Chaol. Their relationship begins antagonistically and Yrene challenges Chaol every step of the way. Chaol must face his emotional demons if he is to heal physically—a task that Yrene discovers is much more difficult than expected. Echoes of the dark power that struck him remain, along with the many memories Chaol wishes to forget.

“You may look at me with resentment Yrene Towers, and I will not blame you for it. But believe me when I say there is no one in Erilea who loathes me more than I do myself.”

Their fates tangle together in so many ways, and they both heal essential parts of the other. What’s really beautiful about Chaol’s journey is how intimate it felt, how he was able to dissociate physical vitality from core, emotional self-worth… meaning he learned to accept who he is now, that his disability didn’t define him. There were so many times, especially nearing the end, when I couldn’t stop crying from how certain scenes affected me, how devastated I felt as other scenes unfolded.

Nesryn’s story is a different one. She finally embarks on an adventure that takes her to some seriously scary places, confronting bone-chilling adversaries. Nesryn learns shocking truths that affect the bigger ToG story line too.

There were so many evocative moments, details, threads in this book. I truly loved it—it was so much more than I expected. I loved Yrene and so many of the new characters. Their stories added a richness and depth I didn’t know I needed and as usual, Maas took the time to explore their pasts and presents, their motivations and place in the higher story arc.

And the end… gahhh CHILLS. I can’t wait to continue on with the series and see what happens next.

There is one more thing to say, but if you’d like to avoid spoilers, please stop here (and go read the book!) I also recommend you read THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE—which is the compilation of novellas, ideally before you read this book, although it’s not necessary.

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I knew from very early on that Maas was switching love interests (from the moment Yrene walked in the room). While I don’t mind that happening in books, in fact, I think it’s more akin to real life, I worry we’ve seen it too many times, making us feel gun-shy when it comes to investing in the relationships she works to build. So while this didn’t really affect my overall rating—because honestly, I do love how things ended up—I think it’s something to watch in novels to come.

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