Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J Maas
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Disclaimer: possible spoilers from previous books in the Throne of Glass series and Tower of Dawn. Proceed with caution.
When Sarah J Maas revealed that she was going to be writing an entire book about Chaol and that we’d have to wait another year for the final Throne of Glass installment, many were unhappy. I didn’t realize this until recently, but Chaol is a very controversial character apparently. There’s a large population of the community that dislikes Chaol, but I really hope that this book changed their minds.
Tower of Dawn is a parallel novel to the last Throne of Glass book, Empire of Storms. Many noticed that Chaol sort of fell off the face of the earth and wondered where he had gone. Well, this book follows him and Nesryn and tells that story.
Chaol is chair-bound, unable to walk due to the events that occurred at the glass castle. Now he travels to Antica for two reasons: to convince the nobles to join their cause and fight, and to find someone to heal him. They send him one of their best healers, Yrene, but unfortunately she holds a grudge toward Ardalan and hence, toward Chaol.
This book was boring. I hate to say that of a Maas novel, but it’s true. This 600+ page book could have been easily condensed and it still would have been enjoyable. It’s a fine story: one of redemption and love, and the end was very heartwarming, if not a little predictable.
Chaol and Nesryn’s relationship never really made sense to me, and I don’t really understand why they kept acting like they were together or why others treated them as such. They never showed any affection and while they both seemed to care for each other, it was obviously not romantic.
In fact, I think Maas should have just left Nesryn out of this book. I did not like her. I didn’t like the little side-quest she went on and I just didn’t care about anything she did. The only good that came from her POV in the story was some new interesting information that came to light concerning the Valg kings and Queen Maeve.
I enjoyed reading about Chaol’s journey to recovery and seeing his relationship with Yrene develop. I also thought it was good to see Chaol unload some of his emotional baggage too, and now I enjoy his character all the more. Chaol has always been a great character, and while I thought he was sometimes irritating, I liked having him around. Now he’s got a new lady-thing and it’s made him a lot nicer. Good job, Yrene.
One of the things I appreciate about Chaol is that he had so much admiration for Yrene. His love for her wasn’t born from mere attraction, or because she was healing him. He saw how strong and powerful she was, and it didn’t freak him out like it did with Aelin.
I thought this book was fine. Would I have preferred to read the last Throne of Glass book instead? Yes. But this was fine, too. It’s definitely not my favorite Maas book, but I’ll get over it. I do think this would have done better as a short novella rather than this ginormous book.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I’d love to hear what others thought of this book, and what you think of Chaol Westfall.