📑Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
“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.” - Goodreads
I'm not sure when I stopped being excited about SJM's books, but at some point between book 3 of Throne of Glass and A Court of Mist and Fury I went from
I enjoyed Tower of Dawn, it was a solidly average book for me. It was nice/interesting to see the Southern Continent and its more diverse people, the introduction to a new blend of cultures and their relatively peaceful kingdom was refreshing after Terrasen and all the war and bleakness. I think my continuous mental association/linking of Antica to Essos from A Song of Ice and Fire has made me realize how much fantasy I read (basically all desert-like environments will contain a people that are fantastic with horses), but that's not a bad thing.
There were a few interesting (in terms of the overall plot/arc of the series) revelations as well as a few fun new characters (Hafiza, the Healer on High = my fave).
But otherwise, the whole book felt like a filler, and way too long considering the events that did occur. It was borderline unnecessary, like 600 pages used simply to set Chaol up with a new love interest and provide him and Nesryn with some information that could change the outcome of the inevitable war. Nothing overly dramatic or jarring or specifically exciting happens. There's a limited amount of action, a lot of exposition, some beautiful scenery, one or two moments of true/deep/meaningful feeling (Chaol's healing process has got to be emotional as well as physical, or how else will he connect with Yrene?!)
Sorry, it's hard for me to contain my annoyance with certain borderline deus ex machina things that seem to occur, especially in terms of relationships. But oh my God does SJM get repetitive sometimes. And I'm not just talking about the re-usage of phrases/plot-points/plot-twists, I mean in general.
Did I love Tower of Dawn? No. Am I gonna keep reading the series? Yes, but mostly because I've invested so much damn time and energy in this story line that it seems a shame to just abandon it now. That's not completely fair, I do enjoy SJM's writing too; when she engages you, she completely engages you. It's just that so many unnecessary and questionable things have occurred since the incomparable Crown of Midnight and now that have kind of reduced the impact, the draw of the series. Fingers crossed for the last book though?
If anyone has read Tower of Dawn or any of the Throne of Glass series, let us know what you think in the comments below! Comments also open to further book/movie/show recommendations, anything you’d like to see reviewed, or general feedback. We’d love to hear what you have to say!