Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Tower of Dawn is the sixth book in the Throne of Glass series, although it was originally intended to be a novella. Chaol’s story grew until it was a fully fledged narrative itself and deserved its own proper entry into this series. The events of Tower of Dawn happen in tandem with the events of Empire of Storms, so as readers we generally know what is happening across the sea when Chaol is still in the dark.
I really enjoyed the character development in this novel and watching Chaol handle the extreme change in life circumstances. He was joined on his journey by Nesryn, who really felt like a fully formed character by the end of this novel. That being said, I enjoyed the introduction of two new characters: Yrene and Sartaq more than anything else. We met Yrene in a previous novella, so it was really nice to see what she had been up to in the years since. So many plot threads were woven into the series many years ago and are finally coming to fruition – I was incredibly impressed.
Now that the book is taking place in the Southern Continent, the author had the ability to diversify her books and landscape. Thankfully she took that notion to heart and built us a brilliant world populated with a broader range of people than we had seen previously. For anyone familiar with my love of wyverns above all else in this series, you would not be surprised to read that the Ruhkin Riders were my favourite part of this book. People who bond with these fantastic creatures for life and fly freely across the landscape? Sign me up. I absolutely will bond with the animal characters above all else.
It was fascinating to see the Khaganate of the Southern Continent, his family, read the history of the land and see how his predecessor was able to unite the warring factions into one monolithic empire. They are more technologically advanced, stable and organized than their neighbors to the North – and I really liked that aspect. The Khagan’s children were all unique and some of them felt nicely developed, although most were more one dimensional than I had hoped. The children are: Arghun is the oldest and felt underdeveloped to me, Sartaq who became a new favourite character for me, Hasar the viper of the family and is a little one dimensional in her motivations, Kashin who was sweet and loyal but predictable, Duva who was more like a ghost than a real character, and Tumelun the youngest. I am glad that we will be able to see more of Sartaq because he’s the one I cared about the most.
The plot wasn’t incredibly fast-paced or exciting, in fact, it was quite slow and plodding most of the time. This wasn’t an action novel. It was a healing novel. The author took her time to help Chaol work through both his physical and emotional injuries. The book was incredibly descriptive and that could be off-putting for some readers. This is not a book that will hold your attention through exciting, daring scenes – it is a book for character development. If you can handle that and the predictable romance, then you will enjoy this book. If you are expecting the high octane thrills and unbelievable planning skills of Empire of Storms, you may be disappointed. Either way, I cannot wait to see how this series concludes.
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