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.
Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J Maas
Rating: 5 stars
When it comes to series I usually only review the first book because I prefer avoiding spoilers. I wouldn’t want a new reader to stumble upon my review and have the series spoiled for them. But I can’t help want to review Tower of Dawn, it was so good and I just need to fangirl about it for a bit. While I’ll try and avoid major spoilers I can’t guarantee that there won’t be any spoilers. So if you don’t want to be spoiled you should probably stop reading this post and go and read Tower of Dawn. It will be so worth it and when you’re done, come back and we can freak out together.
Tower of Dawn takes place at the same time as Empire of Storms. So while Aelin and the squad are trying to pull alliances together in order build an army, our favourite ex-Captain, Nesryn by his side, is off to Antica in hopes that the healers of the Torre Cesme can help him gain use of his legs again, and to convince the Khaganate to aid them in the war.
We soon realise that the healer that is assigned to him is none other than Yrene Towers, the young woman Celaena helped escape from an attack in Melisande. In order for Chaol to heal he must face and come to terms with what transpired when the glass castle (and his back) was shattered. Yrene too must face the ghosts of her own past in other to help Chaol rid the shadow-like parasite that has made it’s home in his spine.
I quite enjoyed the friendship that developed between Chaol and Yrene. Of course, true to Chaol’s character, intially he was Captain Moody Pants intensified, but this time he had legit reasons to be so. Throughout Tower of Dawn we witness Chaol’s remorse for what has happened since Crown of Midnight. He realises that he was blind to the King’s corruption and if he’d trusted Celaena/Aelin he could have helped avoid certain things from happening. As Yrene helps him through this process they begin to uncover new things about the Valg, information that may just be crucial in the wars against Erawan and Maeve.
On the other hand, the relationship between Nesryn and Chaol has become rather strained since Chaol has lost the ability to walk. Nesryn will do anything to help Chaol walk again and to see him happy but she seeks adventure. Nesryn can’t handle being idle. Yes, she came to Antica to help Chaol but she is also the new Captain of King Dorian’s Guard and cannot leave Antica without the Khagan’s army’s aid. She soon develops a kinship with Shartaq, one of the Khagan’s sons, who commands the aerial fleet. As her friendship with Shartaq develops Nesryn reconnects with her roots and rediscovers her own role within the aftermath of Queen of Shadows. I particularly enjoyed her character development. I’m glad that Nesryn has found her place as something other than merely Chaol’s lover, now I have a legit reason to like her because she proved just how bad ass she is with or without Chaol by her side. By the end of Tower of Dawn both Nesryn and Shartaq cemented themselves as two of my favourite characters within this series, and that is saying a lot. Y’all know how obsessed I a am with Aedion and Lysandra.
The world building was phenomenal. The landscape, culture and the Khaganate reminded me a lot of the Ottoman Empire. Everything about it was rich and beautiful but also had this harshness to it. I wish we could see more of Antica.
I know many readers were quite skeptical about Tower of Dawn but I honestly feel like we weren’t cheated out of the sixth book. This installment has proved to be an extremely vital part of the overall story. There is so much that Chaol and Nesryn respectively uncover that will be vital within the war, information that could mean the war for them. I commend Sarah J Maas for the attention to detail. She truly has a way with weaving intricate plots together. Tower of Dawn is definitely not an installment that can be skipped over. I personally cannot wait to see how everything will piece together in the final book.
I guess all we can do now is reread the entire series while we wait. Let me know if you guys are keen on me reviewing each Throne of Glass novel as I reread them.