Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas: Review of a book I did not plan to read but a promise is a promise!

Synopsis

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.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.

 

Review

4,5 “I did not want to read it” stars

 

Confession: I HATE side stories in a series! You know the series is not finished yet and the author publishes a book about either the hero’s childhood or a side character or ….

This is one of my pet peeves as I just want to focus on the main characters and the current story. I want to know what will happen, how it will end. Not being sidetracked by either the hero’s past either another character’s tribulations.

 

When Tower of Dawn was published I bought it and …let it wait on my shelf. For months! One year I think.

I had no interest in reading Chaol’s story especially as Chaol left me angry and resentful. I did not like how he reacted many times in the series so reading a book about him…

 

Yet last Wednesday I was in a book funk and asked my friends which book to read next among 5 or 6 books, Tower of Dawn included as Kindgom of Ash will be published next month.

Tower of Dawn won!

 

So I very reluctantly opened the book thinking with my mood it would be a disaster and ….was sucked right in the story. I did not want to stop!

Sarah J Maas once again enthralled me with her writing, perfect blend of action, depiction, plot twists, epic moves, fantastic beasts and fascinating new characters!

Typical Sarah she changed the love interest ….once more! I can’t tell how many times she did it in her series and I believe her every single time! WOW!

“Paths change. You know that as much as anyone.”

 

I don’t want to give much about the plot here so let’s get straight to the jugular: what I liked!

 

I liked the new characters!

Yrene Towers has now become one of my favorite female characters of the series right alongside Aelin and Manon!

Yrene has literally crossed mountains alone to fulfill her dream: become a trained healer.

I loved reading about her dramatic past, her years in the tower, her self defense lessons, her…

She is a very determined heroine yet warm and sweet to her chore.

She has fear but chooses to face them and that’s real courage.

“I once lived in fear of other people. I let other people walk all over me because I was too afraid of the consequences for refusing. I did not know how to refuse.

The day I reached these shores, I cast aside that girl. And I will be damned if I let her reemerge. Or let someone tell me what to do with my life, my choices again.”

 

She held her ground when faced with grouchy Chaol and the man had to work!

Yesssss!

 

Plenty of side characters make the story gripping like Sartaq the prince commander of the ruk riders, the rukhin. The rukhin is the northern aerial cavalry and ruks are enormous birds, eagle-like in shape and large enough to carry of cattle and horse.

Speaking of ruks I loved Kadara! After Abraxos, Manon’s Wyvern Kadara is my favorite “pet” in this series. I would love riding her and fly in the clouds!

 

I liked the main stories

You have a first main plot with Chaol’s healing and follow the countless healing sessions with Yrene. Told like that I reckon it seems boring as hell but it was everything but!

It was an opportunity to delve in Chaol’s past, in Yrene’s past and to look after the Valg’s magic and how to eradicate their action on Chaol.

The second main plot was initially raising an army and having the Khagan to throw his army into the battle but it was soon diverted to a Valg’s chase as it seems the enemy has infiltrated Antica. Who is he? And more this land seems to hold old secrets about the Valg’s invasion and maybe how to beat them.

Told from Chaol, Nesryn and Yrene’s POV the plots and subplots unfold, intertwined.

 

I liked the epic scenes!

You will have a battle with giant spiders and ruqs, deadly traps in old towers, surprise assault by nightmarish creatures. You will fly high above the continent on a ruq’s wings and plunge to catch a prey. True to SJM’s fashion you hold your breath while reading these heroic scenes!

 

I liked the character’s growth and even the unexpected paths they chose to follow.

As I mentioned already, I did not like Chaol in the other books. In the first two books yes after, not so much. He was bitter, resentful and …. This story reconciled me with the character. With great difficulties as many times I wanted to slap him. Each time his guilt resurfaced he did something to hurt someone and was behaving like a jerk. Then was even more guilty!

It took someone special to force him to confront his demons and choose that yes he made mistakes but no he was not horrible. Yes he could accomplish great things. He just had to believe it!

He will also find who he is. Not the captain of the guards, not Lord Westfall, not …just Chaol, the man.

 

Nesryn will also find her true calling.

“So Nesryn smiled back. And below and behind them, long into the night, the Dagul Fells burned.”

And Yrene was just …fantastic!

 

And of course, that ending! One more twist as Sarah would never write what you would expect!

 

Now I will answer the question that plagued me before beginning this book: Is it essential/mandatory to read Tower of Dawn in order to resume reading this series and read Kingdom of Ash?

Honestly no!

Yes you learn new interesting facts about the Valgs. Yes you are introduced to new characters who will probably play a key role in the series.

But I think with some sentences here and there in the next book Sarah J Maas could perfectly allow her fans to read Kingdom of Ash without having read Tower of Dawn.

Do I regret reading it then?

Obviously not because I loved it!

 

Now check out this alternate cover by “Lala, but exhausted”! I find it incredible!!!

 

Have you read it? What did you think of it? Or do you plan to now?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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16 Replies to “Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas: Review of a book I did not plan to read but a promise is a promise!”

  1. Great review. I loved Tower if Dawn. I think there is so much here that you wouldn’t want to skip it before Kingdom of Ash.

  2. Wonderful review Sophie! This has me excited to read this now! I was worried I may not enjoy it since it is a side story, but I am looking forward to it now! <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are so welcome Adrienne and Fingers crossed 😉

  3. Thanks for sharing your review! Many of my favorite books started out as a reluctant read. ❤️ You think I would learn.
    Sometimes I want to write the synopsis for books. I read one and think it sounds awesome. Give me the book! Then I start reading and huh…

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha yes blurbs can be misleadings Dani.

  4. I skipped reading everything because i haven’t gotten this far but i’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. I loved LaLa’s cover more than the original one.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      yes me too Raven! I think she is very gifted 😉

  5. Okay, stopped half way through (at the point of the review), not because it was bad but because I felt the SAME way as you did before picking it up. I preordered it and then haven’t touched it…haha, SO. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I now can’t wait to read it again (although it isn’t with me so I’ll have to get it from the library hahah).

    I’m thankful that that is your experience because I’ve been putting it off for all the same reasons!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yay! If I could convince you I am so happy Leetha Rose!!!

  6. I’ve finished Assassin’s Blade recently. I wish I read it before Empire of Storms. So I better read Tower of Dawn as well. Amazing review! I found Yrene in AB a little boring. It was my least favourite storyline in the collection. Glad to hear, there’s more to her. I’m curious if Chaol can win my heart back. lol Haven’t seen this alternate cover before. I love it even more than the original one with the shield, or whatever it is.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I haven’t read Assassin’s Blade so could not compare the Yrene from there and from TOD but I swear she is very interesting here!

  7. Love this! I’m starting book 4 this week and I was in 2 minds whether to read ToD but you have convinced Me!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yay! You won’t regret it I promise!

  8. I hear you! Most my 5-star reviews have been books I didn’t intent to read! I’ve been lucky with any Sarah J Maas’ book yet but I know I will one day because I have only hear wonders about her writing! Great Review! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Daniela!

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