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!
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?
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!