Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas is the 6th book in the Throne of Glass series.
TRIGGER WARNING: murder
I promise not to give any spoilers for this book in my review, but there may be spoilers for previous books in the series (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, and Empire of Storms).
A glorious empire. A desperate quest.
Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need — and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.
Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene will have to draw on every scrap of their resilience if they wish to save their friends. But while they become entangled in the political webs of the khaganate, deep in the shadows of mighty mountains where warriors soar on legendary runs, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival — or doom them all …
The Southern Continent is a brand new setting in the series. The geography, animals, religion, customs, traditions, holidays, and gods are completely different from any of the other locations thus far. More than anything else, there was a strong Central Asian vibe, with a dash of Egyptian goddess thrown in for good measure. I was fascinated by the concept of the khaganate and how it operates.
“The suite overlooked a garden of fruit tress and burbling fountains, cascades of pink and purple blossoms hanging from potted plants anchored into the balcony above. They provided living curtains before his towering bedroom windows — doors, he realized.”
Antica became one of the fictional destinations I wish I could travel to. The beautiful descriptions made me feel as if I was actually there.
My impression of Chaol changed a lot while reading this book. In the past few books, he was kind of a jerk, and I struggled with his character. This book reinstated my faith in Chaol. He shows an understanding of political maneuvering and a great sense of restraint (most of the time), and huge personal growth. He comes to terms not only with his physical injury, but emotional scars from his past.
“He could still speak with dignity and command whether he stood on his feet or was laid flat on his back. The chair was no prison, nothing that made him lesser.”
Nesryn is a more involved character, whereas in previous books she just kind of popped in here and there. Her family hails from the Southern Continent, and there’s not just a focus on her brains, but also an opportunity to see a different side of her.
Yrene is a new character, but she plays a prominent role in the story. She’s a healer with incredible talent, and despite her initial reluctance to work with Chaol, her professionalism takes over.
“… healers often did not just repair wounds, but also the trauma that went along with them. Not through magic, but … talking. Walking alongside the patient as they traveled those hard, dark paths.”
The previous book left off on a cliffhanger. I was a bit salty about discovering that this book would completely change directions and focus on other characters in a totally different continent. I had book 7 waiting as well, and considered reading it first, but I decided to hold off and continue reading in the order they were published. I’m so glad that I did, especially since important information is revealed, and it sets the tone for the final book in the series.
My favorite series all seem to have one factor in common — the way the story comes together suddenly. The plotting in this series is absolutely breathtaking. It’s as if tiny breadcrumbs are dropped in each book, so subtly that I didn’t even realize as I was reading until suddenly BAM! Everything makes sense and I’m awed at the depth and breadth of the plot. This book wasn’t exactly a shifting of gears, as I had thought, but rather gaining more information and setting up the plot for the final book in the series.
I love how this book took two side characters and allowed them to be stars in their own story. It shows more about who they are, and there’s no shortage of tension, political or otherwise. There’s action, and even some romance. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, with the connections and revelations that are made.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 17
Categories: Book Review