Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn
(Throne of Glass #6)
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Hardcover, 660 pages, Bloomsbury
Genres: YA, Fantasy

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.

My Review

I’m going to preface this review with the fact that I love Chaol. He’s always been my favorite Throne of Glass character, so I was excited but apprehensive about this book. I’d heard that Tower of Dawn redeems his character, so my expectations were high. I’d even heard that if you didn’t like Chaol, you’d still love Tower of Dawn and Chaol by the end of the book.

I guess everything was just too hyped for me, though, because I didn’t love it. I was actually fairly disappointed. 

And now comes the SPOILERY part of this review because this is the sixth book in a seven-book fantasy series.

Because I love Chaol so much, and I will continue to love him despite what happens to his character, I honestly think he deserves better than the storyline that we got. The entire plotline and the new main character introduced in Tower of Dawn are just so obvious and cliché. Point 1: Yrene Towers is the most famous healer in the land (cue Maria V. Snyder’s Touch of Power vibes), and she doesn’t want to heal a certain injured, former captain. It was just too obvious what was going to happen between Yrene and Chaol at that point. Point 2: The royal family Chaol needs help from won’t be swayed to his side until something awful happens. Surprise! Something awful happens.

Also, there were aspects of the plot that I don’t fully understand the point of. Most of this has to do with Nesryn’s storyline. Nesryn went off with a certain character to find some ancient beings (that I won’t mention by name for fear of too much spoilage), but it’s not entirely clear why she went off to find them when everyone already knew they were a threat. Also, the plot was oftentimes very slow which is unusual in an SJM book. The action didn’t come until the end.

Then, there’s the fact that there was a LOT of Aelin adoration in this book. It seems like every other page was “Aelin is fearsome,” “Aelin is sooooo powerful,” “Aelin is the most beautiful, kick-butt queen in the world.” I just grew very tired of hearing how “awesome” she was, especially considering Dorian is Chaol’s king, not Aelin. Oh, and I also randomly noticed how similar some elements of this series are to Game of Thrones (i.e., the Narrow Sea and warrior horse riders).

Okay, despite my complaining, there were a few aspects of this book that I did really enjoy. I thought the Antica royal family was absolutely amazing. The way the family functions and how their lineage is decided was fascinating. I wish we could get a story just about the sons and daughters of the khagan. I also very much enjoyed the ruk riders. Very cool introduction to the series.

All in all, I didn’t love this book. It was slow-paced and predictable. However, it was a decent addition to the Throne of Glass world. I just wish it would have had more. More action. More surprises. And way more Chaol.

*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

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