Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas | Review

Thank-you to Bloomsbury Australia who sent me a copy to review. This in no way impacted my thoughts and all opinions remain my own

TRIGGER WARNINGS: PTSD & abuse.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 5th, 2017

Pages: 672

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


 R A M B L E

To be fair, I went into Tower of Dawn with some pretty low expectations. Sarah J Maas’ books are usually a hit or miss for me. I hated the first three books in the Throne of Glass series especially, I just really don’t like the main characters or storyline (apart from the dog). I’ve been very surprised with the three most recent books in the series though. Very surprised. I have enjoyed all of them. Tower of Dawn has to be my new favourite in the series as well.

I obviously can’t speak on the disability representation that is featured throughout this novel (but here are two reviews that do: one & two) it is said Maas used sensitivity reads and took great care with the representation, though. I can attest for the PTSD that is displayed throughout this novel. Mass has an excellent talent for being able to write characters from the worst back into recovery. It’s honestly incredible.

With a brand new cast, Maas has also included a largely diverse cast. Many POC feature in this book and are in prominent leading roles. It seems she has been listening to criticism and trying to rectify her mistakes. On top of that, everyone’s two favourite words to shit on Maas for (‘pur’ and ‘growl’) are in total only mentioned 20 times in a 600-page book. That’s not separately either, counting both words they are only featured 20 times on paper.

To point out as well, I hated Chaol before starting this book. I just didn’t like him or Dorian or Celeana from book one. Tower of Dawn changed all my opinions. I related to him on so many levels it was amazing. His character is one of strength and this story captures that in the way of showing his emotion and physical healing, as well as including important information to how the plot will move in the final Throne of Glass novel.

I highly recommend this book, especially to people who are caught up on the Throne of Glass series because this will change many of the opinions you have already formed and give you a greater insight of information.


P L O T

As I said in my ramble section of this review, this book is about healing. However, it is not just the healing of Chaol that is shown to us. The healing of a healer (what an ironic sentence) Yrene, who’s name I will never pronouce right, and Nesryn. All these characters have experienced something that has made them hate something so strongly. All these characters have experienced trauma.

The book is obviously mainly about the healing of Chaol. After the events of Queen of Shadows, he has been left confined to a wheelchair. However, he also has to go through all the mistakes he has made in his life before he is able to heal. He know’s he’s wrong and he know’s he’s been a dick. That’s honestly one of the most powerful things in the book.

It is so rare that we get characters who acknowledge their mistakes and what they have done wrong, so seeing Chaol do it was amazing. I give complete props to Maas for it. It was incredibly well done as well, in my opinion.

There is more to the plot, Nesryn is off doing her own thing and Yrene has to deal with Chaol and other struggles. There is also the threat of the war that the Vlag are waging that needs to be dealt with. So, in my opinion, this book is anything but boring.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C H A O L

As I said in previous sections of this review, I used to be on the team “I hate Chaol”. I was not excited to read this book. I was actually going to wait a bit and gauge the reactions before I decided to pick it up. However, I was sent a copy to review and I like to stay on top of my review copies so I picked it up. Boy, am I glad that I did pick it up. This book had me completely switch to the “protect Chaol Westfall” team.

I related to Chaol on many things. Decisions he had made had led to him being in the chair and he had to understand that. Decisions he had made had ended in hundreds of people dead. That is a big burden to shoulder. There are choices he made in his past, regarding his family that also impact him. It is insane how much this man has battled through to get to this point.

Again, as I said, Maas writes ‘broken’ characters exceptionally well. Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury was the first time I had ever seen struggles I faced in a character and Chaol has continued that legacy. Something that is pretty important to me, especially with how many hard days my mental health has been facing of late.

#N E S R Y N

Nesryn was a character I did not enjoy in this story. This was at no fault of her, but I just could not get into her storyline. I didn’t like her from the book she was introduced. A friend of mine said that “we’re just expected to like her. She’s introduced to be with Chaol and that’s it.” I agree. However, I did begin to like her throughout this book I did lose interest in what she was doing around Part Two of the novel.

I do find Nesryn an incredibly strong character though. She has been through so much during her life and it is never going to get easier for her, especially with this war approaching. Her only thing she truly cares about is her family and every scene that featured her family gave me goosebumps. Hey, writing about her and her family is giving me goosebumps. Those scenes were so beautifully executed I couldn’t help but shed a tear because of how important my family is to me.

#Y R E N E

Yrene is definitely a new favourite character of mine. I couldn’t remember where she was from, but the friend I mentioned previously told me she featured in a novella in The Assassin’s Blade. I believe the story is “The Assassin and The Healer” – which would obviously make sense since Yrene is a healer. Yrene wants to help the world. She wants to spread her healing, as the Assassin told her to do. She has been following the words she was given for two years and holding a strong hatred for the King and all the people of Adarlan (is that the Kingdom? I have no idea).

She is the best healer though and the only one with the skill to help Chaol. It is her skill that will help him and for her to do that she must truly overcome the trauma that lives inside her. Hearing Yrene’s story was heartbreaking. I definitely shed a couple tears.

Watching her develop throughout the novel was amazing. She was not a soft healer, she was kickass and not afraid to defend herself. She was not the stereotypical character who needs someone to fight her battles or to protect her. Yrene could do that all herself and it was amazing.


O V E R A L L

Overall, this was an amazing novel. I am so glad I picked it up when I did. The twists and turns that Maas adds to the plot are overwhelming and incredibly. I could barely keep up while I read. Tower of Dawn is an incredible book and I definitely will be rereading it before the final Throne of Glass book is released.

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8 thoughts on “Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas | Review

  1. I totally agree with you on Nesryn, she’s just quite bland. Especially having whole chapters following her. I was so tempted to skip her sections but a friend told me they were important 🙄. In my review I said I thought S J Maas would have been better off including Sartaq’s perspective because even though he’s new he’s so much more compelling than Nesryn!

    Liked by 1 person

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