by Sarah J. Maas
Nikki’s Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Non-Spoiler Book Summary
“Tower of Dawn” the 6th book in the Throne of Glass series continues the story of Chaol and Nesryn from the 4th Book. Book 5 had no mention of Chaol and Nesryn except briefly to account for where they were during the events of Book 5. So Book 6 doesn’t progress the story further, it only tells you what Tweedledee and Tweedledum were doing on the Southern Continent while everyone else was busy in Erilea in Book 5.
Chaol Westfall, Adarlan’s Hand and the Ambassador of Terrasen, travels to The Southern Continent to help save his kingdom and possibly himself. Paralyzed from the waist down, Chaol is desperate for the renowned healers of the Torre Cesme to heal him so he can return to his friends and fight alongside them in their war against the Valg. Chaol hopes to give them all a fighting chance in winning the war by convincing the khagan and his children to lend their armies to defeating Erawan.
Yrene Towers, an orphan of Fenharrow, is one of the most skilled healers in the Torre. Having left Erilea years early, she hopes to return during Erilea’s most horrific war to help save the innocents she can. However, her last test of skill involves healing Chaol Westfall, a man who willingly served a king who slaughtered those she loved.
Helping Chaol in his mission is the beautiful Captain of the Royal Guard of Adarlan, Nesryn Fakiq. As a daughter of an Antica man, Nesryn grew up on stories of the gorgeous, diverse place her family hailed from. Here to help Chaol navigate the cut-throat politics, various customs, and different languages, Nesryn has caught the eye of one of Anica’s princes. Since the heir to the throne in Antica is determined through a fight to the death, Prince Sartaq, may have unwittingly put Nesryn’s life and important mission in danger.
My Overall Thoughts… MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Proceed with Caution, you’ve been Warned!
I rated “Tower of Dawn” by Sarah J. Maas as 4 out of 5 stars. Not going to lie, I was not expecting to enjoy this novel very much. I really love the Throne of Glass series and Maas is definitely one of my favorite authors, but Chaol is just not a favorite character mine. I’m happy to say that the book surpassed my expectations of enjoyment and ended up being a worthwhile read especially in terms of continuing the story and plot-line for the series.
Chaol I have found to be rather annoying throughout the whole Throne of Glass series. Not saying that he is a bad character or not needed for the story, just not a likable character even though he is a “good-guy”. It reminds me of that one Harry Potter book where Harry is all, “I hate everyone! Being Harry Potter is ssoooooo hard. No one understands me! My life sucks!” angsty teenager crybaby shit. (My friend Kim would totally be yelling the Harry Potter book number and title right now! I could never keep them straight, always ended up being just one big, long magical story in my head no matter how many times I read them). So yeah, Chaol I see as a judgmental prick, who points his finger at everyone else when things in his life are going wrong, and takes no personal responsibility for his actions and behavior. However, “Tower of Dawn” helped me have more respect and sympathy, but not empathy, for Chaol. While I am by no means a fan of Chaol, I can kinda see where he is coming from. My feelings toward him are like the way I feel about an ex who I don’t hate or have strong feelings for, I’m just done, over it, and I wish them well but I don’t really care what happens to them. Indifferent, I hope things work out for them, I don’t wish bad things for them but it makes no difference to me.
I cannot claim that I like Nesryn very much either. Sure, she is an independent, strong, physically and mentally, intelligent, beautiful woman and kick-ass soldier but she feels like a contradiction. She is a caring, tough, and go-getter Captain of the Guard and yet allows a man to disrespect her not once but twice without ever calling him out on it. She also shows pity towards the same man since he is paralyzed now instead of showing him some tough love which I feel would be more in tune with her character. Just like Chaol, “Tower of Dawn” gave me more background and insight into Nesryn’s character but again, not a huge fan.
Who I do really like in “Tower of Dawn” is Yrene Towers. Her strength, no bullshit attitude and ambitiousness is very refreshing. I appreciated that her character had spunk and demanded respect from those around her regardless of who they were. I loved it when Yrene would call out Chaol on his BS; they are well suited for each other and I’m happy that they married at the end.
Overall, the book was hard for me to get into since I didn’t like 2 of the main characters and the book is mostly from their perspectives. I was also under the impression that this book would be a waste of time since it did not progress the story past the point where book 5 ended. Thankfully I was wrong. A shocking plot twist is revealed in this book. When I learned the truth about Mauve I was like, “Oh no! Oh my god no! This is bad!!! How did no one know?!!! Oh my god Ailen! Fuck how are they going to win this war?!” Then falling into despair that it is hopeless, that no one can fight all these threats, the world of Throne of Glass is coming to an end, they’re all gonna die. *Sob*
And then Maas does another twist and reveals the villain in the current situation! Seriously, did not consider the pregnant woman, good choice Valg princess, very sneaky!
All in all, the book was enjoyable but I definitely did not devour it whole. Regardless, “Tower of Dawn” did renew my impatience for the Throne of Glass series to continue! I’m dying to know what happens to them all, so paranoid and afraid that someone I like is gonna be killed!
Few things that I would like to mention that I thought were absolutely awesome for Maas to include in “Tower of Dawn”. First off, wonderful informative message that is a proven technique that can save someone’s life: “Look like you’d put up a fight—be more trouble than you’re worth” and “She cleared her throat, readying to scream. Not rape, not theft—not something that cowards would rather hide from. Yell fire… A threat to all. If you are attacked, yell about a fire.”
The second great message was not assuming that a group of people are all the same. The tragedy of 9/11 happened but the bigger tragedy was the innocents being attacked and hated because of the belief that all Muslims are Terrorists. It’s similar to the false thinking of believing that during WWII, all Germans were Nazis and therefore all should be treated as horrible, murderous monsters. Not so and very far from the truth. In every group, sub-group, sub-sub-group, etc., every single one has exceptions and most of the time, stereotypes of groups are created by the behavior/beliefs of the eccentrics of that group, not the majority of the members.
Last but not least, Maas having Chaol realize that being injured, being paralyzed, was not a reflection of something he deserved as punishment and also didn’t make him less than a man. “I am as much of a man in that chair, or with that cane, as I am standing on my feet.” May this message be shared with anyone who has ever felt less than for simply being different in any way.