Friday, September 22, 2017

Audiobook Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Published: September 5, 2017 by Bloomsbury Children's Books

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

I was not planning on reading this right now but I needed a new audiobook and after hearing that it was more complex that originally thought I decided to jump it up the TBR. And I'm so glad that I did. Because seriously, this book was amazing. For one thing, this is more than just a quick Chaol one shot to explain where he has been. This is a complex and elaborate book in the Throne of Glass series. We seriously learn so much about the world and the characters in Tower of Dawn. I want to make one thing clear, if you like the Throne of Glass series and were planning on skipping this one, DON'T. It is essentially reading for the series.

The reason I say this most is the way that Sarah expands the world in this book. First we get to explore the Southern Continent, which is one more land mass in the world that we have yet to see until now. It reminded me a lot of the Western portion of Erilea. There are mountains, desserts, and seas and we got to see all of that. Sarah explains it in immersive details so that you can see each new location and feel like you're there. We also learned a lot more about the people of the Southern Continent. A lot of the book is spent with the khaganate, which is the rulers of the Continent. And oh do they have an interesting succession plan. The khagan always has many children and then when they are about to die they decide which of their children the most worthy of the throne. Needless to say it makes for a lot of scheming and infighting which was totally fascinating to me. In general it was just really interesting to explore a new culture in this book.

But when I say Sarah expands the world in this book I don't just mean physically. I also mean the magically world and the history and mythology that was established in the rest of this series. Tower of Dawn drops some serious knowledge bombs on us about important characters and concepts that have a huge bearing on the final conclusion of this series. So many of them caught me completely off guard and were absolutely fascinating. This is my favorite thing about this series. It'a so elaborate and intricate. I was not expecting to learn much in this book but I did. Oh boy, did I. When the book was over my mind was racing and going a million miles a minute trying to figure what it all means and how it will impact the end game. It was fantastic.

The thing that I don't think was entirely fantastic however was the plot development. Now don't get me wrong, it was engaging and kept me reading from beginning to end, but it wasn't totally what I expect from Sarah. It kind of lacked some cohesion. Or maybe I was missing what the overall arc of this book was. There were a lot of reasons for Chaol and Nesryn to go to Antica and the book really explored all of them, and resolved them, which was nice. But in general it sort of just felt like a way to get the characters somewhere to reveal major information. And that the original reason wasn't the actual reason for the book. I mean this is a 600 page book that was supposed to be a novella. How? In what world could this have been a novella. I mean maybe as Sarah started writing the book just got away from here and it became this, which is fine, but that worries me for the final book in the series. But in general, I just think the world overshadowed the plot. And despite loving the world I needed more from the plot here.

As for the characters, I did really like them. The focus of this book is on Chaol and Nesryn. I've always had a bit of a frustrated enjoyment of Chaol. I think hems a really interesting character in that he is allowed to be incredibly flawed and still heroic. And in this book is goes through a really great journey of self-discovery as he deals with his back being broken. I really liked the way Sarah handled this. It felt very real. I can't speak to the handicapped rep but I have seen some reviews from people who strongly identify with it. But to me, Chaol is all about being a brash self-sacrificing noble idiot. And that Chaol comes out in full force in this book. There were so many moments where I was like "Chaol you giant jerk, why did you say that?" But I still love him because he does acknowledge those screw ups. He's not perfect but he's learning. Nesryn I have less to say about. I never fully connected with Nesryn, either in previous books or this book. She is a great strong female protagonist in that she's complex like all of Sarah's other characters but I just think there are so many more interesting characters in this series.

Speaking of interesting characters, Yrene Towers. As expected the heart from The Assassin and the Healer came back in a big way in this book. And I absolutely loved Yrene. I loved seeing her healing magic at work, I loved seeing her interact with the other characters, I love how fierce and strong she has become, and I like that she is still so caring and kind. Her and Chaol had some really amazing interactions. I think Celaena/Aelin would be so proud of the way that she is able to put Chaol in his place. I can't believe she did it again but Sarah made me ship something different. Not that I ever full committed to Chaol and Nesryn but I wanted him to move on from Aelin. And I was really glad to see him find his equal in Yrene. I didn't think I would but by the end of this book I was shipping those two so hard. And yes, there are some decisions the two of them make that I don't fully agree with but I definitely ship it.

All in all, Tower of Dawn was a really good read. I was expecting an interesting diversion to keep me connected to the Throne of Glass world but I found an elaborate new read with tons of key information for the series and good character development.

I give Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a Throne of Glass fan you should definitely pick this one up. It has some really vital information for the series and you will definitely need to read it before the final book. But don't think it won't have you desperately needing that last book in the series because I want it even more now.

Have you read Tower of Dawn? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a little behind on this series. The next one I need to read is Queen of Shadows but I just can't seem to get around to it. I'm glad you loved this book! :D