Title: Tower of Dawn
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 5th, 2017 (Bloomsbury USA)
Synopsis: 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.
In this sweeping parallel novel to the New York Times bestselling Empire of Storms, 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 ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival—or doom them all . . .
“You must enter where you fear to tread.”
In this parallel story to Empire of Storms, Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq arrive in Antica, the capital of the Southern Continent with two aims: forge an alliance with the Khagan to gain the aid of his armies for Erilea’s cause, and seek healing for Chaol’s injuries with the renowned healers of the Torre Cesme. Yrene Towers, who met the assassin Celaena Sardothien in Innish, has since made it to the Torre Cesme and is one of their most talented healers, second only to the Healer on High. She is less than pleased when she finds out her prospective patient is an Adarlanian lord, one who was in service to the King who killed her mother. But the darkness of Morath might have already reached the streets of Antica, and Chaol, Yrene and Nesryn find themselves in a race against time to unravel secrets held by the ancient civilizations predating the khaganate that may help in their fight against the valg, all the while navigating the delicate political situation in a royal court that doesn’t have a very high opinion of Aelin and sees no reason to send aid.
To be absolutely frank, I was seriously annoyed when the story that was initially supposed to be a novella turned into a full fledged book and pushed back Kingdom of Ash by an entire year – and that’s saying nothing of the torturous cliffhanger Empire of Storms left us with. I did not expect to like this book at all – but I was surprised by how much I ended up liking it, and even more surprised by just how much crucial information is squeezed in here. As if the odds against Erilea weren’t bad enough, Tower of Dawn manages to make it even worse.
While Chaol is a great character, he’s hardly been a central figure after Crown of Midnight – and Queen of Shadows kind of ruins him. Nesryn too, has been little more than a side character up to this point. Of all the characters we’ve met in passing over the previous books, I never expected to see Yrene again, much less imagine that she would have such an important role to play. This book revolves around these three characters as we see this new world of the khaganate and the shining city of Antica through their journeys. Chaol needs to heal from more than just physical injuries – the way things ended with Aelin, Nehemia’s death, Dorian’s possession by the Valg, and his own unresolved family issues. Chaol’s arc in this book somewhat mirrors Aelin’s in Heir of Fire in that he needs to work past his self pity and the many burdens laid on his shoulders – and Sarah J. Maas does it in a manner that is utterly realistic and gives us back the brave and unfalteringly loyal Chaol we remember so well.
Yrene is less than happy to be asked to heal an Adarlanian lord, but begrudgingly agrees and eventually the two of them strike up an unlikely friendship that quickly grows into more. I loved how she has changed since we last saw her in The Assassin and the Healer, and how much stronger and more confident she is now. For Nesryn, it has always been her dream to see the land of her forefathers with her own eyes, and she feels an immediate connection to this new country. Amongst all the Fae and magic gifted characters, ordinary humans like Nesryn and Chaol are severely underrated, and I’m really glad that this book takes a step back from all of that to show how the average person sees the happenings of Erilea.
This book was a little longer than expected perhaps, but considering that an entirely new cast of characters, not to mention a new location had to be introduced and built from ground up, not bad at all. I really liked the world building and getting to know a continent that is very different from the one we’re used to, with a rich and diverse culture and society. My only real complaints with this book are that one book is really not enough to fully enjoy this new land of the khaganate that has been introduced, and I really want to know more about these wonderful characters – and of course, I hated being left on the cliffhanger from Empire of Storms.
Tower of Dawn was a comparatively calmer book after the roller coaster ride that was Empire of Storms, but no less entertaining. This is a crucial installment in this series as the final pieces of this game are revealed at last, and to fully enjoy Kingdom of Ash, there’s no skipping this one. Overall, another fantastic read, highly recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: