WAIT… IS THIS AMAZING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IN A THRONE OF GLASS NOVEL…? AND A STRONG FOCUS ON CHAOL…? SIGN ME UP!
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. –goodreads.com summary
I was cautiously optimistic going into Tower of Dawn. Chaol had always been one of my favorite characters and I had seen good reviews, but I still couldn’t help but worry that Sarah J Maas would write him as unlikeable (like she did in Queen of Shadows). After having finished Tower of Dawn, I can definitely say that I really enjoyed it! I’d put Tower of Dawn about on par with Empire of Storms (but for completely different reasons), meaning that I could see myself rereading a good bit of the novel, but it didn’t blow me away or anything.
Chaol: THAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! This was everything I could’ve wanted from a Chaol novel. Not only does he take a step back and look at his actions over the course of the series, but we also see him dealing with demons from his childhood.
Yrene: I don’t really remember my opinion on her after The Assassin’s Blade, but I loved Yrene in Tower of Dawn! Her and Chaol are adorable and, while I ship them, they’re also just great friends.
Chaol/Yrene: SPEAKING OF! I loved how they both had baggage they had to deal with before they could really commit to one another. They were the type of friends to call out one another when the other was acting dumb and that’s the type of friendship I need more of in this series. They remind me a lot of Aelin and Rowan in Heir of Fire.
YAY FOR WORLD BUILDING: It’s always nice to learn more about this world (even if I do kinda feel like Sarah J Maas is just making this backstory SO convoluted…) But I loved seeing how the Antica differed from Erilea in key areas such as politics and power structures.
Nesryn: Nothing against Nesryn, but I just didn’t care. She was never really a character I cared much for and I found myself skimming parts of her chapters.
Love Triangle: this halfhearted Chaol/ Yrene/ Nesryn love triangle really annoyed me. I never saw Chaol and Nesryn as anything more than friends with benefits, so it threw me off when he thought about how much he supposedly loved her.
The Plot: (And by that, I mean, WHAT PLOT? THIS BOOK HARDLY HAD A PLOT) This minimal plot really works for a novella (what Tower of Dawn started as) but doesn’t work as well for a 600-page novel. I was still able to mostly enjoy Tower of Dawn due to my caring about Chaol and Yrene, but it made Nesryn chapters even slower and more boring.
While I wasn’t a big fan of one of the three POV characters, I still really enjoyed reading Tower of Dawn. It’s very character driven structure worked well when it was focusing on Chaol and Yrene’s arcs but left me bored when focusing on Nesryn. It gave a lot of background and new information that will come into play in the final Throne of Glass novel so I’m excited to see how things play out. I’ll definitely be picking up the final Throne of Glass novel when it’s released, but most likely just from the library.
Sartaq and Nesryn: While I mentioned not being a huge fan of Nesryn, I really like her with Sartaq! They had a lot of nice moments and I was legitimately worried when I thought Sartaq was dead (but then he was fine, just confirming my theory that SJM won’t kill off any mains… BUT THAT’S A COMPLAINT FOR LATER 😊)
Nesryn’s family: I’m really glad they are safe and Nesryn got to reunite with everyone. The scene at the end where Nesryn reconnected with everyone, then Sartaq showed up was really sweet and I loved it!
Chaol should’ve died: As mentioned above, I love Chaol. But it feels kinda like a cop out that he survived. At least I can be happy that he wasn’t completely healed and is still going to have to face repercussions from that fight. It’s also nice that he grows not to let his disability affect him. You see that his change in attitude isn’t due to something like him fully regaining use of his legs, but rather because he has faced his inner demons, learned from them, and no longer sees his disability as a crutch.
Sadly though, the lack consequences for characters such as there being no character deaths just makes me care a lot less. This series has no stakes for me because I genuinely don’t think Sarah J Maas would ever kill off any of her main characters.
WILL WE EVER GET TO SEE A WEDDING IN THESE BOOKS?! Ahh! Yrene and Chaol are so adorable and I’m just a BIT bitter that we didn’t get to see their wedding.