Review: Tower of Dawn - Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #6
My rating: {★★★★★}

YA Fantasy
Published September 5th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Source: Purchased
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 have to admit that I was apprehensive about this one for a couple of reasons:
  • I didn't absolutely ADORE A Court of Wings and Ruin as much as I wanted to which left me devastated and shocked to the point that I haven't even written reviews for ANY of the books in that series yet
  • I wasn't a huge fan of Chaol OR Chaol's plot arc and I wasn't sure I wanted to read an entire novel about what had been happening to him. Seriously, after the ending of Empire of Storms all I want to know is what happened after that cliffhanger.

THANKFULLY this was a solid five star read for me and apparently Sarah J. Maas can make me care about anyone and apparently I do love Chaol and I do care about his story and the stories of all the wonderful new characters from the Southern Continent.

***For those of you who do not know, the events of this book take place alongside those of Empire of Storms***

 Southern Continent

Something I have always, always admired about Maas is the way that she manages to build her worlds. Her worlds always feel so incredibly vast and rich that I almost cannot believe that they don't exist somewhere and this book was no exception. I loved getting to know this part of the Throne of Glass world and exploring the Southern Continent.

Sarah J. Maas gets such a bad rap for a lack of diversity and yet I've never felt like her books lack in ANYTHING. Diversity is so much more than just a skin colour and yet here Maas has listened to her critics and there's representation of more than various races of magical beings (fae and shapeshifters and witches etc) and their cultures, there's now added variation of skin colour, even more sexual variety and there's representation of disabilities.

But this book isn't about any of that really. This book is about character development and growth and again showcases another aspect of Maas' writing that I love - her ability to completely strip down a character and show their worst flaws and deepest fears and yet make me fall in love with them even more for all their imperfections.

Chaol's struggle to come to terms with his disability is palpable and felt incredibly realistic to me. It was not just about trying to heal the physical disability, but to heal the soul and to be able to forgive and to realise that he was not less of a man, less of a person just because he had a disability.

I'm not disabled, but this book gave me so much more insight and empathy into what that struggle both physically and mentally could mean.

“Using the chair is not a punishment. It is not a prison,” he said. “It never was. And I am as much of a man in that chair, or with that cane, as I am standing on my feet.”
There's a whole host of new characters who are quite obviously going to play vital roles in the final book coming out next year. I'm thrilled that this book turned into a full length Maas novel because it gave me a chance to get to know all the new characters as well as explore all the new relationships and dynamics.

There's also the return of some of the characters from the novellas including Yrene Towers and Falkan Ennar. I am always amazed by Maas' clever foreshadowing and the brilliant complexities built into her plots. There is never a wasted moment or an insignificant character.

This is a truly powerful story about emotional healing alongside another breathtaking plot full of surprises, action and adventure and all written in the thoroughly immersive style I've become accustomed to when reading an Sarah J. Maas book. I just can't get enough of this series and these wonderful characters.

Every step. Every curve into darkness. Every moment of despair and rage and pain.
It had led him to precisely where he needed to be.
Where he wanted to be.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

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