Hello and welcome! With the recent conclusion to the Throne of Glass series, I wanted to complete my reviews for the series. The story did take on a bit of a painful tone with having to wait for Kingdom of Ash until Fall 2018 and Tower of Dawn turning out to be a NOVELla (seriously, this book is 700 pages. It was supposed to be a Chaol POV novella slated for a Summer 2017 release) not to mention the way Empire of Storms ended (currently reading for my re-read) which left most readers emotionally scarred and vulnerable. I’ll talk more about that when I do my Kingdom of Ash review next week.
Getting on with the review!
Tower of Dawn is the parallel story to Empire of Storms and picks up from Chaol’s POV at the end of Queen of Shadows. Chaol and Nesryn Faliq make their way to the Southern Continent to find a way to heal Chaol’s injury at the Torre Cesme while also trying to convince the Khaganate to come to our Queen’s aide in her fight against the Valg King, Erawan. Their journey takes them all over Antica, not to mention the flood of new characters along with some old ones.
To those of you who have read the Assassin’s Blade novella collection, there are several characters that our assassin-queen meets and “befirends” (that’s putting it very mildly). Sarah had hinted while working on Tower of Dawn that we would be seeing the return of some old friends in Tower of Dawn and the concluding book and I definitely called seeing the return of Yrene Towers in this book. I have not screamed “ahHA!” as loudly as I did when she showed up in the Torre Cesme, the most gifted healer and Heir to the Healer on High, assigned to heal our beloved ex-Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. Both characters are so similar in nature, so strong and aggrieved in their own way. Each conversation occurring between them was such an intense dance that I would find myself screaming with feeling a lot.
Coming to Chaol’s traveling companion, Nesryn Faliq, there’s a lot of character development from when she showed up in Queen of Shadows. There’s a lot more to learn about her, but a character I feel was unfinished. I realize that she is more of a side-character (it is likely I’m misremembering her character development) but she played such a major role in bringing the Khaganate to follow Aelin in to war against Erawan and acquired a host of information that would help them get to that point that it is difficult to treat her as a side-character. Hell, Kaltain was basically a side character but changed completely in Queen of Shadows.
Anyway, I was not actually going to read this book because I loved Chaol until Crown of Midnight but disliked him a lot in Queen of Shadows. I thought I could get away without reading it and would be fine with Kingdom of Ash but it was only after reading it that I realized that I would have been a very lost puppy if I had not read it. I came across a Goodreads post encouraging readers to read ToD along with Sarah basically putting out a PSA to read it because of the massive plot points that are relevant to the conclusion.
I tried, I really tried to read the book at the end of 2017-early 2018 but I kept falling asleep. So, I did something I did not think I would do for Throne of Glass, I listened to it mostly on audiobook. Grad school had made it really difficult to read physical books but I could do ebook/audiobook very easily with biking around and reading on my iPad at night. I did switch a bunch between physical book and audiobook, especially parts I thought I would prefer to read in the character voices in my head or if I was falling asleep reading it and needed to listen instead. The one thing I did find that helped me get through this book was concentrating on the major plotpoints instead of the entire story. The plotpoints stick easily so even if I tuned out on occasion, it was not that big a deal.
It is a lot easier going into this book that you don’t necessarily have to like it but have to fill certain key points that make reading Kingdom of Ash ten times better. I am so glad I finally read this book when I did and finished before the release of the series conclusion. It made all the difference in my experience reading the conclusion, so worth it. I did end up enjoying it more than I thought I would. I fell in love with a lot of the other characters, Yrene and Borte were definitely my favorites. I would not object to a dulogy spin-off that is based in Antica with the characters from this book. I would definitely read them very happily.
In conclusion, this book was a happy surprise. Reading it was difficult to get into because I love reading from Aelin’s POV so much that it took me a while to get used to not seeing my queen parading around executing plans that she tells no one about. The ending of this book definitely had me sobbing in the shower while listening to it and my love for the characters grew even more.
Please read this book, it’s not as bad as you might think it is. It’s different but absolutely wonderful and worth it.
If you want to read my thoughts on the previous books, they’re linked below. I realized that I haven’t written an Empire of Storms review but given I’m in the process of a re-read, I will have one up for it quite soon.
I hope you enjoyed! What were your first thoughts about ToD? Leave your thougths in the comments below and thank you so much for reading.