Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: September 5, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Date read: December 12, 2017
My rating: ★★★✩✩

“A gift from a queen who had seen another woman in hell and thought to reach back a hand. With no thought of it ever being returned. A moment of kindness, a tug on a thread.”

This review contains spoilers if you haven’t yet read the other books in the Throne of Glass series. 

I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop, staring at a blank page, trying to come up with the right words to write this review for the past fifteen minutes already. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for me to write this review. Maybe it’s because I was expecting way more of this book and I’m just disappointed. If you’ve been following my blogposts, you might’ve noticed that I was planning on reading Tower of Dawn in October, but I only just finished it last Tuesday. So, the question is: why did it take me so long to finish?

Tower of Dawn follows the story of Chaol after the events in Queen of Shadows and takes place alongside the fifth book in te series, Empire of Storms. Chaol has survived the events that occurred in Queen of Shadows, but only barely. His body is left paralysed from the waist down and the only chance he has at healing lies in the Southern continent, in Antica, where the best healers live in Torre Cesme. Thus he goes on a journey to Antica, but he doesn’t go alone. Joining him is the Captain of the Guard, Nesryn Faliq.

Healing isn’t the only reason why they have to go to the Southern continent, though – they also have to try to convince its ruler, the Khagan, to ally with them so they can have a shot at winning the war that’s looming over their heads back home.

When I started reading this book, I didn’t have a lot of high expectations because I was really disappointed with Sarah J. Maas’ latest couple of books – A Court of Wings and Ruin and Empire of Storms just weren’t it for me. Though, with Chaol being my favourite character in the Throne of Glass series, I was still expecting a good read. That being said, when I started reading and nothing exciting happened for the first couple of hundred pages, I was considering not finishing this book at all. The first couple of hundred pages were just plain boring. There were pages filled with detailed descriptions and almost no conversation. Even though I liked the world building of the Southern continent, I had a hard time keeping my attention on the story when literally nothing was happening.

Not only did I find it really boring, I’m really starting to get tired of the romance in Sarah J. Maas’ books. It’s super predictable and every romantic relationship is the same. All the males in the book are the same – everyone is dazzlingly beautiful and they all have the same personalities, oh, and did I mention that the moment they meet their lover-to-be, they’re instantly in love with this person without even really knowing them? This, unfortunately, is no different in Tower of Dawn.

“The heart he’d offered and had been left to drop on the wooden planks of the river docks. An assassin who had sailed away and a queen who had returned.”

I absolutely loved the first two books in the Throne of Glass series and I gave them both five stars. I also enjoyed the third book, Heir of Fire, but not quite as much as I did with the first two books. Then came Queen of Shadows, which I didn’t like at all. Ever since Celaena reclaimed her name as Aelin Galathynius, it feels like she changed into a completely different character. I loved Celaena as a character, but I really, really dislike Aelin. She’s just become a super arrogant character and still everyone in the book adores her. I was really hoping Tower of Dawn wasn’t going to focus on Aelin at all, but it got kind of annoying when she was mentioned so many times in the book and almost everyone worshipped her.

Luckily it started getting better after the first three hundred pages and I started to enjoy the story a lot more. I really liked reading more about the history of the Valg and Maeve, and there were a lot of twists I didn’t see coming. Another pro definitely is the healing process of Chaol’s spinal injury, which started off really slow but got way more interesting later on. I also loved getting to know the new characters better. One thing Sarah J. Maas has definitely improved with is the diversity in the book, so yay for that! I especially liked Yrene Towers (also, I was so excited that Yrene is the healer from the novella The Assassin and the Healer!).

“We don’t look back. It helps no one and nothing to look back.”

This book was way too long – those 660 pages could’ve easily been cut to about 300 pages, which would’ve definitely made this book way better. Despite being too long and a bit disappointing, I look forward to reading the final instalment of the series (mostly because of that huge cliffhanger at the end of the book).

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  • Reply
    14/12/2017 at 13:29

    Where do I even start? I agree with some things you say, and not with some others 😉

    – I’ve always loathed Chaol, so basically I wasn’t looking forward to this book.
    – Yes, you’re right, it should – and could! – have been much shorter, just a novella (which was, after all, Maas’s initial plan).
    – I think the romance is boring too. And I’m just wondering why there even has to be a romance for practically every character in the series.
    – Love for Yrene! (PS Are you excited for Ansel in the last book? She was my favourite in all the short stories!)
    – I like Nesryn – I’m under the impression that a lot of people don’t like her and/or don’t see the point in including her for such a big part in the story, but I think she’s good. Do you have a specific opinion on her?
    – I still like Aelin; I understand your stance (and I’ve read some other reviews of people who had the same one), but I’ve never had a moment in which I really thought, “Heck, get lost.”

    I’ll not make this any longer, because I can go on about it. Suffice it to say that the first books in the series were amazing, I think, and the best books I’ve ever read, but it has – unfortunately – been a while since Maas’s standards have been as high as that. I still think the books are good, but she could do better.

    • Reply
      17/12/2017 at 22:41

      Yes! It would have been way better if it was actually a novella, but I actually think a lot of Sarah J. Maas’ books are way too long with unnecessary chapters, while they could’ve been a lot shorter. I AM really excited for Ansel yes! I loooved her in The Assassin and the Desert! I’m not particularly a fan of Nesryn, but I’ve come to like her a lot more in Tower of Dawn than I did in the past books. 🙂

    • Reply
      lab report writer
      22/12/2017 at 12:26

      I have read the series of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. However, I still do not have enough time to read the current one which is the Tower of Dawn. I know without reading the book, it will be amazing. I look forward to reading this book. Thank you for the review.

  • Reply
    14/12/2017 at 14:53

    YASSS PREACH. Aelin is the worst person ever. Which would be fine–if people in the story would actually acknowledge that she is a monster and should never be queen since she wouldn’t make a good ruler. But they don’t. They just blindly worship her. Except for Chaol at first, but he too was completely ruined by Maas. Still love him, but his ideals have been brutally ripped from him to fit the writer’s narritive “Aelin is the best and can do no wrong and everyone loves her”. So unrealistic. I could rant about this for hours. Maas is extraordinary in ruining everything she touches… sadly…

    • Reply
      17/12/2017 at 22:37

      I KNOW RIGHT?! I wouldn’t mind her being so arrogant if the characters just acknowledged that, but they don’t. I loved Chaol partly because he saw Aelin for who she truly is, but now Sarah J. Maas has just ruined that as well…

  • Reply
    30/12/2017 at 16:37

    I really need to get started on reading this series because literally EVERYONE is talking about it

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