Friday, October 6, 2017

Saturday #Review - Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Throne of Glass # 6
Format: Hardcover, 672 pages 
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult \ Fantasy

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.

Tower of Dawn, by author Sarah J. Maas, is the sixth installment in the Throne of Glass series. Before I wade into the what, why's, and how comes of my rating, let me say that Chaol Westfall has been a character who I have had a serious love/hate relationship with. When the series first started, I found the possibilities of him and Celaena together as something of a curiosity. Here is the Captain of the Royal Guard, who helped an 18-year old assassin escape from the salt mines of Endovier, and became one of her fiercest allies. 

Then the revelation of who Celaena really is came out and Chaol became one of those characters who just couldn't cut the tape, let alone let his manhood take a hit for the team. He became depressed, angry, a sad little man with anger issues, and let's just say it, pathetic. So, surprise, here we are into the 6th installment of the Throne of Glass series and readers are reintroduced to Chaol who is now the Hand to the King of Adarlan, who just happens to his best friend. But, this is a new Chaol. A Chaol who lost the use of his legs. 

A Chaol who stepped down as Captain of the Royal Guards, and lifted Nesryn Faliq into that position. A Chaol who is looking for redemption, and if at all possible, the use of his legs once again. A Chaol who finds himself with Nesryn traveling to the Southern Continent to appeal to the leaders and healers of Antica. Tower of Dawn actually takes place concurrently with Empire of Storms which the author makes a real attempt to remind readers why Chaol and Faliq have traveled so far, and what is at stake should they fail. 

One of the more curious aspects of this entire story is the secondary characters, especially those like Yrene Towers and Prince Sartaq. While Chaol is struggling in his wheelchair to come to terms with what his life has brought him to this point, Nesryn is growing up to become a real important cog to the series, and maybe the one thing to actually kick the next installment into high gear. But, it is Yrene Towers who reminds me that I must go back and read Assassin's Blade quickly so that I can understand how she and Aelin Galethynius actually met, and what the little note that Yrene keeps in her pocket really means. 

Yrene and Chaol's relationship is a curious sort, especially since they are so set in their ways. Yes, you can call it love/hate, since that is what it starts out and ends up. While Chaol has been fighting a war, and internal demons to find a way to man up, Yrene is a fantastic addition to the series because she doesn't take crap from anyone. Especially Chaol who she hates with a passion because of who he is. But, Yrene, who is a brilliant healer, also brings a huge skill and something we've needed for awhile. Fresh air and hope.

But, never fear my brave readers, you will also get the added connection between Nesryn and Sartaq. You will get warm moments when Nesryn meets with family she hasn't seen, and others who were caught in the crossfire back in Adarlan. You will love when Nesryn and Sartaq uncover a slew of secrets that will really have an impact once these characters meet up with Aelin's army. But, since this does take place in the Throne of Glass series, don't think that Maas won't let you forget that there is a war going on between good and evil, and evil has been very close to winning.

In the end, I really loved Yrene. I loved that we get introduced to a new badass female heroine who can walk the walk and give back as good as she gets. I am happy that Nesryn finds a bit of happiness knowing that the war is fast approaching, and there will be casualties along the way before all is said and done. As for Chaol, one could say that this story is a very long process of finding the ability to stop whining, and man up, and let's get the war started before I lose all my composure! By the way, the author teases us with a final chapter, and my God, she is brutal. See you in 2018 for the final installment! 

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