My review of the last Throne of Glass book, Empire of Storms, although split between two posts, had two major complaints. One of those complaints was that there was no Chaol.
Well, over the course of the next year, it became clear why there was no Chaol in Empire of Storms – it’s because he got his entire own book, Tower of Dawn.
More than a year since I finished Empire of Storms, and Tower of Dawn popped up on BorrowBox – this was great, because it meant I could read it without breaking my self-imposed book buying ban, so although it took me over a week, and I read it all on my phone, which wasn’t the most comfortable reading experience, I got to immerse myself in Chaol’s story, which was so sorely missing from EoS, and also enjoy two bad-ass women kicking butts and taking names!
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 takes a different direction from the other ToG books. Running in parallel to Empire of Storms, it follows Chaol as he seeks healing for the disastrous spinal injury he suffered at the end of Queen of Shadows, and also asks the Khagan for his assistance in the upcoming war against the dark. Together with Chaol, we’re also inside the heads of Nesryn Faliq, the new Captain of the Royal Guard of Ardalan, and Yrene Towers, the heir-apparent to the Healer on High and a character we saw in the bindup of prequel stories, The Assassin’s Blade, in a brief encounter with Celaena.
Two of the major complaints I had about EoS were totally erased here. With too many perspectives in EoS, I felt it was sprawling somewhat, and character development got lost. That wasn’t the case here. With just three heads to be inside, it was tight and interlinked. The parallel nature of this book and EoS also meant that we had delicious insights into what was happening on the Northern continent that Chaol & co did not – that Skull Bay tip, we knew what was going to happen there way before Chaol did.
My second complaint, no Chaol, was also totally dealt with. There is plenty of Chaol going on here, and links back to old characters and main characters from the first five books (plus the bindup), which is great, as it makes the whole series feel like a really cohesively plotted arc (even though I’m preeeeetty sure it wasn’t, in the beginning).
Although originally planned as a novella, and it does show in times, with development a little thin on the ground in places, I very much enjoyed the change of pace that Tower of Dawn represents in the Throne of Glass story. With some interesting disability representation, which I’m not going to talk too much about, because it’s not my bag, and a cast of almost entirely PoC and many WoC taking centre stage, the diversity of this book was certainly to be admired – it was more than a typical white-centric middle England fantasy, but woven into the story in a way which didn’t feel tokenistic. Again, though, as diversity of ethnicity isn’t my bag either (I’m very white, you see), I’ll leave commentary on that to more relevant people.
Lastly, there was some LGBTQ representation here, including one prominent lesbian couple in a royal family, no less. Interesting, but more please!
Some weaknesses in this book, certainly, and it dragged in the middle, a sign that it was originally only meant to be a novella, but a great addition to the canon, with some interesting reveals of motivations of major characters, and links with my fave (Lysandra!!)
Once again, however, I’m in the position of waiting for the next book without so much as a cover or a title, and I’m impatient!