Monday, 22 October 2018

Throne of Glass re-read: Tower of Dawn

Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 660 pages

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.

With the long anticipated release of "Kingdom of Ash" tomorrow, it seemed the perfect moment to post my re-read review for "Tower of Dawn", before I launch into the final book in the series. And it's such a unique and curious book in the series, for the first time following an entirely separate thread to Aelin's story, and focussing instead on one of the most polarizing characters in the series, Chaol.

There have been refrains of "do I really need to read this book, I don't like Chaol!" echoing through the internet since this book was first announced, and it still remains a hotly contested debate. My feeling has always been that if it was written and published, it's pretty essential. Would you skip one of the Harry Potter books if it was written from someone else's point of view? No. So I've always felt this is pretty important reading, and my feelings about that after finishing it again have only grown.

It's a slow start, and it's strange to suddenly be thrust into a story that Aelin has no obvious part in. She's still there, in the odd reports that filter back to Chaol, in his thoughts and his actions. She's like a spectre (which given the ending of Empire of Storms is only more distressing guys) hanging over the story in her inadvertent actions with Yrene in TAB, and in the impact that she has had on Chaol.

And let's talk about Chaol. He has been through so much over these books, and I love the growth and character development that Maas has put him through. He's grown up in a very rigid world view, and he's had almost everything he believed to be true broken down and ripped away from him. Sure he didn't react in the best way to some things, but that's because he's human. None of us are perfect, and how flawed Chaol is only serves to make him more interesting as a character.
His growth over the course of this book is particularly poignant, and has made me even more excited for his reunion with the others in the final book.

I loved Yrene, she's an excellent addition to the pantheon of characters, and one who helps to balance Chaol beautifully. She is one of many fascinating character's we're introduced to in this book, and honestly the thought of everyone coming together for the last hurrah makes me so excited.

This additional space and time to add depth to the world building, and provide crucial information is incredibly important. Some of the bombs Maas drops on us in these pages had me gasping out loud - there are some real game changers folded into this story and they are incredibly exciting.

All in all this is a worthy addition to the series. It picks up speed the further into the story you get, and it's an incredible, fraught and brilliant story that helps to move the final pieces into place for the showdown in the finale.
I love it, and I cannot recommend it enough. Should you read this book, absolutely yes. If you've not yet picked it up, get on it now before you start "Kingdom of Ash", you'll regret it if you don't.

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