Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn

Let’s start with a little bit of background first:

Tower of Dawn is about Chaol – a character that behaved somehow questionably in book 2, Crown of Midnight, of the Throne of Glass series (ToG). His side of the story was never told, his character forgotten for following two books. He was featured again in book 5, Empire of Storms, of this series but somehow was really ‘not in it’ so to speak.

Empire of Storms ended up very dramatically. It left me craving its sequel straight away.

Well guess what: we were told that Chaol would have a standalone book and we would have to wait for two more years for the sequel of Empire of Storms. I was not over the moon about it, that’s for sure.

I thought Tower of Dawn was just some form of filler, skipped it and started reading Kingdom of Ash – the final book of the ToG series. Only to realise I forgot majority of its characters’ names and that there were some characters I did not know about. 😉

This also happened to be during the time when I started buddy reading Kingdom of Ash with Leslie. Leslie was kind enough to tell me that Tower of Dawn is a part of this series and is kind of good to read… seriously, I am the worst buddy reader ever, consider yourself warned if you ever fancy buddy reading with me! 😉

Anyhow, off I went and grudgingly started reading about a character that I did not remember much of in order to finish the ToG series. What a great start, eh? 🙂

My thoughts?

It may be that I am just drifting away from Maas in general but I found her overused “manhood” and “maleness” slightly disturbing and it really bothered me how “beautiful” her main characters were. It was really getting on my nerves as it was completely unnecessary. I thought that the focus on characters’ appearances distracted us from their behaviour. I found that to be rather regretful as there were all interesting characters.


Chaol is going through a tough inner battle – he is learning how to deal with his relatively new condition as well as his unresolved past. His hate aimed towards himself gets explored.

Yrene, a powerful healer, who is assigned to help him, is fighting her own battles and turns out to be a rather likeable new character. So why focus on how gorgeous she is rather than actually highlight even more her selflessness and her need to help others despite of how she feels about them?

I somehow felt that the purpose of this book is to redeem Chaol and to give him a new love interest. Sure, there was a bit of a side plot going on, but the main focus was on the tension between Chaol and Yrene.

I wanted more of Chaol. He was a soldier his entire life and due to a recently received severe injury, that identity was stripped away from him. That left him with facing a brand his new future, which was uncertain. Which automatically put him into a very vulnerable category. I felt that was a great opportunity to explore.

Yet I felt that it wasn’t explored as much as I would have liked it to be. It only touched its surface. I was also not happy that he got somehow saved by love. Sure, love heals as it connects us with others. But the most important type of love is self-love. Self-acceptance was touched on but again, it did not get fully explored.

I got a sense that Chaol grew though and I really appreciated that. I just wanted a little bit more of that inner battle, exploration of one’s fears and perhaps even a slightly different, a bit more realistic, ending.

On the other hand, Maas has this ability to draw me in. I know she is overly dramatic, her beautification of characters annoys the heck out of me yet I cannot put her books down. And I keep on buying further instalments in her series.

There is something addictive that I always get hooked on. I am saying all of those things above yet I carry on reading her books. 🙂

So I am not judging anyone who enjoys these books because I do as well. I am just purely sharing my thoughts after I had time digest what I just read.

I felt Tower of Dawn was certainly a big improvement from her previous books as it included more diverse characters, started touching on what it means having to rethink our identities and minimised the amount of sex scenes that Maas likes to indulge in and I cannot help rolling my eyes about.

Despite 600+ pages, I finished this book fairly quickly and will definitely be reading its sequel, Kingdom of Ash shortly.

Over to you my friends.

Do you enjoy Sarah J. Maas’ books? 

And if so, what are your thoughts of Tower of Dawn?

19 thoughts on “Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas”

  1. I love your write up and, reading what you said has helped me realise why I cannot for the life of me get into this author’s books. I’ve tried. Well, okay, I’ve read one or two chapters in-store, much to the forbearance of the assistants who know me as a regular.

    I just don’t like her world or the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. ❤️
      I completely understand! I always fall down the rabbit hole whenever I read Maas books – you see I enjoy them a lot, forget about time, binge on them… and then I’m like: hang on a sec, what did I just read?… 🤔🤔🤔😊
      I love your stories from your local book store. I bet they all know you there quite well. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can understand that once you start reading, how hard it is to stop if the story has sucked you in, and it’s only when something jars you out of reading that you pause to ask why. Also, there seem to be a lot of fantasy books, written by women, which are skirting dangerous territory as far as I can see, another thing that puts me off.

        Oh, yeah, my local bookstore is the only one doing all-English books. This is a French-speaking province. So all the regulars are well known. I’m surprised they haven’t installed a coffee bar yet! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your review makes me want to read the book which is impressive because its Maas and I pretty much burned that bridge after A Court of War and Ruin. Oh no! Everyone is a beautiful immortal perfectly paired up and apparently rich fairy 🙂 And the sex scenes. I would be super interested in her writing a contemporary though. Just to see. Glad you enjoyed the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He he, I would probably proceed with care… so you don’t fall down the rabbit hole like I did. 😊

      On the more serious note, I think Maas did listen when her readers asked for more diversity and depth… I do appreciate that despite wanting slightly different execution. 👌


  3. Great review! You are not the worst buddy read partner! I wasn’t ever planning to pick up ToD bc I thought it was a novella! Someone and to tell me… nope… it’s the next book! 😂

    I can’t wait for you to read KoA!! It’s a big one but enjoy the ride! 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never read Maas’s books and don’t plan to, but I’ve definitely had my share of books in which men are total dudes and women are ornaments. When I slip toward thinking this is okay, I have to re-read Dietland by Sarai Walker to get my head on straight again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah I wasn’t over the moon to have to wait for kingdom of ash and get this instead too. I also feared it would be filler and definitely went into this grudgingly too. hehe I can understand what you mean about drifting away from Maas- I fear that might be me soon as well. I do get what you mean about this not exploring self-love enough. But yeah this drew me in as well and I appreciated the drama for what it was. It’s definitely addictive- but I think it’s fair to outgrow it as well. For me, I think it’s getting a bit repetitive across her different series. I did think it was a massive improvement though. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on kingdom of ash! Brilliant review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 💕

      I think you are right – there is definitely a certain degree of repetitiveness / almost predictability once a reader has read several of her books. That’s a good point, I did not initially think of it but am in full agreement!

      Thank you for stopping by and for writing me such a lovely comment, I really appreciate it. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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