2017 Reading List: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah Maas has returned to my reading list, at long last. She has again delivered a fantasy novel that I can’t put down.

When I finished Empire of Storms, I was a little extremely disappointed that the next book, Tower of Dawn, would be an off-shoot to follow the character of Chaol. I was over him, and I wanted more of Aelin and Rowan’s adventures.

But Sarah Maas never fails to disappoint. Reluctant as I was to continue with Chaol’s journey, I can see now that it was an important one. However, it took me a little bit to really get into this book. I felt that the beginning of it was a bit slow, and overall, there wasn’t a whole lot of action, until about Chapter 45. 

For most of the book, I felt like we were wrapped up in poor Chaol’s emotions and feelings and regrets. Poor, poor Chaol. I didn’t feel sorry for him. Maybe that’s why I like Aelin so much – she seems like the opposite of Chaol. It’s a good thing they didn’t end up together.

Most of this book seemed to be setting the scene of a new dimension to the story that we haven’t yet seen. Things are tying together, but in a way where we didn’t realize there were loose ends somewhere else, until this book connected them. So there was some history of a new land, new characters, new background, new magic, new royalty, new relationships and new love.

Yet by the end, like I said, about Chapter 45, we began to see how everything was fitting together. We saw the stories of the Valg and the Fae begin to come full circle and everything was starting to make sense.

The action all happened in the last quarter of the book. Those last chapters were the page turners. Those were the ones keeping me up late at night, reading in bed until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Those were also the chapters where I was rolling my eyes at the pairing up of characters. Maas likes to make sure her characters end up in beautiful, gripping and passionate relationships, but at this point, they’re almost formulaic. Two people meet and they generally despise each other, for some reason or another. They grow to realize they can help each other or they have some type of compatibility. They go through a traumatizing or challenging ordeal together, and then they admit that they loved each other from the moment they set eyes on each other.

While it is predictable, this formula lends itself very well to both the action of the books and also the young adult (and regular adult) audience who find such relationships both mildly disgusting and at the same time intriguing. Maybe we all just hope that such love and passion truly exist in the world, any world.

So I haven’t given you much information or background about this book, and it resembles nothing of a real book review unless you’ve actually read the previous five books. But I hope that my expressive opinions of this series throughout the year have at least given you pause to consider reading it. It’s difficult for me to give you a synopsis of a book mid-way through a series without ruining anything. And I’d rather not ruin this series for you.  There is more to it than magic and faeries and kings and battles, and if or when you read it, you’ll thank me for not giving away the details.

 


Today, I also want to give an honorable (or dishonorable?) mention to “The Invention of Nature” by Andrea Wulf. The review of this book would have come before Tower of Dawn, had I been motivated enough to get past the first chapter. Which I could not. I am not one to quit on a book lightly. I tried really, really hard to read it. But it was not my style. I fell asleep after two sentences every single time I picked it up – for a month. I was literally still on page 10, so I called it quits. If you like anything I’ve had to say about the other 23 books I’ve read, then don’t read The Invention of Nature. You’ll hate it.


 

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