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Oh Captains, My Captains

Sarah J. Maas’s Tower of Dawn, the sixth book in the Throne of Glass series, follows Chaol and Nesryn on an adventure across the ocean—and through the human heart.

Oh Captains, My Captains

BOOK REPORT for Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas

Cover Story: Shielded
BFF Charms: Be Mine, Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: He Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Healing, Enemistry
Factors: No Aelin
Relationship Status: Glad I Went With You

Danger, Will Robinson! Tower of Dawn is the sixth book in the Throne of Glass series. If you have not read the first five books in the series—Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms, or the novella collection The Assassin’s Blade—turn away now. I know reading Chaol’s story is SUPER TEMPTING, but do not pass go, do not collect $200. If you’re caught up with the series, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Shielded

I don’t love this cover, y’all. I was kind of hoping for a zombie* version of Chaol brandishing weapons and looking badass. The city and shield look kind of generically fantasy, and I get the owl reference (after reading the book), but … meh.

I’m looking forward to the eventual re-release of this whole series with better covers. There’s so much promise in the stories!

*The ladies on the covers of the other books look a little frostbitten and or corpsy.

The Deal:

While Aelin and crew are busy holding back the Valg forces in Adarlan, Chaol and Nesryn travel to the Southern Continent to Antica to seek the aid of the Great Khagan—and find out if the famed healers at the Torre Cesme can heal his spinal injury.

The Khagan isn’t very forthcoming when it comes to lending aid, but the (long) time he takes to mull their request over gives Chaol a chance to work with a healer, Yrene Towers, who has some issues with men from Adarlan. It also allows Nesryn the opportunity to explore the land of her ancestors, and get to know the people who populate it.

Both arrived in Antica with certain expectations, but the things they discover while there might have world-altering consequences.

BFF Charms: Be Mine, Yay

Chaol Westfall, you can be as stubborn as an ox, but you’re also dreamy AF when you want to be. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t make you any less of a man, and it’s great to watch as you realize this. It also makes my heart happy to see you heal, both physically and emotionally. There’s pretty much nothing you could do to get yourself removed from my Top 5 Book Boyfriends, so I hope you’re OK with me sticking around for the long haul.

Nesryn, I know I’ve thought some mean things about you in the past—that you’re not good enough for Chaol, that you’re getting in between Chaol and Aelin, which they’re obviously MFEO.** But I’ve come to see that you’re a pretty badass lady in your own right, and that you actually deserve better than Chaol; y’all just aren’t on the same path, nor should you force yourself to try to fit the situation out of some crazy sense of honor or requirement. You’re awesome, and you’re going to do amazing things if you can find your own way. Trust yourself—you’ve got this.

**I know, I know.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Y’all know how good Sarah J. Maas is at writing the swoon. (CHAPTER 55.) So it should come as no surprise that there are some really swoony scenes in Tower of Dawn. But much of the swoon actually comes from the emotional charge of the event, rather than the details of the acts themselves. Unsurprisingly, Chaol’s dealing with some heavy shizz in the novel, and Nesryn has her own issues to sort out. But along with issues come emotions, and along with emotions come some drawer-melting moments, such as:

“... I plan to keep things professional.”

Chaol’s answering smile was anything but. So was the way he growled, “Come here.”

You will notice that I don’t particularly spell out who the swoon involves, however ...

Talky Talk: He Said, She Said

When I first started reading Tower of Dawn, I was surprised and a little annoyed that Nesryn got her own chapters. This book was supposed to be Chaol’s, after all. Thankfully, I went along with Nesryn’s chapters, and soon found myself really liking her. As is typical of pretty much everyone, fictional character or no, there’s more than meets the eye to her personality. And it was nice to get to see her be more than just a pretty, badass face who seemed to be butting in where she wasn’t wanted.

The Chaol chapters, however, were by far my favorite of the book. He can be a bit of a bastard to the people around him, and his white knight complex is strong—sometimes to a detrimental degree—but it was so awesome to get to know more of his personality, thoughts and innermost feelings.

I also really enjoyed Maas’ expansion of the world of the Throne of Glass series through introducing the khaganate (the Southern Continent’s ruling family). Their formerly nomadic ways reminded me a little of the Dothrakis from Game of Thrones, a little of the Egyptian pharaohs and the Mongolian warlords of human history. (Maas mentions Mongolian history books in her acknowledgements, so I was at least right on one of my references.) Plus, the way she ties their history into that of Erilea, and the action in Tower of Dawn with what took place in Empire of Storms—no spoilers!—was Maastery at its finest.

TL;DR: I’m SUPER glad Maas ran with this book rather than forcing it to fit in novella form. As much as you might not think it would, it ties into the rest of the series delightfully well.

Bonus Factor: Healing

There’s a lot of healing that happens in Tower of Dawn, both physical and emotional. All of the characters have their figurative demons to fight before they can go off and fight the literal ones, and the book is filled with fist pump-inducing moments of character clarity.

Bonus Factor: Enemistry

Yrene Towers is a sassy, snarky, angry DELIGHT.

Factor: No Aelin

As much as I adore the Fire-Breathing Bitch Queen … it was kind of nice to not have her as the focus of this novel. She’s there, of course, in spirit, but this book isn’t about her, and it’s better because of it.

Relationship Status: Glad I Went With You

I was promised an adventure, Book, and you didn’t disappoint. I’m pleased at how our side trip strengthened our bond, but I’m super eager to see what happens in the future, and chomping at the bit to see how this series shakes out. (My anticipation for the next installment is tangible.)

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book with my own money, and received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Tower of Dawn is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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