This book is one I was avoiding. While I have loved the Throne of Glass series so far I knew from the beginning of the book that the main characters who we have been following until this point would not be appearing. I started this book more than once and until May I was not enjoying the thought that I would not be following the main characters’ journey.
Once I got past the first couple of chapters however I was once more in love with the story that Sarah J Maas has been creating. It was lovely to see Choal who we were introduced to in the first book develop. It was also lovely to see another area of the world that they live in an area which is not yet contaminated with the darkness and hate that has enveloped the Northern Continent.
It was also lovely to see Yrene, I had read her story in the prequel, which meant that one mystery of this book was already solved for me. However that did not lesson my enjoyment of the book it simply meant that I was more focused on the other elements of the story.
As I stated above I found the first few chapters difficult to get through as it was very description heavy. However once the main points of the storyline occured I found it difficult to put down Tower of Dawn.
My initial thoughts on the Southern Continent was that it was based on the Mongolian Empire. The Mongolians were one of very few conquerors who allowed those whose land they had taken over to continue to practice their own religion. This is something that the Khagnate did and it is probably one of the reasons they were so successful. As the story progressed it also reminded me a little of my Turkic family, not being allowed to leave a home of a family member without eating something, and in some places a friend’s home. This is a trait I have. I love to feed other people and it was nice to see some characters who have the same outlook on life.
The opening of this story, as I have already explained, was too description heavy for my liking. This is understandable as the reader is in a place that we have not seen before. And It is important for the reader to understand these differences early on in the book. As the story progressed the pace of the book quickened and the description once more was distributed which is how I prefer it.
In some ways the book reminded me of Lord of the Rings, the characters splitting up from each other and doing their own thing to find answers. In Lord of the Rings this split leaves you not knowing what half of the characters are doing for a very long period of time, yet in Tower of Dawn the story flicks back and forth between the two plots.
One of the themes in this book is acceptance. The acceptance of the differences in the cultures of people, thier religions and their histories. It is also shown that acceptance of yourself is important.
Another theme is Loyalty. With the interesting dynamics within the ruling family of the Southern content, the loyalty to those you have made promises to and the loyalty of friendship. Each of these are played out in different ways, and while the characters all have different steaks on the situation they are involved in the loyalties they show ultimately supports them to get to where they need to be.
This books made me want to read the final installment of the Throne of Glass series. While the dramatic end was slightly spoilt due to my reading of the prequel, I now really want to finish this series. Though the next book is a mammoth 980 pages, meaning I will have to read a few short books to have some planned blog posts before I start it!
I am going to give this book 4 stars, while I struggled with the start. I loved the last 200 pages which I sat and read in one day.