700 pages of Chaol Westfall spilling his thoughts? Um, I’m not sure about this
If you are following my reviews, I have made it clear that I want nothing to do with Chaol, and the moment I open this book, I see Chaol talking about himself and his world.
‘I’ll skip this page and wait until a new POV is introduced.’
I turned the pages, and Chaol was still there. It’s almost like Chaol wrote this book for the Chaol Westfall fangirls – and indeed, that’s not something I’m looking forward to.
I did the noble work of reading the blurb before drowning myself inside the brain of a character that I was desperately trying to avoid.
Somewhere in the blur, it was – ‘to seek healing at the legendary Torre Cesme for the wounds that Chaol received in Rifthold.’
Now … the whole book might be about Chaol, and he might not be as annoying as I thought.
He seems to have had an interesting childhood that made him the way he is today – and surprisingly enough, the blurb and a few of the pages that I laid my eyes on are provoking me to dive deep into Chaol’s mind – to know the misunderstood character better.
Here you are, reading an unfiltered review and a somewhat organized version of the Tower of Dawn summary. At the same time, I present my thoughts as I go through the pages for further discussion.
This is me giving the misperceived character a well-deserved chance.
People Aren’t Reading Tower of Dawn as an Entire Book
What do I mean by it? I’ll tell you.
Suppose you are already through our Crown of Midnight summary and plot and reading Tower of Dawn right now. In that case, you will notice that these books depict the exact storyline but from different points of view.
This might seem boring to some because it gives me a reason to read two massive books with the same plot. And there is no reason, right?
That’s what the fans thought, and they came up with this fantastic schedule of when to read what and after what.
This saved Sarah J. Maas’ impulsive experiment. Fans have started reading both books together, and they say it is the only way to read this – Tower of Dawn book is boring on its own.
I’m unsure if I agree because I’m here to give that charming prince one last chance and get to know him better. So, let’s see what this book holds for us.
Tower of Dawn Summary & Plot Explained: It’s Not Boring!
Yes, this is still me. I have organized my thoughts (finally) into this Tower of Dawn summary I liked, and the parts I thought could be better. Basically, you will have no problem understanding if this is the book you should go for or not.
I Feel Sorry for Chaol
Nesryn is there, and they are off to Khagan’s to convince him to take part in the battle and pledge his armies only to help Aelin.
But whatever request they were going to make was nipped in the bud because of the mourning session – one of the royals, Tumelun, died moments before.
Things were not looking good to even start the convincing phase, and I got to know that Chaol’s lower body was paralyzed in a complicated situation, which seemed beyond help.
Even though I didn’t quite like that guy, this was a loss to the war and the plot if he wasn’t there to make it spicy. He didn’t deserve to be in that position, but thanks to the healers at the Khagan’s place, they’ll hopefully come up with something.
I Think I Feel Sorry for Yeren Now
That’s because Yrene is the one who’s been assigned to heal Chaol.
If you remember history correctly, Yrene was about to leave to heal the soldiers for the upcoming war to defeat the Adarlanian soldiers.
She has quite the grudge, and now, if you remember precisely, Adarlanian soldiers killed Yrene’s mother many, many years ago because she possessed the rare magic of that time.
Now imagine going through all that trauma, training hard so that you can avenge your mother’s death in the next battle. Your next mission is to heal one of those Adarlanian soldiers who got your mother killed and is still loyal to that King.
Until Yrene realizes that something is off about him, he doesn’t seem to have the mentality of the other soldiers. That made her mind go soft and easy on him, but we still had that one big problem – that dark magic tangled in his spine would not go so easily.
Nesryn is Just Here to Make Things Easier
Girlie has so few POVs, which shows that you can do more and still talk less if you can. Nesryn is good at her job, and this new book kinda got me shaken with her new ‘boyfriend’ twist. I mean, Nesryn? Girl, are you okay?
The moment Nesryn wanted to visit her town, Sartaq offered his help. Like, boy, chill out. You’ve only known her for what – ten days?
That’s when I knew. Something was about to cook.
She had important stuff to do initially, but honestly, I don’t care about Nesryn. I loved seeing the cultural exploration and everything, but she is just too vanilla. Even when I was about to write something for her, maybe a major plot, I cannot remember any scene or moment that she nailed. It was almost as if she nailed all the entries or was just not mention-worthy enough for me.
Chaol’s toe is moving
That’s right, fellas. The boy is back in business.
Something is going on between Yrene and Chaol. I can feel it. Yrene is not as angry as before, and Chaol has been having some kind of ‘authority’ over her … which is weird because she is this strong, independent warrior.
Yerene’s been busy burying herself within the library books to help Chaol heal. This dark magic is unknown and is taking a lot to break. I personally found this cute and sus of this much caring towards the person you hated initially – but, uh, you do you.
Chaol and Yrene took the first attempt of their healing session, and God, it was tiring, so much so that Yrene overslept the next day.
Oh, did I tell you about the cutesy little deal that they both made? Chaol will be training the young healers in self-defense. The sus bar is only getting higher.
I think they are only getting closer to the whole healing thing, and it’s now on a personal level.
Chaol needs to break down his psychic to Yrene to let her heal it, but that ain’t happening for unknown reasons. The unknown reasons might be dark thoughts related to Chaol’s childhood that he is too embarrassed to admit – the exact reason why he is not letting Yrene help.
So, the last time when she helped attack the dark magic, she saw Morath and his armies, and girl was literally physically bruised by the site. Chaol also got a flashback of how his dad treated him as a child.
That’s the shock that got his toe moving. Ain’t so bad, right?
I Smell Betrayal
Remember how a demon has entered the city of Antica? That’s partly Chaol and Nesryn’s fault because of the realm disturbance and whatnot.
King’s daughter, who has committed suicide (allegedly), is suspected to be a victim of this demon. I’ll not be surprised if the allegations are true and Chaol is about to be blamed. I’m still not fond of that guy.
Nesryn and others are on a mission to track this demon down and stop the circus, so she visits places to gather information.
Hasar, however, is stubborn about the fact that Chaol might have something to do with the Torre attacks – what he means is that Chaol is deliberately doing all these and tells Yrene to spy on him.
Do you still remember Aelin? We are finally talking about her. Hasar tells Yrene to find dirt or information on Aelin from Chaol, and Yrene silently disagrees. And this caught me by surprise… why is Yrene even thinking emotionally on this topic? This isn’t so ‘I trust no man’ of her.
Anyway, I didn’t like that Hasar threatened her to get the work done. I think we have more to decode now. So here, we have Yrene trying to get information out of Chaol against her will.
The Ship is about to Sail
My jaw dropped when Chaol beat Kashin to invite Yrene with him to spend some time with him at the party.
Yrene might not be on the betrayal list because she told Chaol about this and asked him for a piece of bluff information on Aelin that she could take to Hasar.
Chaol lets her know about Skull’s Bay location because there’s no way Aelin’s gonna be there, so it’s a safe location to give to them. This plot has a twist, in the end, just read the damn book already.
Yrene gives off a really thank-you-for-getting-this-burden-off-my-chest type of character. I feel like she doesn’t regret it and acts almost relieved that Chaol isn’t some evil that the world should despise. I mean, what other reasons are there to hook up with your mom’s murder clan?
Chaol has childhood issue
That’s not rocket science. We all knew about it.
I wouldn’t want just to guess someone’s trauma, so I was waiting for the right moment when Sarah J. Maas finally explained why he is the way he is.
The justification is always around. Oh, he has gone through a lot, so let’s just let him be an asshole. Chaol has serious daddy issues – he was abused by his dad from a very young age, and this took a toll on his mental health (we can tell).
Chaol could easily be in my top 3 hated characters of all time, and that’s why his POVs and plots were absolutely necessary for people like me who can now tolerate him more than before.
I think the reason Chaol and Yrene clicked right away is their childhood mommy-daddy issues. We know all about Chaol, but our girl Yrene had terrible mommy issues, too.
Let him tell you once and for all – I might like Chaol now when I’m almost at the end of the Tower of Dawn book. I had clear reasons to despise that guy because I hate people who make dumb decisions and face no consequences.
I mean, look at Aelin, for example. She has been destroying people’s lives throughout the book, and no one bats an eye.
As for Chaol, he gets that he has been doing stupid stuff, and he even regrets some of it. Chaol got mentally and physically punished directly and indirectly for what he did, and that’s enough of an apology for me now.
The Mystery of Vlag
Should I spoil this for you? I should not.
I’ll tell you this – this is the best part. The series had enough confusion on Vlag, and the mystery has been solved, and I loved it.
Apart from Chaol’s perspective and incidents that only focused on him, this unraveling was unmatchable. I could finally put everything together, and all of this made sense.
Maybe Vlag was just a parasite? Maybe someone in the royal family was possessed? And maybe … that’s the reason that that family member was dead?
I’m just guessing.
We Finally Read Something Remotely Related to Aelin
I know my Aelin and OG Throne of Glass fans were dying to get a glimpse of Aelin. Sarah J. Maas just gave us the best ending, and I’m not exaggerating even a bit.
When Yrene was young and her mother was brutally killed by the soldiers, she had nowhere to go. Some mystery woman that Yrene keeps talking about helped her by training her, feeding her, financially supporting her, and leaving a handwritten note.
Yrene always kept that note to herself for encouragement purposes. When Yrene and Chaol are setting off on a boat, Yrene shows that note to Chaol and says she doesn’t need it anymore since she’s brave now.
Chaol immediately recognizes the author’s handwriting.
It was Aelin’s.
Aelin was the woman who saved his wife’s life without even knowing who she was or the impact it might have later on. Chaol is flattered and tells her to keep it a bit longer. Aelin would love to know the whole story.
So that makes the two of us, Aelin, we loved the story too.
I Had Zero Expectations from the Characters
At least I came out liking Chaol – that’s what matters.
I have to talk about Yrene first. I don’t know how many of you read The Assassin’s Blade but she was there. But let’s just assume, she is new here and we LOVED her.
Yrene is calm and composed, yet brave and emotional which makes her very attractive. Why do I have a feeling that she knew Chaol for a long time and even liked him – how on earth can you go from hating the whole clan to marrying one of them in one book?
I have many how-on-earth questions about her; this is just the starter. SJM is not good at writing good side characters and their quests but this was a good reply to this criticism.
I loved Yrene’s character; it wasn’t bland and had both the love-hate side that only seemed more human to me. Nesryn, on the other hand, had less involvement in the action and more on the emotional side – both romantically towards her new boyfriend and platonically, towards her family.
I have to say that she got herself the best man – a man who listens to her, cares about her, does everything thinking of her, and is never ashamed to claim his love in front of everyone. What a dream.
Chaol – it’s been one hell of a journey. I hated that character at that one point in the whole series – especially in the Queen of Shadows. He was decent and kind in this one, which was new to me and all the newly converted Chaol fangirls.
I’d say the Tower of Dawn plot was more interesting to me than the characters— a rare incident in the Maasiverse.
Did I like Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas?
The only thing that bothered me was the slow-paced story and the lack of involvement of any other main characters. I miss Aelin, Rowan, Dorian, and everyone from every universe.
I can forgive the slow-paced part because of the surprises it holds (I’m still not over that Vlag one) — but I had a hard time getting used to the world and all of the new characters of Tower of Dawn.
But the good news is, it didn’t feel like it was info-dumping me. Everything felt natural, like something I should’ve known before the next book Kingdom of Ash. And every new character kinda makes you forget your old pals for the time being, which means they were well-written.
I remember being so stubborn not to read this particular one only because Chaol is the protagonist here. Surprisingly, I think I needed this one for the closure.
Chaol is definitely anything but remotely hated on my list now. He regrets his choices, got punished for that, got better, and made better choices – that worked, at least for me.
I recommend this one even if you hate Chaol – this might widen your horizon, which is necessary, trust me. You’ll still miss the old characters and their banter, so you’ll love the Tower of Dawn ending.