I keep falling more and more in love with this series, as the conversation becomes more involved in the politics of their world. Tower of Dawn focuses on Chaol and Nesryn’s journey to the Southern Continent, whose Khaganate and city of Antica strikes me as modeled after a Middle Eastern country, perhaps the UAE.
The Khagan rules, and his lineage is passed down through his sons and daughters, one of which will be chosen to rule the empire when they have proven themselves. Nesryn (and Chaol, but mostly Nesryn) get to know the sons and daughters of the Khagan pretty well as they begin to uncover some mysterious happenings on the continent that may be linked to the evil that is becoming pervasive in Erilea. The Khagan rules a huge army, and Chaol and Nesryn’s quest is to secure the Khagan’s backup in the upcoming war.
Meanwhile, Chaol is in a wheelchair from their last battle, where his spinal chord was injured. His secondary mission and hope is that his spinal chord can be healed with the help of the legendary healers from the Torre Cesne. Yrene Towers is reintroduced here, and her character is one of my absolute favorites. She was originally introduced as a young want-to-be healer in The Assassin’s Blade, where she had been stuck in an Inn until Celaena came by and provided her with the defense training and gold necessary to give her the boost of confidence to send her on her way to join the healers of the South.
Because Tower of Dawn is happening simultaneously with Empire of Storms, there were many moments that were painful to watch unfold. As a reader, you are privy to many of the secrets and ins and outs of the war, plus with Chaol and Nesryn being on the Southern Continent, word gets to them so much slower and with such little accuracy. It’s hard to watch the Southern Continent being set up to mistrust Aelin’s mission.
While I found the romantic interests to be predictable, I absolutely adored the two budding relationships. Their crescendo was fantastically drawn out, and I felt the two pairs were very well matched. Out of all of S. J. Maas’s books, I found Nesryn and Sartaq’s relationship to be my favorite. While I find that Chaol is still not my favorite character, I love how he and Yrene really help each other mend some deep-set traumas.
All in all I loved this book and can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash!