[WARNING: Do not read if you haven’t read Queen of Shadows (QoS) / Empire of Storms (EoS) or are planning to read Tower of Dawn (ToD).]
After I finished reading ToD last month, I realized that I personally would have been fine having skipped that book and just spoiling myself in preparation for the final installment of the Throne of Glass series. Although, I think it is skippable, I do not know how important Chaol, Nesryn, or any of the new characters will be in the final book, which is why I attempted to pull out the most important tidbits from ToD and share them in this post.
There a few reasons why I don’t think ToD was worth the time or money that I will detail below before I jump into the spoilers.
- Before jumping into this book, I already despised Chaol and was indifferent to Nesryn, and nothing about this book changed my opinions on them. If you like these characters, you might find this book a worth while read and in which case I recommend not continuing to read this post!
- This book was just too damned long. It took forever for me to read because there was just so little happening in the first part especially. Most of the time with SJM books, I have found the pay off in the end worth continuing on. But in this book, I’m not sure any of the revelations justify the time wasted trying to finish the book, unless you’re a die-hard Chaol fan.
- Finally, I don’t think that this book illustrates how far SJM has come as a author. I’ve read almost every book she’s written at this point (I still see no reason to pick up The Assassin’s Blade). I know this is an unpopular opinion but Throne of Glass was horrible. It was so derivative of other popular YA novels and Celaena was one of the worst Mary Sue’s I’ve ever seen disguised as an assassin. But I’ve kept reading. And since Heir of Fire and A Court of Mist and Fury, I’ve had complete faith in her ability to churn out great rollercoaster books.
That being said, I have no doubt that ToD was just filler book. She’s been publishing two books per year and this year it caught up with her and she had to publish something this fall. I don’t fault her for it and I don’t fully regret reading this book. I just feel like writing this post will make have made the experience worth it.
I’m not going to summarize the entire book; that would take forever. I just want to set up the novel before I jump into the spoilers I think will be important to know/remember to ready for the final book.
Set during the events of EoS, ToD opens with Chaol & Nesryn having reached the Southern Continent at Antica where they travelled to in order to find someone who could heal Chaol after his accident at the end of QoS which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Antica is known the world around for their healers, second only, perhaps, to the Fae healers of Wendlyn.
They were also charged to act as diplomats and convince the khagan to join Adarlan and Terrasen in their war against Duke Perrington (aka Erawan)’s forces in Morath. Unfortunately for them, the khagan recently suffered the death of one of his children and the family is in mourning that renders any war negotiation inappropriate. Therefore, Chaol & Nesryn must cosy up to his remaining children who are nearly all vying to become the heir to the khaganate.
Now that we’re all caught up, I’ll proceed with all the spoilers you’ll find necessary if you plan to read the seventh and final book in the Throne of Glass series, which still does currently not have a title and is tentatively slated for a Fall 2018 release.
#1 Chaol and Nesryn, who are friends with benefits at the beginning of the novel, find new lovers.
Chaol falls in love with his healer, Yrene, who is the unofficial heir to the position of Healer on High. She is eager to leave Antica in order to help her homeland of Fenharrow in the war. She also hates Chaol as the former Captain of the Guard to the Adarlan king who slaughtered and enslaved her people. So naturally she falls in love with him while he’s all broody about his disability and his wavering loyalty to Nesryn.
Nesryn, meanwhile, grows close to Prince Sartaq who commands their country’s army of ruk riders. The ruk is an enormous eagle-like bird that just might stand a chance against the witch’s wyverns. In ToD Nesryn joins Sartaq as he investigates who is abducting ruk eggs. In a moment of fear that he might die, he reveals he loves her and the book ends with Sartaq as the presumed heir to the khaganate, even after he’s revealed his feelings for Nesryn.
#2 Magical healers may hold the key to saving people whose bodies have been invested by the Valg.
Yrene discovers by healing the dark magic that lingered in Chaol’s back preventing him from being able to walk how her own healing power may be used to combat people who have been completely taken over. Her suspicion is tested and proven at the climax ToD when they discover a Valg has been impersonating khagan’s pregnant daughter Duva.
Yrene and Chaol also suspect that Maeve and Valg are aware of the strength of this power, which explains why the Valg hunt Yrene throughout the novel as she tries to learn the root of the dark magic lingering in Chaol and why Maeve has kept the Fae healers (and secret source of the healing power in the Southern Continent) so close to her.
#3 Aelin’s evil Fae aunt Maeve is not really her aunt but a freakin’ Valg princess.
That’s right. Maeve is a Valg princess who is the reason the Valg princes turned their sights on this world. She ran away from them and they came looking for her, which is the cause of the first great war. And because of her powers, she was able to trick the most powerful Fae in this world Mab & Mora that she was their sister.
This all is revealed by a chatty stygian spider while she holds Nesryn and Sartaq prisoner. These spiders, which (according to the Throne of Glass wikia) were introduced in Heir of Fire, are revealed to be Valg handmaidens to Maeve, guarding the portal to the other world from which they came. (If you remembered these spider things, props to you! I certainly did not. I laughed out loud when they were introduced at a pretty serious moment.)
If you’ve read this book yourself and think I have neglected to note any important spoilers feel free to let me know & I might add them to my list along with a link to your blog in thanks! Also feel free to let me know if I got anything wrong or if you think that ToD was worth reading. Although I wouldn’t have minded skipping this one, I still rated it three stars on Goodreads because it was enjoyable at times. But I do also wish I had used my time to read books I know will be so much better.