I’ve laid out my feelings on Sarah J. Maas books. And I feel like – unlike with the Court of Thorns and Roses – the consensus here about Throne of Glass is pretty clear. They nestle comfortably somewhere just below a love/hate. It would take more energy than they’re worth to either love or hate them, but they are the good of bad writing. You don’t want to read them, but you also can’t put them down. And so it is with Tower of Dawn.
I’m not going to bother trying to come up with the names of most of the proper nouns because they’re like a cat walked across a keyboard. I’ll give Maas this – you know she didn’t go into writing gunning for a movie deal because my god not even Meryl Streep could say “Chaol” with a straight face. That’s the one character name you get. The rest have vanished like so much wind.
Anyway, this book actually gets us away from Queen Mary Sue of the fairies and follows the aforementioned Chaol along with the heterosexual flavor of the week across the sea to someplace vaguely Ottoman. Look, they have baklava. They want help in the war that Queen MS is fighting off-screen so they seek out this new countryplace that is perfect in that not only are there warriors, there are page and pages of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. These books aren’t about plot – you can read every fifth word and figure out what’s going on because when something happens it’s re-explained two pages later. These books are about creating characters meant to be physically attractive and following them on the path to bone-town. On that front, ToG is a long and winding road.
But I read it. And I’m gonna read the next one. I apologize to myself now.