Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Rating (Empire of Storms): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Rating (Tower of Dawn): ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Young Adult Fantasy, 14+
Continuing on with my reread of the Throne of Glass series, I’ve reached Empire of Storms. When I wrote July’s TBR post, I thought I’d decided to read Tower of Dawn then Empire of Storms, but I found myself not really wanting to read Tower of Dawn and having to wait to see the journeys of the other characters, so I did some digging around to find a checklist for doing the tandem read.
The one I found is from T.L. Branson (https://www.tlbranson.com/throne-of-glass-in-order/). I downloaded and printed the printable reading guide and checklist, which was incredibly helpful for switching back and forth between the books. So, thank you to T.L. Branson for the list! It was a phenomenal way to work through the books!
Empire of Storms is the most exciting book in the series so far. The stakes are raised, the characters develop, and the plot intensifies to a terrifying climax. There’s barely a chapter that isn’t full of action or love interests falling for each other.
I remembered most of the events in this novel, unlike the previous books in the series. I loved following all of the various perspectives as they moved across the continent towards each other (even though the ending is so incredibly sad once they all converge).
Adding Tower of Dawn into that equation made the perspectives of Aelin, Manon, and the company even more significant. It was amazing to understand what Chaol and Nesryn were doing simultaneously to the others. I understand now that these two novels were supposed to be read this way – without each other, the novels are both missing a part of the tension that builds towards Kingdom of Ash. By reading them together, I felt the tension in both books rise together rather than climbing up the arc of one before going all the way back down when I started the next.
Tower of Dawn isn’t as exciting as Empire of Storms, but it did answer a lot of questions from Yrene’s point of view. We learned a lot about demons and healing magic and what role Yrene could possibly play in the endgame.
It’s incredibly fascinating to see news travel around the world between these books as well. Aelin and company will fight a battle or announce themselves in a city and the spies of the Khagan’s children will bring news to Antica (where Chaol and Nesryn are). As with most rumours, the news is twisted and shaped by the people in the grapevine, so Aelin’s actions aren’t always interpreted as they should be. Using the checklist that I did, the chapters line up very closely with each other so that you can see the slight delay in the news.
I don’t want to spoil anything now that I’m heading into Kingdom of Ash, so I’ll leave you with this:
You need to read Tower of Dawn.
I know that some people don’t want to, or don’t like it, but it’s so incredibly necessary to understand what happens in the endgame. I thought a lot of the information from Tower of Dawn was actually from Empire of Storms, but I can tell you now that it isn’t the case. Reading Tower of Dawn is a necessary part of the Throne of Glass series. Feel free to skip this book the next time you read the series, or look up what was important to know, but I think it’s integral to first read-throughs.
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