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BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas, Tower of Dawn

Featured image courtesy of A Page With A View

The Verse’s Sophie Baldock met Sarah J Mass, following the publication of her sixth book from the Throne of Glass Series, inspiring budding readers and thrill seekers. 

I recently had the amazing opportunity to witness my hero in the flesh – Sarah J Maas, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of her series Throne of Glass and A Court Of Thorns And Roses.

Maas came to drizzly England at the end of last month on her book tour for her new book Tower of Dawn – the sixth book in her first series Throne of Glass. The book’s events run parallel with those taking place in the fifth book of the series. The book is also the first to branch off from the main story and delve into another place in this series.

I shall refrain from spoiling anything (promise!), however, I highly advise that you get your hands on this woman’s work of art. The Throne of Glass series is due to come to a resounding end next year; I shall be ready with my tissues and a clear schedule to dive into her wonderful, yet heartbreaking world of characters.

Tower of Dawn

Sarah J Mass has created two worlds full of magic. The book empowers women, creates incredibly in-depth complex villains and heroes, and portrays deaths the reader experiences themselves. Maas composes love that makes the pages glow – fate and destiny, and not to mention impossibly perfect relationship goals. Tower of Dawn follows a character from the TOG series who suffered a life-changing injury in the previous book. They have been sent away with another character to find a method to help him regain his strength now that magic has returned to the world after ten years of disappearing.

This character also attempts to gain allies from the foreign ‘Southern Continent’ whilst deciphering what’s happening back home to stop the evil spreading into the Southern Continent’s roots. He meets a character who was in the second novella in Maas’ collection The Assassins Blade, set before the beginning of the first book in the series. The Assassins Blade was published in 2013, a year after the first ‘real’ book of the series. Maas advises anyone who has read/is going to read the TOG series to read the fifth book before reading Tower of Dawn.

Sarah J Mass is also in the process of writing a spinoff from her other series ACOTAR which she finished this year; the final book was released in May giving everyone heart palpitations and increased stress levels, but with a worthwhile ending. I even beat my record of reading time, and finished this book in less than twelve hours! No one is sure which characters this spinoff is going to follow. I’m sure whoever she decides to write about will have an amazing story that shows us more about the characters and their dynamics, and explores more of the world of Pyrthian.

An Evening with Sarah J Maas

During the talk, we learnt a lot about Maas as a person as well as an author. Her grandma has an amazing tale of surviving the Holocaust and being shipped off to America with her younger brother. Sarah shared the trials her family went through in Europe during the Nazi regime.

We also started to delve more into her thought process as an author, and just how much research writing requires. She threw fact after fact at us about the Mongolian dynasty and Genghis Khan, and how his way of ruling differed from the Europeans. She took pieces of Khan’s dynasty and incorporated the Mongolian Empire’s way of life into her creation for the Southern Continent in Tower of Dawn. Sarah wanted to show just how different the Southern Continent is to the Northern Continent of Erilea.

As a creative writing student, it was eye-opening to see someone so humble, geeking out over their research and characters. To actually hear a published author discuss her writing process – how she could hide out in her office for days if she had it her way – was inspiring. I feel you, Sarah, I feel you.

Some people say don’t meet your heroes, you’ll just be disappointed. I, however, can honestly say that this woman was the first author I read who really gave me the drive to take my passion for writing seriously. Whether that be a dream of a published novel, or simply writing poetry and scraps of prose that’ll stay hidden in the depths of my computer hard drive. To top off the whole experience, the following day she announced the amazing news that she’s expecting her first child next spring!

All in all, the book tour was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had this year. It was a brilliant way to completely geek out with many other of her fans and hear Maas’ words of encouragement and whole-hearted love for her husband, family and fans.

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