Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

The basics

Title: Tower of Dawn


Series: Throne of Glass #6

- The Assassin's Blade (March 2014)
- Throne of Glass (August 2012)
- Crown of Midnight (August 2013)
- Heir of Fire (September 2014)
- Queen of Shadows (September 2015)
- Empire of Storms (September 2016)
- Tower of Dawn (September 2017)
- Kingdom of Ash (May 2018)

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Goodreads Summary:

Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea's last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.

After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need—and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

what happened in Tower of Dawn?

  • Chaol and Nesryn have travelled south to Antica in order to find a healer for Chaol’s spine and also to try to gain some allies for the war with the Valg.
  • They see white cloth hanging in windows around the city, and Nesryn explains this means someone important has died. They decide to head straight to the palace to see the khagan.
  • We learn that, as per tradition, the khagan will name an heir out of his six children and it’s likely the others will be killed so they won’t be able to compete for the throne.
  • The khagan and the rest of the royal family greet Chaol and Nesryn. Chaol offers the khagan gold and jewels as a gift. The khagan reveals that he has heard of Aelin and the war that’s emerging in the north, and he knows that they want him to join the war too.
  • The khagan allows Chaol to approach the Torre Cesme healers for his spinal injury.
  • Prince Sartaq reveals that one of the khagan’s children, Tumelun, has died after falling from a balcony.
  • The khagan tells Chaol and Nesryn that Rifthold has fallen. Chaol worries about Dorian while Nesryn worries about her family.
  • Prince Kashin reassures Chaol of the healers’ abilities and he says he has seen similar injuries be healed before. Kashin tells Chaol that he thinks his sister was murdered.
  • Yrene Towers, from The Assassin’s Blade, is working at the Torre Cesme as a healer. She is the deputy to the healer on high, Hafiza. Yrene wishes to head back to Ardarlan to heal people who have been injured in the war. Hafiza would like Yrene to finish her training, because she’s such a powerful healer.
  • Hafiza asks Yrene to heal Chaol before she leaves.
  • Yrene heads to Chaol’s rooms for his first session. She’s impatient with him because he served the old king, who had Yrene’s mother and the other healers on the continent killed. Yrene would like some time to decide whether to help him.
  • Yrene speaks with Hafiza, who tells her she needs to do better.
  • Yrene inspects Chaol’s spine and finds there’s dark magic there. It will take a lot of time to heal.
  • Nesryn wants to see her cousins who are living in the city. Sartaq takes her.
  • Chaol asks Arghun for info about what happened to Rifthold, but Arghun won’t share.
  • There’s a royal dinner that evening and Chaol and Yrene attend, as Yrene is friends with the royals. Kashin acts all possessive of Yrene, although she’s not interested in being intimate with him.
  • Nesryn returns late.
  • The following day, Yrene agrees to heal Chaol and she warns him to be careful in the palace.
  • Yrene and Chaol discuss Antica and Adarlan and their differences. Chaol tells her about Perrington. Yrene tells Chaol his healing will be free.
  • Chaol asks the khagan for a private meeting, but the khagan and his wife are busy grieving Tumelun.
  • Yrene studies in the healers’ library so she can find out more about the dark magic in Chaol’s spine. She learns a bit about the Valg. She starts to feel as though she’s being watched so she heads back towards other people. She finds a dead girl on the ground, who looks a lot like Yrene. Yrene runs when she hears someone approach her.
  • Chaol starts his exercises the following morning while he waits for Yrene to arrive. When she finally gets to his rooms, she looks flustered and tired. Yrene sends Kadja away so she can speak to Chaol about the murdered girl. They think it was a Valg demon.
  • Chaol wonders if the Valg followed him from Ardarlan, but it’s possible one killed Tumelun too and it was already there.
  • Yrene asks Chaol to teach the healers self-defence.
  • Yrene starts working on Chaol’s injury, which turns out to be a very painful process. Yrene thinks the darkness might be partly psychological too, although Chaol doesn’t like this suggestion.
  • Sartaq approaches Nesryn while she’s in the aerie, and he offers her a ride on Kadar, his rukh. Nesryn has an amazing time. They discuss Sartaq’s siblings and the whole heir situation.
  • Nesryn and Sartaq go looking for the Valg demon together.
  • Chaol heads down to the Torre on horse ready for the self defence session. The healers are all very excited. Yrene arrives and starts talking to them about Chaol’s injury. Chaol isn’t super happy about this because he feels like he’s on display. He still holds the self defence class.
  • Yrene and Chaol head back to the palace. Kashin tells them he has put guards in the Torre.
  • Yrene has another go at healing Chaol’s spine. Chaol sees memories of his father being terrible, and Yrene sees visions of Morath and the armies. Chaol’s toes move.
  • Nesryn goes to visit her aunt and uncle again. She’s worried the Valg will attack her family but her family aren’t worried.
  • Hasar and Yrene discuss Chaol, Kashin, and the war. Hasar asks Yrene to ask Chaol for information on Aelin. Hasar wonders whether the healer’s murder was a trick by Chaol to ensure the khagan joins the war.
  • Yrene gives Chaol a tour of the city.
  • Chaol and Nesryn attend a party. Hasar tells Nesryn to move out of the way so Sartaq asks Nesryn to sit with him.
  • Chaol and Yrene chat a bit at the party. Yrene asks for a small hint to give to Hasar regarding Aelin. Chaol tells Yrene that Aelin could be in Skull’s Bay, because he doesn’t think Aelin would be there.
  • Nesryn and Chaol fall asleep while they’re talking. Yrene walks in on them the next day, and Chaol has to explain that nothing happened between them.
  • Yrene has brought a scroll with her, which has Wyrdmarks written on it. Chaol tells her to hide it.
  • Yrene tells Chaol that she has learnt of two more Valg kings, Orcus and Mantyx. They were sent back to their own realm, but Erawan was left behind.
  • Yrene sees Chaol’s memories while she’s healing Chaol. She tells him about her mother. Chaol can now move his foot.
  • Nesryn leaves Chaol a note before she leaves with Sartaq. Chaol is sad that he has driven her away.
  • While camping out for the night, Sartaq and Nesryn bond.
  • Yrene goes to see Chaol after he spends the whole day in a foul mood. Yrene feels someone following her and she and Chaol barricade the door to Chaol’s room. Kashin shows up and brings more guards.
  • Chaol trains with the Antican soldiers the following day.
  • Nesryn and Sartaq arrive in the mountains where the clan is living. Nesryn meets Borte, who challenges Nesryn to an archery contest. Obviously Borte is impressed by her. She asks Nesryn to teach her.
  • Borte’s grandmother brought a man called Falkan back with her. Houlun says there’s evil in the mountains and the nests are being raided by spiders.
  • Falkan tells Nesryn he bartered for a piece of the spidersilk in exchange for twenty years off his life. He regrets it.
  • Nesryn wonders if the khagan knows about the darkness but Sartaq knows his father is too busy grieving.
  • A storm hits, and Houlun tells a story over the campfire about a rip in the world and creatures coming through the gap.
  • Nousha, the head librarian at the Torre, tells Chaol and Yrene to go to the Aksara Oasis as there may be information there.
  • Yrene and Chaol go out for dinner.
  • Nesryn and Sartaq go to a spider tower. It’s full of traps, which they get through and head to the dungeon. A massive spider starts to attack them but they’re saved by Falkan in wolf form. Turns out he’s a shapeshifter and probably related to Lysandra.
  • Houlun tells the others about the three Wyrdkeys. They realise Erawan has at least one key. Sartaq asks Nesryn to tell him everything.
  • Hasar tells them that Dorian and Aelin were abducted at Skull’s Bay. Antica won’t help them. Kashin reveals that Captain Rolfe did order firelances from Antica, however.
  • Once Falkan is able to travel again, the group heads to the watchtowers. They meet Yeran, who is searching for the missing hatchlings. Yeran is Borte’s betrothed.
  • Chaol attends the khagan’s council meeting to speak to the foreign trade advisor. He doubles the order of firelances being sent to Aelin and Rolfe.
  • Chaol argues with Yrene and then they kiss.
  • Sartaq and Nesryn head to Dagul Fells. They see a hatchling there, then get stuck in a web. Spiders start to attack. Kadara flies away while Nesryn and Sartaq head into the pass.
  • Yrene, Chaol, and the royals go to Aksara for Yrene’s birthday. Yrene and Chaol find a Fae burial site and wonder if they can find any information on how to defeat the Valg.
  • Hasar suggests Aelin should marry one of her brothers. Chaol explains that Aelin will be marrying Rowan. Hasar makes a mean comment about Chaol’s wheelchair so Yrene throws her into the water.
  • Yrene shows Chaol the locket that was given to her by the woman who taught her self defence and gave her money to travel to Antica.
  • Sartaq gets stuck in a rock slide. Nesryn and Falkan escape but they get caught by spiders again. One of the spiders tells them they’re waiting for their Queen, Maeve, to arrive. Maeve is Queen of the Valg.
  • The spider tells Nesryn the story of three dark kings who fell in love with the queen. Maeve married the oldest brother, Orcus, but soon grew bored and wanted to explore other worlds. That’s how Maeve ended up there. The spiders followed. Orcus then made three keys to control the gates and search for Maeve.
  • Maeve eventually found a land ruled by Fae queens and manipulated their minds to believe she was their third sister. The Valg kings arrived and didn’t recognise Maeve in her fake Fae form. Maeve defeated them and took the keys. She didn’t quite get to banishing Erawan when Brannon showed up and took the keys.
  • The other riders arrive and help the team. Falkan asks Nesryn to help find his niece. They leave Dagul Fells burning.
  • Chaol finds that his room has been searched through when he returns to the palace.
  • Hafiza shows Yrene a bunch of books on Wyrdmarks. Yrene plans to take them to Chaol so he can read them.
  • Yrene fully heals Chaol then they say they love each other.
  • Nesryn asks Falkan to come north with them, as she knows his niece is there.
  • Chaol asks Nesryn and Sartaq to come back to Antica.
  • Chaol tells Yrene about Aelin and her fire. Yrene suggests that her healing powers could save people who are infected by the Valg.
  • Hasar tells them that Aelin defeated Maeve’s fleet of ships and now many other people are joining her forces.
  • Duva, who is infected by a Valg, binds Hafiza and traps her beneath the library. Duva admits to killing her younger sister because she became suspicious that something was wrong with Duva. Duva reveals that Maeve has been keeping healers nearby. Erawan is after Yrene.
  • There’s a big fight and Duva pretends to be knocked out, but then she shoots some power at Yrene. Chaol shields Yrene and is shot in the back with the darkness. Hafiza knocks Duva out, finally.
  • Yrene tries to heal Chaol but struggles as he’s about to die. The other healers help, and Yrene binds his life to hers. This will allow Chaol’s spine and legs to work when Yrene isn’t completely tired.
  • They explain the situation to the khagan. Kashin asks Yrene to heal Duva. Yrene tries to remove the Valg. Yrene fights the demon and eventually wins. The baby is also saved.
  • Antica agrees to join the war against Erawan.
  • Nesryn’s father and sister arrive in the city, where they will be safe.
  • Sartaq tells Nesryn that he has been appointed heir.
  • Chaol and Yrene marry and then head off to join Aelin. Chaol looks at the note from Yrene’s locket and recognises Aelin’s handwriting. He realises Aelin saved Yrene all those years ago.

That’s what happened in Tower of Dawn! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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