When I began reading Sarah J. Maas' books I had already been introduced to the world of High Fantasy. To the world of incredibly well built characters and amazing plot twists. However, what I would have never expected when reading another fantasy series is the way that Maas has me on a complete and utter chokehold. I hated Chaol. I despised him as a character. I felt he was a wimp and weak and he utterly disgusted me. He never believed in Aelin and never loved her as Dorian or Rowan did and for that I just simply couldn't stand him. Hence when reading HIS book I was a little scared. I debated skipping it, I wished at the stars who listened that I was reading about Dorian instead, but like I said before Sarah J Maas just has magic in her hands and she completely turned my opinion on Chaol around in the first few chapters of this book.
Hence the first thing I need to say is DO NOT SKIP THIS BOOK. It is such a disservice to the series if you do and you will miss out on such an amazing and in depth narration of a lost soul finding hope and finding himself along the way.
Honestly the reason it wasn't a 5 star read is because I could skip Nesryn's chapters and not really care. I never cared much about her, yet I am happy she was able to find the love she deserved. However, the book is really much about Chaol and his growth.
After the battle that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Chaol goes to the best healers to see if they can heal his legs and make him walk again. However when Chaol meets his healer; Yrene, he realizes that convincing her to heal him might be a struggle as Adarlan forces killed Yrene's mother and family. However the two form a bond as Yrene slowly reconstructs not only his legs but HIS HEART.
Chaol is a dark character after the war, he is distraught and blames himself for so many issues of the book prior to this book. All these thoughts feed the sickness inside of him that doesn't allow him to move. As his hearts starts opening for Yrene, his legs start working again and he starts seeing hope for the first time in a really love time.
This book was everything honestly and it was a great prequel to what is probably going to be a devastating ending of a series in Kingdom of Ash. I stand by Chaol and the character developed that occurred within the Tower's walls and within the walls of the book. That is how you write a flawed character, a character that people don't like and change their mind.
Overall rating: 4.5 stars