The Tower of Dawn Cover Controversy


A many of you may already know, Throne of Glass is one of my favourite series. I fell in love from the first book and I became wholly invested in the story and the characters. I have read Heir of Fire so many times I have actually lost count. Empire of Storms ripped my heart out and I am still waiting for the last book so it can *hopefully* mend. So why, you may ask, am I writing this post?

Well, the now 6th book of the Throne of Glass series called “Tower of Dawn” had it’s cover reveal last week and it was underwhelming to say the least. Whilst it is only a cover and there are bigger things in the world to get cranky about, the cover has shown one of the problems this series.

Image result for tower of dawn

Throne of Glass is well known for it’s absolute lack in diversity. The only black person in the series was killed and used as a plot device, and every other character is white, straight and able-bodied. That was why, when Chaol ended up in a wheel-chair, fans thought that maybe this was the start of SJM including more diversity to her books. This was also why, when Empire of Storms came out, fans were pissed when Chaol was notably absent.

SJM told us all that the reason why Chaol wasn’t in Empire of Storms was because he needed his own book (which is why ToD became the 6th book in the series rather than just a novella). Unfortunately, it felt more like SJM didn’t know how to include a disabled character into the story, so she set him apart from the rest of the characters. All of a sudden she had a character who didn’t fit into the white, straight, able-bodied mould and she didn’t know what to do.

Then came the ToD cover. You will note that the rest of the books in the series have a person on the cover, wielding a sword or arrow or fire. The covers have an aesthetic that they have stuck to…until a character with a wheelchair came along. Rather than putting Chaol on the front of his own book, instead we get the picture of a city and a shield.

Image result for throne of glass

Was this intentional?

Regardless of the intention, it doesn’t look good. It comes across looking like they haven’t put Chaol on the cover because he is in a wheelchair. It looks like they have once again set the disabled character apart from the rest of the series, even though his book is supposed to be the 6th book.

My next question is why they felt he couldn’t be on the front cover. I am becoming more and more concerned that Chaol is going to have some miraculous recovery and no-longer require a wheelchair. While I would be happy for Chaol, what is so wrong with having a wheelchair bound character who can kick ass?

My whole point here, is that I really feel like despite this story and character being a work of fiction, a character has still managed to be discriminated against. I have seen people say that this is a problematic series so why the hell are we pissed about a cover…but to me, the cover is part of the problem.

Like I said at the beginning, I absolutely love this series, but I am wholly able to acknowledge that whilst SJM has written a great story, she has made some pretty big mistakes in terms of diversity. At the end of the day authors can write what they want to write, however at some point if certain constructive criticism becomes repetitive…the author needs to change some thing. I can only hope that SJM starts listening.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree/disagree with what I am saying? Let me know in the comments section below.

Steff xx



  1. Lucy's Literature · June 26

    I totally agree with this! I am personally not that big of a fan of this series (one reason being its complete lack of diversity).

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · June 27

      Yeah unfortunately the lack of diversity is a big issue. Like, fair enough ToG was her first book and she probably never expected her series to get so big. But when people are constantly saying diversity is an issue, you would think she would listen to it. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thebookcorps · June 26

    Great post and I agree. I have this terrible feeling Chaol will recover (unless I’m making this up, wasn’t that very thing suggested in Empire of Storms?). Anyway, I’m slowly getting sick of this series and really don’t want to read the new book – I was like ‘meh’ when it was a novella, but now that it’s a novel (that was purportedly written in 4 days), I’m even more hesitant. However, I know that if I don’t read this book, I probably won’t understand the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · June 27

      Honestly I think everyone is getting sick of the series now. I think SJM has tried to do a bit of a Harry Potter. I don’t really want to read the new book either 😦 But yeah, apparently she said that you have to read ToD to get the 7th book. I really hate that she left such a big cliffhanger. And you are right, they did say in QoS and EoS that Chaol was going away to be healed….so we will have to see :-/ Thanks so much lovely!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. raven avery · June 26

    I haven’t actually read any of these books (don’t hit me :P) but I have to say that it does sound pretty bad that she hasn’t included him on the cover, it does single it out, or leave it open for a miraculous recovery 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · June 27

      Haha it’s all good! It really does sound bad hey, even if that wasn’t the intention…I’m thinking there is definitely going to be a miraculous recovery :-/ Thanks so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lu Reads · June 27

    I agree, it looks totally different and the intentions of this can definitely be speculated. I feel like the lack of diversity is growing ever stinger withe her books, especially as the only character who isn’t straight and white is Aedion, who is bisexual and that isn’t really talked about much it was just like, “oh yeah I’ve had male lovers in my legion before” and then that was the end of it.

    I hope that he doesn’t make a miraculous recovery, as the injuries he’s sustained were serious and wouldn’t be healed within weeks, months or even years. Maybe he does recover, but I think that it would be great to have some more diversity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · June 27

      Yeah the whole bisexual thing really felt like it was thrown in there hey! And I think people were upset about how he spoke about it, I think because he was comparing Lysandra’s being a prostitute to him being bisexual :-/

      I agree, I hope he doesn’t make a miraculous recovery either! He could totally be a kickass character in a wheelchair, I would actually love to read about that!!

      Thank you so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lu Reads · June 28

        I would love to read about that so much and I think that it would bring so much more to the series. But I’m pretty sure that he will make a miraculous recovery which is a bit disappointing :((

        Liked by 1 person

  5. michelejennifer · June 28

    I 100% agree. This is becoming more of a guilty pleasure series for me. I enjoy it, but there are so many elements that I know are just bad. The lack of diversity, the idolization of hyper-aggressive masculinity, and now this. I’m 100% certain that Chaol’s going to have a miraculous recovery and get out of his wheelchair, and that’s why they felt that they couldn’t put him on the cover. Because he’s not going to be actually kickass until he’s out of the wheelchair. So the cool picture would be him standing on his own, and that would be a major spoiler.
    It’s one of those things where I know that a lot of the series is the way it is because when she started writing it she was in high school, but there are some things that should be changing. We live in a world where we are collectively (supposed to be) more aware of diversity and representation. So as these books are being written, wouldn’t it be a good thing for the series to grow and reflect that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · June 30

      Yes definitely guilty pleasure for me too. Ugh the hyper-aggressive masculinity is so annoying hey! Like, sure, have one or two characters like that…not every single male character. I hardly even know any men in real life that are like that!! Yeah I think that maybe the first and second book can get a bit of a free pass because SJM was in highschool and she was probably just happy to be writing a book. But after that I think it would have been good for her to take on board the lack of diversity, which she still to this day has stayed quiet on. Thank you so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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