Saturday, March 1, 2014

Judging The Book By Its Cover: A Few Favorites!

With a new season of the TV series, A Game Of Thrones, currently being promo'd, I was reminded that one of my all-time favorite book covers is the Steven Youll cover for A Game of Thrones. I remember the first time I saw it, clear across the room in a (now, sadly, gone) indie SFF book store—and the whole look of it just reached out to me and said: “Buy me, I’m your kind of story!” And it really was! The cover both spoke for the book and was true to the book in a really powerful way.

Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana is another of my all-time favorite stories and I love the Mel Odom cover. It's stylized rather than realistic, with a formality that reminds me of a Renaissance-era tapestry, which is entirely appropriate for the book—but also speaks to what I call the “High Fantasy Romantic” nature of the story. In this case I already knew the author’s work, because I had read and enjoyed The Fionavar Trilogy previously. Nonetheless, the Mel Odom cover was still a compelling factor in drawing me to read Tigana.
When it comes to cover art, I love just about anything I’ve ever seen by Kinuko Craft. Particular examples include her Wildwood Dancing cover for Juliet Marillier, the Japanese-styled cover for Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, and her many covers for novels by Patricia McKillip—although I think Od Magic is probably my favorite of those covers. These also (imho) highlight the versatility of Craft’s work.

So how about you—what are your favorite book covers? What cover has made you buy the book—and did the story live up to the cover’s promise?

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