Friday Faceoff – Looking Out on All I Own…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week we are looking at covers featuring thrones. I have chosen The Poison Throne – Book 1 of The Moorhawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan.



This offering was published by Allen and Unwin in 2009. I think it effectively captures the gothic overtones with the pared back etched look and I like it very much. Unfortunately, the lettering in the title is rather poor, I think.



This version was produced by Orbit in 2010 and is the cover on the book that I own. I have to say it is my least favourite. Yet another cloaked, grumpy looking female scowling at me…



This edition was published in 2010 by Orbit, presumably it’s the hard cover version, though I’m not completely sure about that one. It has the same beautiful artwork, attractive font and stylish colour palette – and I think the throne works really well. So this is my favourite cover this week. Do you agree?

27 responses »

  1. I concur that I love the first one best. It captures a sense of time and style, and the ambiance of the sketching appeals compared to grumpy females or chairs. I do agree about the font, though, and I’m wondering how they could have improved it. Maybe something Book of Kells-esque?

  2. I agree with you: beautiful artwork, even though it seems to be taking the title quite literarily. 😉 The first one has its charm too, though for me it evokes the memories of the beautifully illustrated childrens stories (I think I had “Peter Pan” in similar style, though it might have been exclusive to the Polish edition of the book).

    • Yes… though it was a nightmare finding covers featuring thrones – they don’t turn up all that often! I really love the first one – if it wasn’t for the title font. Such a shame…

      • Indeed. It also might not be the best cover for the genre: I really can’t shake off the feeling of a fairy tale of old when I look at it.

      • Actually, it does work really well for the book – she thinks she’s going back home to a cosy, fairytale-type castle – and finds it’s changed into something quite different. It’s a good book:)

      • Hm. I’ve had to prune the piles of physical books by my bedside recently to ensure I didn’t accidentally crush a small grandson in a bookslide…

      • That reminds me of Anne Fadiman’s “Ex Libris”. If I recall correctly, she mentions there that her father allowed her to build castles from the heaviest tomes in his library.
        As for physical books: I still love them, but e-reader is so much more convenient (especially for workout and for making the font bigger, so my poor half-blind eyes don’t strain too much).

      • Yes! And THAT is the main reason why I increasingly go or ebooks these days! I found myself jabbing at the library print copy of League of Dragons to enlarge the font…

      • I can soooo relate! Sometimes I push the side of the physical book and my brain goes blank when I try to figure out why the page didn’t turn.
        Oh, technology spoils us sometimes, doesn’t it? 🙂

      • It certainly does. I’m very conscious that I’ve singularly blessed to live in a time when at the press of a button I can read something I LOVE, while listening to something else I love. And there’s hot and cold running water, which I REFUSE to take for granted.

  3. I like the second one the best and would expect a character focused fantasy novel based on that. Even though it’s not terrible original, it does fit in with what i expect from books in that genre. But I like the bottom one too and how the poison throne is actually displayed on the cover. There’s a strong match between the title and cover image for that one, which I like. And the use of green color works well on those last tow cover, hinting to the poison aspect.

    The first cover is nice, but it looks like a drawing instead of a cover and the lack of color wouldn’t draw me in. And I agree that the lettering is a bit bad there and as small picture the text might be difficult to read. I really enjoy these posts and seeing how different they are and sometimes which similarities carry over between covers. I like talking about cover, it’s so interesting!

    • It proved to be a bit of a stinker – tracking down thrones, didn’t it? I hadn’t realised that protagonists simply don’t sit down on the job – unless they’re Mark Lawrence bad boys!

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