Friday Faceoff – A Bouquet for You, M’Lady…


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 flowers. I have chosen The Just City – Book 1 of the Thessaly Trilogy by Jo Walton. There are just two covers to choose from this week…


This offering was published by Tor in January 2015. The darkness of the cover, along with the classical characters is a little off-putting to me. This book is a joy to read so the rather heavy cover doesn’t accurately reflect the lightness of touch and readability of this enjoyable book.



This version was produced by Corsair in July 2015 and this is my favourite by a long light year. There is still a nod to the classical setting, but there is a real beauty and sense of joy with this cover that is far more in keeping with this remarkable book. What do you think?

25 responses »

      • Yes, you do have the advantage of knowing the text. When it comes to “judging a book by its cover,” I’ll still pick the first, but you’re quite right that if I knew the story, I might find the cover an ill fit.

      • It’s why I generally try to choose covers from the books I’ve already read – these days books are reasonably well matched with their covers, but in the past I’ve come across some real mis-matches that had me thinking I was getting one sort of book, only to find it was entirely something else.

  1. Absolutely no contest so far as I’m concerned: the Corsair cover is by far the more enticing.

    I’ve the hugest admiration for Irene Gallo, who commissions the Tor covers, and this is probably the first time I’ve come across a cover pic that beats one of “hers.” But the Corsair one (artist?) really is lovely.

  2. I agree that the black cover looks too heavy. I would just change the color to sepia or something like that. The second cover is nice, but somehow it looks incomplete. I would draw one more frame.

    • That’s an interesting point… I certainly agree on the Tor cover – and I’m still not sure WHY it had to be that black. However, I’m so in love with the first book cover, I’d rather have it as it… Lovely to hear a variety of views, though and thank you so much for taking the time to comment:)

  3. Wow what a difference between covers, they both have a bit of a classical feel, but the second cover is a lot more inviting to me. I like the focus on the font and the illustration to the left of it. I didn’t notice the mechanical hand at first, but then I saw your reply about it to another blogger and I had to go back and take a closer look. That’s really neat how they worked that in the image and it’s in the same style as the rest so I didn’t even notice it at first.

      • No I haven’t read it. This is the first time I heard of it. It’s always fun to hear about books I didn’t know of before.

      • Oh, do look up Jo Walton – I think she is one of the greatest writers around today and given that she is a World Fantasy, Nebula Award and Hugo Winner, still far less well known than she should be… Tooth and Claw is a delight and her book Among Others is extraordinary:).

  4. I agree with you, the first cover is a bit off putting. It gives me the sense of “that classic book they mentioned at high school that you never bothered to read”.

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