Friday Faceoff – Underneath the spreading chestnut tree…


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 I have chosen Uprooted by Naomi Novik – one of my favourite reads of 2016.



This is the cover produced by Macmillan in May 2015 and is the cover of the book I read. I like it – the way the tower dominates the isolated village very effectively depicts the storyline. The colour also makes this an attractive, eye-catching cover – the downside is the very simplistic artwork initially made me think this was a children’s book, when it’s nothing of the sort.



This is the cover produced by Del Rey in May 2015. I think this is a really good candidate – the medieval flavour is well depicted and I like the nod in the direction of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The title font is lovely.



This edition is published in May 2016 by Pan Macmillan and reverts to the very simplistic design, without the attractive colouring. I think this is a rather drab, downbeat effort – a shame when considering what a cracking read the book is.



This Spanish edition, produced in March 2016 by Planeta, is beautiful. I love the detail of the red etched trees highlighted against the black background, which is still simple but so very effective. This is my favourite cover.



This German edition, produced in November 2016 by cbj, has chosen to feature the trees in a more figurative way. It is well done and evokes the mystery and era of the story, but does not quite have the punchy eye appeal of the previous cover. What do you think – which is your favourite?

27 responses »

  1. Totally agree with your choice, the Spanish cover is great, I like red and black together and it looks really smart.😀

    On a side, did you get the list of themes I DM’d you and Lynn on Twitter? Are they OK with you? Lynn said they were fine and there’s enough for the next six months, the blogger at books and beyond reviews chose them.

    • No! I haven’t seen them – the only one I saw was next week’s on Lynn’s site. It’s why I made this one up, not wanting to miss this post. Do you mind cutting and pasting them into another comment on this post, please Drew? Then anyone else who want to join in and also take part.

      • No worries, here’s the list:

        Friday Face-off themes:

        06/01/2017 – Ocean “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams”

        13/01/2017 – Clown “Nobody likes a clown at midnight”

        20/01/2017 – Spacecraft “Slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.”

        27/01/2017 – Book “A room without books is like a body without a soul”

        03/02/2017 – Hotel “Welcome to the Hotel California! Such a lovely place. Such a lovely face. Plenty of space at the Hotel California”

        10/02/2017 – Diamonds “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”

        17/02/2017 – Car “Drivin’ along in my automobile”

        24/02/2017 Alien – “Aliens – if they exist-are little green men with big eyes and spindly arms…or giant insects or something like a lumpy little creature”

        03/03/2017 – Playing cards “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well”

        10/03/2017 – School “I never let my schooling interfere with my education”

        17/03/2017 – Bird “Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs are too sweet and wild”

        24/03/2017 – Street lamp “He stood under the street lamp, sleet settling in his hair, hands fisted at his side”

        31/03/2017 – Casino “Whisky, gambling and Ferraris are better than housework

        “07/04/2017 – Circus “You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town!

        14/04/2017 – Easter “The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate”

        21/04/2017 – Bridge “I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to push forward”

        28/04/2017 – Beach/Seaside”Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!”

        05/05/2017 – Lion “If you place your head in a lion’s mouth, then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off”

        12/05/2017 – Phone “Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it”

        19/05/2017 – Plane “When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it ….”

        26/05/2017 – Mice “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘it might have been’…”

        02/06/2017 – Moon “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”

        09/06/2017 – Mummy “It shuffles through the dry, dusty darkness”

        16/06/2017 – Guitar “You couldn’t not like someone who liked the guitar”

        23/06/2017 – Cat “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”

        30/06/2017 – Hat “It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself

        “07/07/2017 – Gold “All that is gold does not glitter”

        14/07/2017 – Boats “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…

        “21/07/2017 – Planet “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”

        December 2017 – Snowman “Snowflakes are unique, just like fingerprints, which means there is nothing quite so unique in the universe as a snowman’s fingerprints.”

  2. The German is the most romantic and beautiful of all. I agree the first looks like a children’s book. I didn’t like your favorite at all! Ha ha. I didn’t even see the trees and roots etc. with all the red and black flowing together–just an abstraction. Funny how tastes can differ!

    • And that’s a glory of this blogpost, Rae – I get to discover just how much personal preference sways people’s decisions. Though I’ve also been surprised at how many covers have been plain bad:). And you’re right – the German cover has captured the romance and beauty of the story.

  3. Oh, that red tree/black cover is effective, I agree–the trees even have a pointed look, like thorns. Good’n’menacing. But I think the medieval style is my favorite, with the various elements and promise of adventure. Also, considering you’re not the first to recommend this book to me, I think I’ll HAVE to read it. 😉

  4. Hi
    I love your choice and completely agree with the winner.
    Sorry – I hadn’t realised you’d not seen the list on DM – I don’t seem to get notifications of messages any more and so assume you’re the same?
    Are you okay with the list?
    Lynn 😀

    • No, I don’t get notifications – but I did keep checking my Twitter DM and for some reason, I simply didn’t get the message. No problem, though – the list is great:)).
      It is a wonderful cover, isn’t it? I started out thinking I was going to go with the Del Rey version – until I saw this one and immediatley knew it was going to be my favourite.

  5. For some reason I like the first and the forth covers. I think it is because of the graphics: the pattern of the tree branches and roots is better represented by drawing, not painting.

  6. I agree the Spanish Edition is the best , but i think the Del Rey Cover also appeals to me 🙂 Cool choice of books , it’s actually on my TBR shelve

  7. I like the first one the most – I think the tower’s shadow over a particular house and the forest lurking at the edges of the image give a really good feel of the book (along with the chosen style), but the second one is definitely more eye-catching for the readers who haven’t heard about the book.

  8. Oh yes, it’s a great cover. And I think this particular selection of covers has split opinion more than any other – which is great:). The Del Rey cover is particularly strong and again, gives a real feel for the book.

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