Friday Faceoff – You have nice manners for a thief, and a LIAR!


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is the one we prefer. This week the theme is dragons, so I’ve chosen Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton.


This cover, produced by Tor Fantasy in December 2004, is a rather splendid dragon. Definitely eye-catching and I like the fact that he is clearly expecting to be served. If I’m going to be picky, the backdrop looks like a generic fantasy landscape – and this book is set in an alternate Victorian England where dragons are vying with each other for power and influence after the style of Trollop. So the backdrop doesn’t line up very well with the content. Other than that, I think it’s a solidly good cover.


This offering was produced by Orb Books in January 2006. I have to say my first instinct is ‘how boring’. A WHITE cover… really? And that very generic dragon didn’t really take a lot of effort. There’s nothing innately wrong with it, but when I consider just what an awesomely sharp, funny and memorable book this is – the cover simply doesn’t measure up.


This cover from Corsair was published in February 2013 and is far more like it! The deep rich crimson and embossed gold lettering and wheeling dragon is both classy and eyecatching. This is the edition that I read, so that also may affect my reaction to it – but the reason I picked it up off the shelf was because the cover caught my eye…


Produced in September 2017, this French edition by Denoël also features gold lettering and decoration. The background is darker, but I suppose they are going for a classic Victorian feel. I also like the visual impact of this one, though I doubt it gives the reader much idea about the story or genre of this very quirky, entertaining book.


This edition, published in 2006 by Triton is my favourite. I love the wonderfully detailed illustration. The power and menace emanating from that dragon is palpable, while the lettering looks beautiful. And the fact this dragon is engrossed in a book gives a major clue about the story. What about you? Which one of these do you prefer?


AAAND… some of you may know that my debut novel, Running Out of Space was published this week. Today I am featuring in a guest blog at Second Run Reviews talking about growing up during the space race – and how I felt when it all came to a halt.

20 responses »

  1. Your favorite is mine too. (Funny how often that occurs.) I definitely would pick it up just attracted by the cover. Am going to order your book this weekend! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Jo Walton wrote a dragon book? This I have to check out! As for the covers, I really like the French edition. I agree that it doesn’t tell you much about the story, but it’s so elegant and just so…CLASSIC! It’s a book I would proudly display on an office shelf somewhere.

  3. Well, this is an excellent choice. I saw the first and thought it was great – I was sure it would be my favourite. I loved the French version but then I came upon the Triton – outright, definite, without a doubt, solid winner – right there. I would definitely pick that book up if I saw it on the shelf!
    Lynn 😀

  4. Ooo, that last cover’s awesome! It engages and intrigues. I do like the Victorian approach, too–it’s a nice foreshadowing on the story’s universe without the reader knowing it. 🙂 As for that bland cover, it reminds me of those grown-up Harry Potter covers. What better way to connect readers with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone than with a giant steam train on the cover? That’s engaging, right? Riiiiight? (sigh) But I love that last cover, seriously. Totally need to read this. 🙂 xxxxxxxxx

  5. I’m not sure I particularly like any of them. All seem interesting, but none of them grabs me. I guess I’ve become spoiled with so many beautiful and unique covers out there that I’m now more picky.

    • You’re right – covers just go on getting better. Though I still think that final one is amazing. And the book is well worth reading – one of my alltime favourite fantasy reads…

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