Friday Faceoff – My, what big teeth you have…


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 the theme is featuring a cloaked figure, so I’ve gone with Spellwright by Blake Charlton.


This cover, produced by Tor Books in March 2010, is dramatic and beautiful with the young apprentice trying to cast a spell on the battlements of the college. I love the setting, with the stone carvings and the city off in the distance – there is a nice touch with two moons in the sky and for me, the finishing touch is that lovely title font. This is my favourite cover.


This edition was produced by Voyager in March 2011. I like this one – the ball of glowing letters against the green background is eye-catching and attractive. My main concern is that I’m not sure if it fully conveys a fantasy read about a dyslexic wizard – I think it might be for a science fiction genetic disaster adventure.


Published in May 2010 by Harper Voyager, this is another effective and dramatic cover featuring young Nicodemus, the young wizard who cannot accurately spell the… spells he is casting. I have a soft spot for this one, although it doesn’t surpass the first cover for beauty or drama.


Produced in September 2010 by Prószyński Media, this dramatic Polish cover is giving us a very dramatic rendition of the antagonist who is plotting to control young Nicodemus. However, I am concerned that prospective readers might get a completely different idea about this book – while there is plenty of action in Spellwright, it isn’t particularly gory or horrific.


This Spanish offering, published in November 2011 by Versátil Ediciones is yet another eye-catching and attractive cover. But I think this one is even more liable to confuse the reader as to the genre of this book – with those letters and the vivid green starburst, I think this one could be mistaken as a biological disaster adventure story. What do you think and which is your favourite?

42 responses »

    • It is lovely, isn’t it? It was the main reason I initially picked this book up – and I’m very glad I did, because the whole series is a remarkable read which I loved.

  1. I agree with you; the first is the most beautiful and the most dramatic. However, they all are excellent. Each one “draws me in” and captures my curiosity about the story in its own way. Beautiful covers today.

  2. While I like the third one, in comparison to the first one it just doesn’t cut it. That first one is outstanding actually. I love that cover! It’s the kind of cover where if I was looking through books and came across that one, I would stop and look at the book based on the cover alone. That’s what authors want from their covers, something that’s going to grab readers attention. It’s beautifully done! I love these blog posts!! I enjoy your analysis of each cover, because I always learn something from the way you look at the covers.

    • Yes… I’m not quite sure why they choose to feature the antagonist in this one, particularly as Nicodemus is such a strong protagonist with such an intriguing issue…

      • It’s okay – I had already worked out what you were saying – those spelling gremlins always hit me when I’m posting a comment! Yes… you’re probably right regarding the suiting the genre in selecting the third cover – but I love the beauty and detail of the first cover, which is also brilliant at recreating the detailed decor of the ancient College so intensely described in the book. And the last cover is also very attractive.

  3. I have to go with the crowd and vote for the first one- it’s gorgeous. Though I love the phrase ‘science fiction genetic disaster adventure’- it’s the perfect genre for that cover! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Friday Face-Off: My, What Big Teeth You Have – Books by Proxy

  5. I love the artwork of the first one, and it looks super fantasy! Def my fave! The third one is nice too. The fourth one looks way different. I would’ve thought that was the protag and imagined a completely diff kind of book. And the other two are just a little plain for my taste. None are terrible though.

  6. Say, that villain cover gets me thinking: how often do covers focus on the villain instead of the hero? I honestly cannot recall another of your cover studies doing this. I can see your point about glowing green–this often has a touch of scifi to it, and could easily confuse. But I’m just so caught up in this villain-instead-of-hero decision for marketing…

    • Yes… though it does look from the cover as if the book is allll about the antagonist and it is mostly about Nicodemus and his struggles with his wayward spelling coupled with a strong magical talent… I do think some crime covers feature the villain instead of the protagonist, but I agree that it’s certainly an unusual move – particularly in fantasy novels.

      • Indeed! Why place a character on the cover that is not the focus of conflict? I suppose I’d understand if the antagonist is the one who made Nicodemus have his struggles, but if Nic’s born that way, then…why? Hmph.

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