Friday Faceoff – I’m freeeee… #Brainfluffbookblog


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 meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog. This week the theme is a Freebie, where we choose our favourite cover, so I’ve selected Traitor to the Throne – Book 2 of the Rebel of the Sands series bys by Alwyn Hamilton. I loved the story – but I loved the covers even more…


This edition was produced by Viking in March 2017. It’s not my favourite, but it’s still a cracking cover. The female archer featured on the cover clearly means business – I like the fact she is shooting straight at us. But what lifts this is that stunning sky and the background with the flock of birds and the city in the distance.


Published in February 2017 by Faber and Faber, this is my favourite. I love the eye-catching pink, with that lovely Eastern fretwork acting as a window into this exotic, dangerous world. The distant cityscape is picked out beautifully and I love the night sky with the sickle moon which perfectly complements that wonderful title font. This cover actually made me tingle when I first saw it…


This Polish edition, published by Czwarta Strona in July 2017, is another gem. Those lovely swirling patterns and that wonderfully detailed desertscape featuring the silhouette of our plucky heroine and her horse is simply beautiful. For me, what slightly lets it down is the title font, which is rather ordinary by comparison.


This Spanish edition, produced by Destino in October 2017 is certainly a lot different to the other covers. Initially I disliked it – but apart from the figures which I still don’t like all that much, the rest of the lovely detail has really grown on me. There is a wealth of lovely detail in the artwork all over the book that has me repeatedly looking at it as every time I do, I see something more.


This Serbian cover, published in June 2017, is another attractive, eye-catching offering. The colours are lovely and though it lacks the detailed gorgeousness of the other efforts, the stylised, more simplistic approach has been very well done. It also works effectively as a thumbnail, which is an important consideration these days. So… which of these covers do you like best?

32 responses »

    • Yes – the Spanish edition has a lot going for it – the snag being that it looks rubbish in thumbnail, so I’m guessing the ebook sales won’t be flying. Thank you for swinging by:)

    • The first book was one of my favourite reads of the year – I haven’t yet got around to getting hold of the third book, but I’m trying to decrease my TBR pile first!

  1. I love the covers to these books – I love the purple that they’ve gone with for book 2 though! I agree with your favorite. So much more personality than the generic YA “girl with a weapon” cover.

    • I found it quite difficult, too! Once I’d uploaded them and had a chance to see the detail – it wasn’t the hard and fast choice I initially thought it would be.

  2. I still need to start this series, but I have to say I can’t really pick a favorite this week. All of these covers really appeal to me, with maybe the second and third ones standing out a little more than the others. All are quite striking though.

  3. I think, for the first time in a while, I do NOT agree!

    dunh dunh DUUUUUUUUNH!

    (Bash is on my lap while I type–he says he agrees with you…not that he knows what he’s agreeing to)

    The cityscape is gorgeous. It is. But I really like the character on the cover. She gives me a sense of the “traitor”: one who’s secretive, powerful, and badass. The first one is dramatic, but I really dig the sleek style of the last cover. The spray of black dust from her has a magic touch I can’t stop studying. 🙂

    (and now Bash is hungry. Of course you are, it’s only, like 5:30 IN THE MORNING)


    • And you are right – it is a fabulous cover, with a lovely sense of difference and those bold colours and the clean, simple lines means it looks really eyecatching as a thumbnail:)

      • I know that feeling… Oscar often wakes up chilly at stupid o’clock in the morning desperate for brekkie. Whereas now Frances is 13, it’s hard to lever her out of bed at a reasonable hour to eat. It’s all a series of phases!

  4. All of them are eye-catching and interesting, though funny enough, I like the Polish version the least. It’s like the cover designer didn’t want to go all ornamental while still trying to copy the western versions… and well, failed. 🙂

      • Ooops…! But I’m known for being bluntly honest.
        I didn’t like that they replaced a very Arabic ornament with random swirls that could have been as well used for a mermaid book if you switched them to blue. And while Faber & Faber’s ornament gives an impression of a well-though-out design choice, the Polish one seems to be more of a “help, we have too much space around the small picture, and we can’t make it bigger, because it’ll look too Photoshop-y; also, add swirls to attract teenage girls”.
        It had potential, but in the end, it failed to make an impression on me. It did make an impression on you, though – the joy of different perceptions and opinions. 🙂

      • Oh yes! And particularly regarding covers… I have become VERY interested in what cover designs attract people – and have learnt that it is a highly personal choice, once you have eliminated the plainly bad, sloppy work.

      • It is – I’ve seen magnificent covers that people said were ugly.
        But, preference aside, there’s a lot that can be done – as you mentioned, fixing the bad work, but also using right color palettes and contrast, style matching the genre, etc.
        I don’t know if I ever shared the link, but Cover Critics is a great place to learn about various aspects of cover design:
        It’s crowd-sourced, so it offers many perspectives (at the same time, obvious mistakes are usually pointed by everyone anyway 😉 ).
        Their sister site is Lousy Book Covers, and it’s a great resource of how NOT to make covers (and how bad they can be if you need a pick-me-up):

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