#Friday Faceoff – Clinging and invasive… #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 and the theme this week is vines. I’ve selected Forest Mage – Book 2 of The Soldier’s Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing trilogy, which I think is underrated.


This edition was produced by Harper Voyager in August 2006. It’s the cover that best fits the brief and also depicts a really disturbing scene in the story. The artwork is beautiful with lots of detail – I’m not sure it looks the best as a thumbnail, but I really love it.


Published in November 2007 by Harper Voyager, again, this is another attractive, atmospheric offering though I don’t like it quite as much as the previous one. The burning forest provides some drama and there is plenty of beautiful detail. I’m not sure, however, if it screams ‘Buy Me!’ when placed alongside a host of other covers, as I do feel the title and author fonts are very dull.


This edition, published by Voyager in July 2007, is another beautifully crafted effort. The axe biting into the freshly cut tree stump aptly depicts the damage, while the title and author fonts are beautiful and suitably eye-catching.


This edition, produced by Voyager in 2006, is my favourite. I love the sheer scale and awesomeness of the vista. The red rock is vibrantly eye-catching as the design beckons us to examine the amazing landscape further, while the distant horseman nicely demonstrates the scale of the view. My only grizzle is that the title font could be less dull – while I’m aware Hobb’s name is what generally sells books, this one is left trailing in the dust in comparison to the care and attention that has been lavished on the author font.


This cover, published in 2008 by HarperVoyager, is my least favourite. In fact, it’s outright dreary in comparison to the other versions. I’m aware this look is part of a series brand – but this time around, I feel insufficient attention has been paid to the font. There could also have been some patterning around the border – but while I have really liked some of the covers produced in this series, this isn’t one of them. What about you – which is your favourite?

While my access to the internet is VERY limited (thank you Sky for your glacial response in replacing my storm-damaged router – a three-legged donkey could have delivered it faster…) I have been PROMISED that I will be back online within the next couple of days, when I will respond!

30 responses »

      • Alas no , I am presently working 3 jobs and it’s getting tough for me to keep up with reading , This year I just have a goal to finish the Malazan book of fallen series , afterwards I do plan to start some Robin Hobb

  1. These are some really great covers and great choice this week! I like the first cover best! It is beautiful but deadly looking at the same time 😀 I like the Voyager 2016 one but it doesn’t have a forest? And I’m guessing solely based on the title that a forest plays a big part in the story?

    • Yes – the forest does play a major part in this story. But so does the spindle in 4th one (Voyager 2006) which is crucial… I love this trilogy, which is rather an odd one out.

    • The first one is strongly linked to the story – it’s all about magic… But not in a sparkly, way! And like you, I’m not quite sure where the fish comes in, either.

    • If you want a treat, but don’t want to be plunged into the middle of an epic, she has written some lovely books under the name Megan Lindholm – there’s a delightful duology The Reindeer People set in the bronze age…

  2. What on earth is up with those last two covers? The others are gorgeous, yes, but here’s what I don’t get: the last two covers of FOREST MAGE don’t show forests!!! Hey! What’s a forest mage supposed to do with a fish or some rocks? Gah!
    (Sorry, I’m cantankerous today. 🙂

    • You don’t have to worry – I was trying to recall if a fish played a significant part in the story – and simply couldn’t remember. Anyhow, it still seems an odd thing to feature, even if it does.

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