Friday Faceoff – When icicles hang by the wall… #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 featuring on any of our covers is ice and snow. I’ve selected The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin.


This edition was produced by Starscape Books in October 2017 has a great font and a lovely illustration of a dragon. So why they decided to squash that glorious artwork into a small box in the middle of the cover and surround it with a midnight blue block defeats me. What a shame.


Published in October 2014 by Tor Teen, this glorious cover doesn’t make such a fundamental mistake. A fabulous dragon, all ice and fury – it makes me shiver just looking at it. It is matched by that beautifully shaded font which perfectly captures the mood and content of the book, while also easy to read. This is my favourite cover today. In fact, this has to be right up there as one of my all-time favourite covers, along with that wonderful cover for Green Rider by Gollancz I discovered a few weeks ago…


This Spanish edition, published by Montena in October 2012, is another well crafted effort. The artwork makes this version more of a wyrm rather than the icicled, spiky creature of air and blizzard depicted on the previous Tor Teen cover. While I don’t like it as much, it is still a strong cover.


This German edition, produced by CBJ is another wonderful effort. I love the way we have the dragon in mid-wingbeat, so that the wingtips sweep across the top of the cover. And that wonderful font is also a joy. This week’s covers have set the bar very high!


This is another German cover published by CBJ in 2009. Again, the artwork and detail is beautiful with lovely shades of blue and the orange font is attractive and really pings against the icy artwork. The only thing against this one is that ugly gold blob in the middle, which rather spoils the effect. I’ll be fascinated to see what your favourite cover is this week – there are so many really strong contenders in this selection that I think it’s purely down to personal preference.

43 responses »

  1. What a great selection of covers! I adore dragons so I’m finding myself quite fond of all of these, but if I have to pick favorites the Tor Teen is just all around wonderful – the dragon looks the most fierce and I really like the coloring and the font. A close second for me would be the German cover.

    • They really are fabulous, aren’t they? I had such a lovely surprise when I saw the alternatives:). Thank you for taking the trouble to let me know your favourites, Suzanne.

  2. I never understand why they sometimes squash covers into a little box. That is a very pretty ice dragon on the first one! But ooh yeah, the second dragon is all ice and fury. I like the artwork on the Spanish and German ones too though, and even the last one is nice! This is hard to choose a fave!

    • I can understand why they used to box up the artwork – but why anyone would do it these days, when covers have to be strunk to a thumbnail anyway, is just beyond my comprehension, too! There is a lovely choice this week, isn’t there?

  3. Oh wow! This is tough! I think it depends on the age here. The hand-drawn covers make me think MG, but the 2nd and 4th covers make me think YA. Every cover’s illustration is GORGEOUS, but some of those texts are so sloppy–what the heck is that “BEST FRIENDS” Glob on the last cover? Blech! But that 2nd cover reminds me of the How to Train Your Dragon cartoon’s Screaming Death, so I know my daughter would like it. 😉

    • Hm. The covers are awesome, but I was underwhelmed by the story, which wasn’t very well paced – the ending is frankly rushed. And I’m not really sure what the point is – I get the sense this one only really works if you have read The Song of Ice and Fire series. Except it is clearly aimed at a younger age group…?

  4. I really like your explanations of how each cover strikes you, Sarah. Very interesting, indeed! 🙂

    This time around, I think I’ll go with the last cover, although, like you, I hate that stupid gold blob right on the dragon’s neck!

    I would have picked the Tor cover, because the artwork and overall design are masterful, but that dragon totally scares me!! I can’t look at that cover for very long, to be quite honest.

    As for the first cover, my beef with it is that the dragon doesn’t really look like a dragon!

    Although I love dragons, I prefer them to be of the tamer, non-scary variety. Lol. (This is my take on vamps, too. As you know, I ADORE Edward!!! Sigh……)

    Hope you’re having a GREAT week!! HUGS!! ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you, Maria:)). The colours in that last cover are absolutely beautiful – and there’s no denying the dragon in the second cover is terrifying… I hope you, too, are having a marvellous week.x

  5. “Illustrated by Luis Royo” on the second cover says it all. He might not have been as known as Frank Frazetta, but his artwork is very distinct in style.
    My favorite ones are the last three (third and second to last the leaders), because they are both beautiful and more indicating a younger audience (which I’m guessing this book is for?). I think that this “ugly gold blob” isn’t actually a part of a cover, but more likely a sticker put in a bookstore – and someone scanned the cover with it.
    You also got me curious – the last cover is clearly in Italian, so I’m wondering whether that publisher releases in multiple languages (that would be cool!). Do you know anything about it?

    • No, I’m afraid I don’t Joanna – though I’m guessing you’re right – the publisher took the decision to publish in two countries. Of course with Martin as the author, I suspect they felt it was worth the risk. And yes… you’re probably right about that gold blob – but what an annoying habit! And I will go on railing against it:)

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