Friday Faceoff – Confidence is an armour you cannot buy… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffarmourcovers


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 being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers with ARMOUR. I’ve selected The Fell Sword – Book 2 of the Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron, see my review.

This offering was produced by Gollancz in June 2014. It’s stripped right back in a really interesting way – no castle or mountain in the background to distract, just that beautifully etched design. Which means all our attention is on the armoured knight fighting for his life against a terrifying monster with too much beak and claws. Look at the fabulous feathers that pick up the colour in the title font… There are some lovely details in this one, including that slightly uneven border, which shows  the thought that has gone into this one. As a result, it is really eye-catching. I also like the font, which manages to evoke the genre and historical period, without becoming impossible to read. Altogether, it’s a classy effort and my favourite.


Published in March 2014 by Orbi, this cover is almost the complete opposite of the previous one in approach. Instead of zooming out to show us the whole battle, we get a real close-up – to the extent that we can see the dents in the armour. We’ve no idea what this knight is fighting – indeed, we don’t even get to see the whole figure. That is left to our imagination. I really like it, too. And I especially approve of the treatment given to the title and author fonts, limned in electric blue lightning, as if struck by magic. It’s nicely done and brightens up what could have been a rather dark cover.

This French edition, published in August 2014 by Bragelonne, is another classy design. It has taken the same approach as the Orbit designers, going for the close-up – this time we get a shot of the knight’s helm carried in his arm – note the blood spatter… The same electric blue lighting is used, this time as a backdrop to the main figure, rather than to highlight the title and author fonts. While I like the treatment, particularly of the title, my one niggle is that it is too small for the scale of the cover.


This German edition, published in September 2014 by Heyne has grown on me. Initially, I thought it rather underwhelming in comparison with the previous offerings – but the more I see of it, the more I like it. The blue colouring, more intense towards the edges and fading to a brighter shade in the middle is both attractive and effective at drawing our eyes to the centre of the cover, where the etched outline of a heraldic device is traced, with a dragon helm right in the middle of it. And the slight smudging of the author name and title is really effective.


This Russian edition, published by Фантастика Книжный Клуб in October 2019, is in effect, the Gollancz cover flipped around, so we see more of the back of the creature as he faces down the knight. For some reason best known to himself, this chap sees fit to fight without his helm on, and wearing a cloak. He clearly hasn’t read the memo about how lethal cloaks can be in combat – and what happens if a claw gets pass your defence and rakes your face. While I do like it, I’m not quite as keen on it as I am the first cover, due to the daft decisions by the knight. Which is your favourite?

22 responses »

    • Yes – they are both really good covers, I think:). Though I take Mogsy’s point that the first one has a more dramatic scenario because of the different angle.

  1. I like your choice, Sarah, but it still includes that problematic cape. I vote for the French edition, with the close-up. To me, the font is large enough, and it’s still a good fit with the genre and period.

    • Lol… do you know – I hadn’t even NOTICED the cape on the first knight until you mentioned it! How weird is that?? Glad you like the French edition – I don’t think there’s a bad cover in amongst this lot, so it comes down to personal taste, which is why I’m always fascinated as to people’s choices:)

  2. I liked them all except for the German edition, but maybe like you, it would grow on me.
    These are always so much fun! I look forward to Fridays for many reason, and this is one of them!

  3. I like every single one of these! The second one is probably my least favorite but it’s not bad at all. I love the bird being in the picture, especially if it plays a major role in the book. The last book that shows the knight a bit better than the first one, I like because he seems to fare a better chance of survival with his wife stance and what appears to be a strong strike coming. Although he should wear his helmet, I agree. The first one I really love the color of the bird along with a matching color on the cover, very nice. The others with the close up of the soldier and is armor speaks to me too. More scary than dreamy. And the other one with just the bodice, at first I wasn’t sure I liked it either but it also grew on me. I really enjoyed this comparison!

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