Friday Face-Off: Metropolis

The Friday Face-Off is a bookish meme hosted by Books by Proxy that compares book covers to decide which is best.

This week’s theme:


A cover which features a city

It’s another FRIDAY FACE-OOFFF!!!! 😀 I didn’t have much time to search for a novel that fits this week’s theme so I went with the first one that popped in my head — Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

Seraphina is a young-adult, fantasy novel set in a world where dragons can take on human form. The story follows Seraphina, a gifted musician who feels conflicted about her identity. Most readers either thought the story was okay or boring, but I loved it on my second read. It’s a slow build, but I love the diversity of the characters and how religion is used in the story. It’s a duology with Shadow Scale as it’s sequel. I recommend you try it. Anyways, let’s get to the


I’ve decided to go with the original covers of the book. Though the US cover doesn’t show an entire city, it hints at how clustered Goredd is. The buildings in the forefront are very detailed. I love the line work. And off in the distance, you can see the castle. It’s one of my favorite book covers. I only wish I had gotten a physical copy of the book with this cover. It is from a wood engraving done by Andrew Davidson. Here’s a blog post that features some of his work. Also visit his website to see more of his engravings. He has done some for the Harry Potter series.

I don’t like the UK cover. That floating dragon eye coupled with the dark colors make me think the story might be scary, which it isn’t. The girl, I believe, is supposed to represent Seraphina, but Seraphina wouldn’t show that much of her arm and by doing so, the cover hints at too much. I just don’t like it.

So the obvious winner is:

US cover

The book was first published in 2012. Since then, the US cover has been updated to this:


I couldn’t find a larger image, unfortunately; but it’s the same illustration but with a glossy, purple cover. It’s nice, but I much rather the original cover though it’s not as flashy. I can see the line work in the buildings better in the original.

The following covers were published in other countries. I list them based on info I got from Goodreads.


Seraphina bulgarian cover

I like this cover as well though the dragon looks a bit weird to me. I love the colors and the buildings in the background and that Seraphina has her flute.


Seraphina indonesian cover

This one is okay. I’m not crazy about the colors, but I like the dragon fight in the air and the city sprawled below. It fits the theme of this week’s post more than the covers I chose.


Seraphina italian cover

This… doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t recall Seraphina walking out on a pier, but maybe I forgot that part. I like what the designer was going for with the dress, but it looks kind of awkward.


Seraphina german cover

This one is okay but I don’t like it much. I like the colors though and the dragon in the background looks cool.


Seraphina polish 2

I really like this one! I like how the figures are drawn: The dragon is just as how I imagine Orma and the tiny figure of the girl, completely covered, is just as I imagine Seraphina. But it’s the colors that really attract me. It makes me think of chalk, for some reason.

I must say, since following Magda at Magic of Books, I’ve realized that Polish fantasy novels have some really cool covers. I wish there was a device that allowed me to understand all languages.

So, which cover do you prefer?
And have you read Rachel Hartman’s duology?

14 thoughts on “Friday Face-Off: Metropolis

  1. Bulgaria stands out most for me. seraphina’s such a spunk in that one, and check out that crazy Cyrillic lettering, no wonder your Mr kavinsky is so bad – ass!
    The dragon is kinda funny, i like how it blends into the dream-other world though.
    POLAND’s is awesome too, and the us and Indonesia are so good.

    Italy dose style so well but I’m not sure if they do practical, seraphina’s wing-dress would snag and she’d be falling down and looking like a dick all the time.

    Der drachen has a funny look about her too, i couldn’t put my finger on it,
    Maybe too made up.


    1. Oh yea! I forgot about the lettering but I agree that the Bulgaria one looks pretty cool.
      Lol yea the Italy dress does look that way. Snag and then she’ll fall in the water.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really must read this duology! I had been meaning to for so long yet never got around to it for some reason. :/ I think the US covers might be my favourite! Though I really like the look of the Poland one too. ❤ #coolcovers


  3. Seraphina! 😀 I really enjoyed this series. And yes, I’m with you on the US cover. That’s the one I would have picked, too. The artistry on the UK is gorgeous in intention… but yeah, it doesn’t fit the story’s tone, whereas the US one does.

    And I had no idea that the US cover was originally a wood engraving!


  4. Yay – Andrew Davidson! His wood engravings are absolutely gorgeous and I his work on the Temeraire novels is incredible. A perfect pick this week and I completely agree with you, the US cover wins hands down.

    LOVE that Polish cover too though! That’s fantastic 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.