This week’s theme:
Unlucky for some
A cover with ‘curse’ in the title
After spending a couple minutes convinced that I don’t know any books with the word “curse” in the title despite the many fantasy and horror novels I know of or have read, I remembered my post for last week’s Top 5 Tuesday where I listed the series I’d love to complete. Lois McMaster Bujold’s World of the Five Gods was one of them.
I read The Curse of Chalion two years ago and loved it so much that I reread it by audio book about a month after completing the physical copy. It’s one of my favorite fantasy books. It’s about a veteran who returns home seeking a peaceful life but is instead thrown into the midst of political intrigue. I’ve since forgotten what drew me to this book, but I ended up liking it because of the writing and the protagonist and how gods and religion functions in the fantasy world. It was a good read.
I decided to go easy on myself for this week’s post and focus on just two covers. These are both covers for U.S. editions of the book. The first one, the one on the left, appears on my audio book but is sometimes the cover for physical editions of the novel, and the second one, on the right, is the cover of the physical edition I own.
The first cover was created by artist Doug Beekman. I like that it tries to hint at what the book is about. Here we have a cloudy sky that makes me think trouble is brewing or a storm is coming to the imposing castle. I like that the castle is in the background and the foreground is given to two figures, one of whom, most likely the one with the cloak, is obviously Caz, the protagonist. I also like that the figures seem tiny although they are in the foreground and are some distance from the castle. It makes me think back to what Caz tries to accomplish in the story and how impossible it seemed to me that he would succeed. There is also a bird flying overhead, probably the crow that follows Caz, but the intensity of the colors prevent us from seeing it too well.
The second cover has less story to it, but the design elements work well together. The dark tan color of the background gives it a nice gold-like sheen that pairs well with the filigree design along the edges, which creates a delicate border to contain the dim impression of the castle and landscape from the first cover. I think this cover hints more toward the royalty in the story, and the gods because of the bird in the foreground, than the entire story at large. I think the bird in the foreground interrupts the overall design. It’s like a splotch of black on a beautifully worked piece.
I love this type of cover for fantasy books. There are some readers who hate them saying that they sometimes give the story away, which is sometimes true, but I find that these sort of covers seem to tell their own story — that’s what I love about them. I like observing them to guess what the story is about before starting the book, and while reading, I like guessing what part of the story the cover portrays.