BBC #3: Favorite Fantasy Book Covers

I’m the worst at keeping up with memes. I’m so bad at them that I even forgot to keep up with my own meme that I created to focus on one my favorite things about books — book covers!

I created BBC (Beautiful Book Covers meme) last year to feature and talk about book covers I love. My plan was to make BBC a monthly meme but after the second post, I totally forgot about it. I’m just horrible at sticking to a schedule or remembering what memes I’m participating in. I easily get distracted by the shiny, new one to come along.

Well, a few days ago I was reminded of my meme when I saw Beth’s (Bethan May Books) post on fantasy book covers she likes. The idea popped into my head to do a similar post and use it for my neglected meme. Well, here it is. There are loads of fantasy book covers I like so this will be a multi-part post with others posted in the future.


The Fox and the Star was the first book to pop in my mind when I considered this topic, though it’s more fairytale/folklore than hardcore fantasy like the Lord of the Rings series. Drawn to the vintage feel of The Fox and the Star cover design, I decided to choose similar cover designs for this post. The following are the few that quickly came to mind.

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Cover art by Coralie Bickford-Smith

The Fox and the Star is a children’s picture book about a lonely fox and his only friend, a star that guides him through the dark, scary forest.

This was the first book to pop in my mind when I thought of this topic. I love the cover and have always wanted to get myself a copy. I always check the shelves in bookstores to see if it’s in stock and if it is, I trail my fingers across the cover to feel the texture of it. It’s cloth bound and the illustrations and words are embedded in it.

I love the silver on midnight blue background, which gives the impression of stars in the night sky, and the vines trailing through and surrounding the words to hint at the dark, threatening forest that the fox relies on his friend to guide him through. This is such a wonderful design and it always catches my eye whenever it’s displayed in stores.

Bickford-Smith is a London-based book cover designer at Penguin Books.

Also, see this Guardian post for more about the design and this Brain Pickings post for more about the story.

The Worm and the Bird by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Cover art by Coralie Bickford-Smith

I had to feature this book as well because the cover is just as gorgeous as The Fox and the Star though The Fox and the Star holds my attention longer because the silver on its cover pops more.

The color tone of The Worm and the Bird is more subdued and makes me give more attention to the illustrations teeming with underground life. So, unlike The Fox and the Star, which I loved for its contrasting colors, I love this cover because of the illustrations. I love that there’s so much movement in it and that it gives a strong sense of how crowded it must be for the worm, and I like that only a feather is used to represent the bird above. (I want to get this book too.)

The Worm and the Bird is a children’s picture book about a worm who wishes for more space and the bird above who patiently waits.

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo, illus. by Sara Kipin

Cover art by Ellen Duda

The Language of Thorns is a YA fantasy book of short stories set in the Grishaverse, the setting in which the Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy is set.

I love the design, but it took a while for the dark color tones to appeal to me. I love how detailed the illustrations are — the spikiness of the curlicues — and the items in the corners. I think the cover is eye-catching and I love the texture of the embossed words and illustrations. On screen, those pointy ends seem as if they could hard someone.

According to this article on theMarySue.com, the cover design was a “collaborative effort” between Leigh Bardugo, art director Natalie Sousa, and senior designer Ellen Duda (both Sousa and Duda work at Macmillan Pub.) that began with a Pinterest board that Bardugo and the design team all contributed to.

For the cover’s imagery, Bardugo “wished to evoke a sense of danger,” hence the thorns; Sousa “wanted to represent the six tales inside” the book, hence the icons (I guess I’ll figure those out when I read it); Bardugo’s editor, Erin Stein, “hoped [to] bring to light the magical qualities,” so hidden elements were plugged in for the reader to discover; and Duda “wove it all together beautifully to make what you see on the cover today.” Duda also drew inspiration from vintage books to give a hint of them in the completed cover.

I think they all did well and successfully created a cover that’s very appealing.

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

Cover art by Elizabeth Story

From the author of The Last Unicorn comes another unicorn story — In Calabria, a fantasy novella set in the modern world about a man who aids a unicorn and has his world upended because of it.

As I was jotting down titles to include in this post, In Calabria was foremost in my mind but it took forever for me to remember its title or the name of the author. My mind would only focus on the detailed borders of the cover: the curlicues and other such decorative lines surrounding the title and image of the unicorn. I had to visit a bookstore to jolt my memory into telling me the title and author’s name.

I love this cover design because it makes me think of the covers of vintage books that contain such decorative lines and curlicues often in gold or silver. I also like the detail that precedes the curving lines and runs along the edge of the cover. It adds some texture to it and makes me think that I’d be able to feel its imprint if I should rub my thumb over them.

Elizabeth Story is the lead designer at Tachyon Publications, which published In Calabria.

The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling

Cover art by MinaLima

Here’s another beautiful cover filled with so many detailed illustrations that they almost dazzle my eye. Like Bardugo’s Language of Thorns above, the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is also filled with lots of Easter Eggs that hint at what the movie will be about.

The screenplay will be published on November 16, the same day that the movie will be out, and the cover was designed by MinaLima, the graphic design team for the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. According to the cover’s designers, the design is influenced by art nouveau, the aesthetic used for the film; and since the film partly takes place in Paris, that is represented on the cover in the form of the Eiffel Tower.

I love this cover for the curls and swoops and rolls of the lines, the colors, and the many icons that make me wonder what exactly this story will be about. (I see nifflers, the dark mark, the Deathly Hallows symbol, bowtruckles, and what I assume to be phoenix feathers.) I didn’t intend to get this when it comes out, but the more I look at the cover, the more I slowly change my mind. Chances are, when November 16 rolls around, I will see the movie and get myself a copy of the screenplay.


Well, that’s it for BBC #3.

I hope you found here some new books with great covers to read. 🙂

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Dreamy Book Covers Tag

I’m long overdue to do this tag. I was tagged for it by Chitra of Books and Strips back in April last year (yeah, long time ago) but I kept putting it off because I wanted to take pretty pictures for it to put on IG. (Sigh) I’ve yet to get around to doing that so I’ll just post this without them.

RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator of this tag: (Tiana @ The Book Raven)
  • Use the original tag image in your post.
  • At least tag one fellow blogger to do this tag!
  • List the rules.
“No Ideas But in Things” — A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

This is the fourth book in Jordan’s epic fantasy series, Wheel of Time, about a farm boy who must save the world.

My answer for this is all the U.S. covers for the Wheel of Time series that are illustrated by Darrell K. Sweet. Sweet does a great job of capturing a scene from the story on the cover. Some readers don’t like this sort of cover saying it gives away too much of the story, but these are the sort of covers I love best, especially for fantasy novels. They give us a visual representation of the story. I like to look back at such covers as I read to see if it really matches the story. Sweet’s covers definitely do so.

Here’s is the full cover (out in the Aiel Waste). The parts not seen above appear on the back cover.

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BBC #2: Splash of Color

I’m back with another edition of BBC, a new meme I started where I feature books with beautiful covers. Along with reading books, I admire the covers and sometimes determine what to buy or read next by how much I like the cover. There are many things that draw my attention to a cover, but for this post, I’ll focus on color, or more specifically,

splashes of color

On the covers below are blotches, splotches, drips, and dribbles of color that give the illusion of paint: as if the designer intentionally or carelessly threw the colors on the cover while puzzling out what the design should be.

The first featured cover is:

The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo

Cover art by Kapo Ng

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: Frankenstein

Once again, I’ve teamed up with Millie at Milliebot Reads to do a guest post in her weekly meme, Judging a Book by Its Cover, where she shows her appreciation for beautifully designed book covers.

This time, I contributed by showing the covers and illustrations in my copy of Gris Grimley’s Frankenstein. Hop on over to Millie’s blog to check it out! 😀

Milliebot Reads

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I do purchase special editions of books and multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

This week I’m happy to feature another guest contribution from Zezee! You may recall a while back she sent me pictures of her copy of Lord of the Flies. Now I have the pictures she took of her utterly fabulous and grim edition of Frankenstein! All I’ve done is crop the images.

This is Gris Grimley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus – Assembled From the Original Text by…

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BBC #1: The Inception

So last week’s topics for Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday were about book covers. TTT was a freebie and T5W was based on the BookTube SFF Awards, so participants had to feature their favorite SFF cover art. I wanted to participate. My plan was to smash both memes into a single post and feature 10 SFF covers I really like, but I was sick and wasn’t in the mood to think or search for things on the internet. However, I still wanted to do a post about beautiful book covers, which is why I decided to start a new feature on my blog. I shall call it —

BBC

Of course, I don’t mean anything related to British broadcasting. BBC will stand for Beautiful Book Covers and in these posts, I’ll feature covers of books I have or haven’t read that I think are eye-catching.

Since I was inspired by last week’s TTT and T5W topics, I’ll begin by featuring science-fiction and fantasy novels. The following are the first books that came to mind when I began making a list.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Jacket design by Peter Mendelsund

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Celebrating Friday 13th with Warren the 13th

What are your Friday 13th plans?

warren-the-13th-and-the-all-seeing-eye-coverIf I’m at home, I usually spend the day watching scary movies and shows until I can’t stand it anymore (meaning by nightfall) and then spend the night scared of my own shadow. But this year on my blog, I’ll celebrate it with Warren the 13th, the hardworking 12-year-old orphan boy in Tania del Rio and Will Staehle’s illustrated book Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.

Published by Quirk Books, Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a fun middle-grade book about Warren’s adventures at his family’s hotel as he searches for the mysterious and magical All-Seeing Eye, while also trying to prevent the hotel from being torn apart by patrons also in search of it, such as his evil Aunt Anaconda.

I read it last year and liked it, but I think it’s one kids will enjoy reading as they try to solve the puzzles embedded in the story. I loved the illustrations the most. Staehle, the creator of Warren the 13th and illustrator of the book, did a superb job. The illustrations are done in black and white with pops of red to highlight certain things in a scene. Here are a few photos I took of the illustrations when I reviewed the book:

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: Lord of the Flies

My beautiful copy of the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition of The Lord of the Flies was featured by Millie, of Milliebots Reads, in her “Judging a Book by Its Cover” post.

The post is a weekly meme where she features beautiful cover designs and packaging of both classic and contemporary books. Check it out!

Milliebot Reads

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This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I have purchased special editions of books or multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

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This week, I’m happy to present a special post – Zezee, from Zezee with Books has photographed her awesome edition of Lord of the Flies so I could feature it here on my blog. She’s informed me it’s a Penguin Classics Deluxe edition (of course!), published this month, ISBN: 9780143129400.

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