Favourite Cover Art
Recently, I did a guest spot on Out of this Eos blog, talking about why I loved both my covers for The Heir of Night (here), and then in the interview on Over the Edge Books, Christine asked me about favourite covers, which got me thinking …
… a process that was re-sparked today when I saw a trailer for the HBO version of George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones (which you, too, can check out here.) It looks great, I have to say, very atmospheric—and includes the chilling catchline that is the motto of the Starks, the central family in Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series: Winter is Coming!
The reason that put me in mind of covers again is because one of my all time favourites is the Del Rey paperback cover by Steven Youll for A Game of Thrones. I remember the first time I saw it, clear across the room in the (now, sadly, gone) Bag End Books in Dunedin—and the whole look of it just reached out to me and said: “Buy me, I’m your kind of story!” And it really was! The cover both spoke for the book and was true to the book in a really powerful way.
The Mel Odom cover for Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana is quite different: stylised rather than realistic. It’s formality reminds me of a Renaissance-era tapestry, which is appropriate for the book, and yet also speaks to what I call the “High Fantasy Romantic” nature of the story. In this case I already knew the author’s work, because I had read and enjoyed The Fionavar Trilogy previously. Nonetheless, the Mel Odom cover was still a compelling factor in drawing me to Tigana. I have the US edition, but my favourite version of the Mel Odom cover appears on the Spanish edition, where it was (according to the author’s website, Bright Weavings): “incorporated into a new design by Víctor Viano.”
As I said in the Over the Edge interview, when it comes to cover art, I love just about anything I’ve ever seen by Kinuko Craft. Particular examples include her Wildwood Dancing cover for Juliet Marillier; the Japanese-styled cover for Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit; and her many covers for novels by Patricia McKillip—although I think Od Magic is probably my favourite. Anyway, because I love these covers so much, I’m including both Wildwood and Moribito here. These also (imho) highlight the versatility of Craft’s work.
So how about you—what are your favourite book covers? What cover has made you buy the book—and did the story live up to the cover’s promise?