Top Ten Tuesday: Pretty faces

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This weekly list feature uses topic prompts to inspire readers/bloggers to share the best (or worst, or most Interesting) of their bookshelves, be it the TBR section, personal favourites or books that have caught their attention.

This week is a Freebie week, where the topic is book covers and you can put any spin on it you like. I’ve gone for cover art/illustration aesthetics that appeal to me. So without further ado, I present ten of my favourite pretty book faces!

 

 

Tremontaine, Season One
Cover art by Kathleen Jennings

The cover art for this serial changed over its four seasons, but this art from season one remains my favourite. I love the silhouette effect here – the colour contrast is stark, but there’s so much detail to draw my eye.

 

Daggerspell/new Deverry editions, by Katharine Kerr
Cover art by Micaela Alcaino

I love the elements of this illustration, as well as the way it all comes together: the mirroring of the owls and the trees, the sword and shield (reminds me of a coat of arms!), the nature elements, roots and branches, in the background… All of it says something about the story within if you know what you’re looking for. It’s very cleverly done.

 

An Unkindness of Magicians, by Kat Howard
Cover illustration: Vault 49; Design by Lizzy Bromley

This is another one with somewhat stark imagery, but I love the subtle shading and delicate touches here; they make something otherwise ordinary look beautiful, and very elegant, but at the same time I get a sense of something deeply unsettling from the way the branches writhe and reach out. The ‘entangling’ of the book title is cleverly done, as well.

 

Wintersong/Shadowsong, by S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong cover photographs: Snowglobe – Amy Weiss/Arcangel; flower – Natalie Miller/Arcangel
Shadowsong: Illustration by Steve Stone/Bernstein & Andriulli
Designs by Danielle Fiorella

I’m including both books in this duology here, because I love the way both evoke a very fairytale feel. I also really appreciate that one echoes the other, even when the symbolism of each sets them apart. The colours are also gorgeous here; contrary to my appreciation of the covers above, I do love some luscious colours!

 

The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe
Cover art by Benjamin CarrΓ©

This is one example of not only a book’s cover art being amazing, but the actual cover itself being a bit of a work of art! The hardcover edition of this book clearly had a lot of loving work put into it, and I always appreciate that sort of effort. But this is about the art, and I love the contrasting warmth and coolness of the light/colours here. Plus it’s clearly evocative of portals, with both the doorway in the tree and the mirror frame effect around the illustration, and in my book (heh) you can’t go wrong with a bit of portal fantasy! A+ work here.

 

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
Photograph of forest: Colin Anderson/Getty Images
Photograph of doorway: Martin Barraud/Getty Images
Design by FORT

Another gorgeous use of light and colour with this one! There’s a simplicity and a strangeness about this cover art that I love, and of course portal fantasy is all about strange things (and people!) in unexpected places. Beautiful, bold, and intriguing.

 

Under The Pendulum Sun, by Jeannette Ng
Cover art by John Coulthart

Another highly contrary choice to the rest, but there was no way I wasn’t including this amazing cover here. There is so much intriguing, telling detail here; when this is done right I can happily spend ages studying the cover to pick it all out. And, true to the book it’s wrapped around, there’s a surrealistic element to it. It makes me think of playing cards, and strange dreams, and hidden things. And it’s all purple. If you design a book cover in my favourite colour, of course I am going to notice it!

 

Temeraire (aka Her Majesty’s Dragon), by Naomi Novik
Cover art by Dominic Harman

MAPS. MAPS AND DRAGONS. MAPS AND DRAGONS AND SHIPS.

I mean. Come on, now.

 

Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz hardcover editions)
Cover illustration by Joe McLaren

More striking silhouettes, and this time more colour as well!

I’ll confess: despite being a huge, long-time fan of these books, I never really got on with the original artwork. These editions solved that problem neatly for me, so much so that I’m still in the very determined process of collecting them all. And yes, I chose an image of the cover for Guards! Guards! because there’s a dragon on that one. This should surprise no one, right?

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Whew! So that’s some of my favourite cover art. What do you think of my choices? Do you agree/disagree? Got some favourites of your own to shout about? Let me know!

 

 

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