The Friday Face-Off: February 05

Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.

| The Friday Face-Off: The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley |

This week’s Friday Face-Off is taking a very thorough look at the covers for Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades, the first Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne and a somewhat new addition to my reading pile (yes, I’m late to the party once again!). Published by Tor Books in both the UK and the US, we have two beautiful covers to cast our eyes over… and if you hear me squealing a little it’s because we have a ridiculously gorgeous Richard Anderson cover in the mix!

Tor – UK

Cover Design by Jo Thompson

I love the way this cover captures the cold menace that pervades the book. All the elements are there, presented in a wonderfully understated way — the mystery, the malice, even the grim determination of the Emperor’s children, which I see strung through the tendons of the hand gripping the sword.”

~ Brian Staveley

Tor – US

Artwork by Richard Anderson 

“I try not to be superficial, but when Richard Anderson’s stunning cover finally sidled up to the bar, my first thought was that she was, well… gorgeous. Didn’t pay much attention, at first, to whether we had anything in common—I just stared and stared, trying to keep my mouth closed.”

~ Brian Staveley

| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

TEB - win -test

Oh dear, don’t look at me that way beautiful and atmospheric Tor UK cover! I can’t help it -Richard Anderson will probably win every time! A cold brutality permeates the UK cover and, overlaid with an elegant and eye-catching typeface, creates an atmospheric piece of art which would make me pick up this book in a heartbeat. The US cover, however, is an entirely different prospect. Showcasing the beautiful artwork of Anderson, this is a cover which stirs the imagination and conjures up the fantastical worlds which lie just beyond its borders. Both beautiful and evocative, this is a cover which is hard not to look at and is a definite winner for me!

Have you read The Emperor’s Blade? Which is your favourite cover? 

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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17 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: February 05

  1. Not to be bias, but without even looking at the covers, if you tell me one of them was created by Richard Anderson, I’m automatically going to tell you that one is better. Don’t get me wrong, the cover by Jo Thompson is very good – those ice tress/snow flakes on the borders – but I simply love EVERYTHING about Anderson’s art style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree the US cover has some amazing skill to it, however I think the UK cover is my favourite because it is atmospheric and more striking for me.

    p.s. I have already finished reading A Reaper of Stone by Mark Gelineau and Joe King 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having whole figures always makes it a little more dynamic. Just partial figures can be a little abstract – brilliant if done right – but can convey the wrong feeling otherwise. But whole figures or not, Anderson’s artwork is just brilliant!


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