The Friday Face-Off: Peace is Poor Reading

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new weekly meme 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 Powder Mage Trilogy  


Bloodsounder’s Arc

Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers which feature war. Having far too many books to choose from, for this particular battle I’ve decided to do something a little different and pit trilogy against trilogy!… it just so happens it’s also the perfect plot to post as many gorgeous covers as possible!

The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan, which is published by Orbit, and Bloodsounder’s Arc by Jeff Salyards, which is published by Night Shade Books, both feature three amazing covers from a multitude of artists with blood, battles and atmosphere by the cannon-full. So take a look and see which trilogy comes out on top this week!

The Powder Mage Trilogy – Orbit

Promise of Blood

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Powder Mage 2

The Crimson Campaign

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Powder Mage 3

The Autumn Republic

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Bloodsounder’s Arc – Night Shade Books

Scourge of the Betrayer

Artwork by J.K. Woodward

Bloodsounder's Arc 2

Veil of the Deserters

Artwork by Michael C. Hayes

Bloodsounder's Arc 3

Chains of the Heretic

Artwork by Michael C. Hayes

| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Bloodsounder’s Arc trilogy features some gorgeous artwork by some very talented artists. With two out of three covers featuring battles, and all three covers featuring weaponry, this trilogy well and truly fits the bill for this week’s Face-Off. With artwork by Michael C. Hayes, the cover for Veil of the Deserters is particularly striking and a definite favourite. The illustrative style is incredibly detailed and the eye-catching pink works surprisingly well to set off the battle scene. All three covers also have a fantastic cohesive typeface which is instantly recognisable across the board. Jeff Salyards most definitely has three covers he can be proud of – and which I’m determined to get my hands on immediately!

Despite the wonderful covers from Night Shade Books, it’s The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan which soars to the top this week. With three photographic illustrations, along with an eye-catching typeface, this trilogy of covers tie together beautifully well. Dark, gritty and distinctive; the smoke and light which surrounds the central figure creates an incredibly evocative atmosphere that plays across each scene – whether on the throne or on the battlefield. Though I love the differences which mark each cover in Salyard’s trilogy, the cohesive style of The Powder Mage Trilogy really captures my imagination and just tips the scales in McClellan’s favour.

Which trilogy of covers wins your vote this week? Do you have a particular favourite?

The Powder Mage Trilogy 

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Bloodsounder’s Arc

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Post LinksNext Friday’s theme is: Metropolis

A cover which features a city

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes

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21 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: Peace is Poor Reading

  1. While I love the dynamic perspectives of the Bloodsounder’s Arc covers, the cropping just feels too close. That, and the awesome tag lines on the Powder Mage books (which I may buy them for those) tip me over calling those my winner’s too. I do like the typefaces chosen for both trilogies though; the subtle changes in shape to mimic old printing on the Powder Mages covers; and the first and third covers on the Bloodsounder’s Arc covers each have an interesting decorative letter which I wish the middle cover title had as well…though I question some of the kerning choices on them. The kerning on the Powder Mage covers is better. A subtle thing, but details well done elevate a design.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The tag line most certainly lives up to the novels (at least the first one – which is the only one I’ve read so far!). Completely agree that it’s the little details that really perfect a composition. The typography is often where so many book covers go wrong . These trilogies are quite lucky to have avoided the main pitfalls.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Neat idea! I kinda like both trilogies since their covers are done in such different art styles and there are pros to both. An interesting thing I learned about the Powder Mage covers though – I once commented on twitter to the author how Tamas looks a little like Pierce Brosnan to me, and he told me that in fact the cover model was once a stunt double for Brosnan in one of his movies, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny: I almost didn’t pick up Promise of Blood because of the covers. Not that they look bad (Big fan of them, and like them more than Bloodsounder’s Arc), but I didn’t think I would like a fantasy set in that time period. Oh boy was I wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha it really does! Except I find him attractive… but not Pierce Brosnan… ohh what a quandry!

      So glad the Salyard covers got a vote though because they are gorgeous! I love that cover for the second book.


  4. Both trilogies appeal to me cover-wise (and I’ve never heard of the Bloodsounder’s Arc, so here’s to me checking that one out in the near future), but I prefer the Bloodmage. I like how the trilogy looks as a whole and those are three powerful covers.
    This Friday Face-Off is really cool! I’ll be joining in from next week 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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