The Friday Face-Off: Renewed Shall Be Blade That Was Broken


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 Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie


Welcome to this week’s Friday Face-Off – and apologies for the lack of posts, it’s been a crazy few weeks! This Friday we’re looking at covers which feature the word ‘blade’ in their title.

And there’s one book which immediately came to mind! The Blade Itself, the first book in the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, is a firm fantasy favourite. Published by Gollancz, this week I’m taking a look at the two wonderful UK covers (as the US edition is incredibly similar to the original UK cover!) Take a look and see which one gets your vote.


Gollancz – UK Cover #1

Artwork by Laura Brett

Gollancz – UK Cover #2

Artwork by Chris McGrath


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Chris McGrath’s artwork for the Dresden Files has made me a fan of his for life – and his work on the recent covers for The First Law Trilogy is unquestionably stunning. Atmospheric and full of character, this simplistic but gritty cover for The Blade Itself is an excellent addition to Abercrombie’s ever expanding repertoire. However, though the balance almost swings in McGrath’s favour, I can’t help but love the Laura Brett covers for this trilogy – every time I see the burnt parchment and blood spatters I’m reminded of the first time I opened this book and began my love affair with this bloody and brilliant world. So two wonderful covers but this week I have to reminisce – Gollancz #1, this week’s heart-shaped-trophy-thing goes to you!

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext week’s theme is: In The Beginning There Was Nothing, Which Exploded

A cover which features an explosion

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


| Links |

Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek – Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books  – Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

S J Higbee @ Brainfluff – The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron

DJ @ MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape – A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish

Nick V. Reys @ ThePaperDragon – Heirs of the Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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8 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: Renewed Shall Be Blade That Was Broken

  1. I think the issue with the second cover is that there’s all this white space in the upper right which feels like it needs to be filled. Like the man should’ve been moved down a bit so the title could go across the top of the cover and then the Guardian comment put beneath, right-aligned. The problem isn’t the artwork, it’s the placement of all the elements. The cover feels off balance.

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