The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a 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

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature the sun.

This week features two absolutely stunning covers for Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Oathbringer’, by two undeniably talented artists. Published by Gollancz in the UK and by Tor in the US, Oathbringer continues the tradition of incredibly beautiful artwork gracing the covers of Sanderson’s novels. Scroll down and see which cover wins your vote.

Gollancz | UK | Cover #1

Cover Art by Sam Green

Tor | US | Cover #2

Cover Art by Michael Whelan

| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Once again I’m faced with an incredibly difficult decision when it comes to selecting a favourite from two amazing covers.

The UK edition is bold, beautiful and uses a simple palette of blacks, greys, reds and whites to draw the eye. The typography is as much a part of the composition as the artwork, and is in a style which only enhances the illustration. I love the deep red of the sun, and the wispy haze of grey which covers it; I love the sun drenched tinge of the rocks in the foreground; and I love the drama of the sword wielding figure in shades of grey. Sam Green’s covers for Sanderson’s work have always been among my favourites, and Oathbringer is no exception.

The US edition is a powerful and detailed composition which harks back to traditional fantasy artwork. The sword is given a presence akin to that of the figure beside it, and the shades of gold, the earthy tones of the stone, and the beautifully rendered figure all work together to create a stunning piece of artwork. The typography is a little overbearing however and almost detracts a little from the artwork, and my personal preference is for a more modern and bold approach to fantasy renderings; which makes Sam Green’s UK edition my favourite this week.

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

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Next week’s theme is:

I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

A cover featuring a doll or puppet

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

| Links |

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

16 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close

    1. I think the colours in this particular Whelan cover doesn’t really do it any favours – it’s very beige heavy! But saying that, all his artwork is incredibly beautiful, I just prefer Sam Green’s style 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love the Whelan covers, they’re always incredibly beautiful – even this one! But the Sam Green covers are definitely more my kind of style. I love them! 😀


  1. Oh yes. I lean toward the UK covers too for Sanderson’s books. I haven’t yet read the Mistborn trilogy, but I bought a box set of the books in the UK covers because I love those designs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you love them – I honestly don’t think I can fault Sanderson’s writing! 😀

      I find the UK covers are consistently beautiful – I always quite like or even love the US versions but Sam Green’s artwork just hits me in my cover sweet spot 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s