The Friday Face-Off: Action

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. Check out Lynn’s-Books for upcoming themes!

The Empire of Ashes by Anthony Ryan

Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing book covers that depict action!

Amongst the many action-packed and bloody covers that grace the fantasy genre, I decided that it was about time some awe-inspiring and dynamic dragons featured on Books by Proxy. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan was one of my favourite reads of 2017 and it just so happens that the series, The Draconis Memoria, has some incredibly beautiful and action-packed covers to choose from – The Empire of Ashes being the third and final instalment of the trilogy.

With Orbit’s cover by Jeffrey Read going head to head with Ace’s cover by Leesha Hannigan, scroll down to see which one is your favourite!

Orbit | Cover #1

Cover Art by Jeffrey Read

Ace | Cover #2

Cover Art by Leesha Hannigan

| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Ace cover is a dramatic and beautifully rendered image of two dragons in the midst of a battle. In a swirl of water and wings, the two dragons snap and snarl at one another in this action-packed composition. Despite Leesha Hannigan’s beautiful illustration, I feel this cover is let down by the blocky typeface and the flames that eat away at the page. This artwork, like the Orbit cover, deserves a clean, full-page spread to truly appreciate it.

The Orbit cover on the other hand is, for me, as close to perfection as possible. Jeffrey Read has captured a dramatic and suspenseful scene as two figures throw up a glowing shield as they are wreathed in flames. The dragon is menacing and terrifying, a true vision of a ‘monster’, and the bright colours of magic and flame provide a stark contrast to the dark and smokey backdrop. The typeface is clean and simple and only complements this simply stunning cover.

I highly recommend that you check out Jeffrey Read’s website too, his concept art is truly second to none.

Cover Art for The Draconis Memoria by Jeffrey Read

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

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Next week’s theme is:


  A cover featuring glasses or spectacles

Remember to check Lynn’s Books for upcoming themes

| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Steve @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Sarah @ Brainfluff

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22 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: Action

  1. The Ace cover feels like one of those medieval tapestries or maps, and I like that artistic take. What’s better than a dragon in action? Two dragons of course. I can’t remember when I’ve seen dragons battling each other, so that is fresh and new. I hate all that blurb on the cover, though.

    Orbit‘s cover is nice, I like the dragon (though I wonder how it can maintain that posture – is it in full flight, is it standing in the air?) and the cleanness of the background. On the other hand it is such a standard trope which lets me think „I‘ve read that really often“.

    As the Ace cover lures me into reading the book it seems to be the better choice.


    1. Ooh I love the idea that it’s a tapestry or part of an old map! It is a beautiful image, even if the text lets it down!

      I took Orbit cover to be a freeze frame moment as the dragon swoops in to attack the figures! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zooming in, I noticed some landscape details from maps and “Red Tides” and “gulf sand” inscriptions. So, it’s no tapestry but a map. I wonder if it’s taken from the novel.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is a tough one, the Orbit I like better aesthetically, but the Ace is more likely to get me to buy the because THERE ARE TWO BIG DRAGONS FIGHTING OMG I NEED

    Liked by 1 person

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