The Friday Face-Off: Greek Mythology


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


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature something from Greek mythology.

This week I’ve found two stunning covers for C. S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces; a masterful and beautiful retelling of the story of Psyche and Cupid. While the artwork isn’t overtly ‘Greek’, I think you’ll agree that both covers are an inspired take on the Greek myth and create a very difficult choice! Take a look and see which one wins your vote!


Time-Life Books (1966) | Cover #1

Cover Art by Leo + Diane Dillon

Le Livre de Poche (2006) | Cover #2

Cover Art by Renaud Bec


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

This week was an incredibly hard choice. So hard in fact that I had to call it a draw. These two covers are an absolute joy to behold and I wasn’t happy until my heart rested safely in the middle.

The Time-Life cover is in the style of a stained glass window, with blues, purples, greens and browns swirling across the page to create a beautiful and mesmerising composition. The fragmented panes create a flow of movement around each character and you can almost image the light filtering through the page. Bold in colour yet gentle in its forms, with the figures of Psyche and Orual providing contrast, this cover is an eye-catching delight.

The Le Livre de Poche cover is bold, sombre and displays a seriously good piece of artwork. I love the swirl of light around the central figure of Orual contrasted with the shadowed hoard below. The richness of colour which illuminates the throne becomes a wash of colour which radiates out from her form. The typeface may be a little lacking but the imagery more than makes up for it – this is a beautiful and memorable cover.

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:

…but Icarus flew too close

A cover featuring the Sun

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


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re looking at the Top Ten books we could re-read forever.

There are so many books I would happily pick up and read again and again and, in the past few years, this list has only grown. Keeping this Top Ten to only ten books was, therefore, quite a challenge. But, as with all these lists, there are those books that ultimately deserve a place.

These are the books that I adored as a child and inspired my love of the weird, the magical, the fantastic and the witty; these are the books that will always have a place on my bookshelf.

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| 1. |

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 2. |

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 3. |

The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 4. |

Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling

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| 5. |

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge

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| 6. |

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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| 7. |

The Chronicles of Narnia

by C.S. Lewis heart

| 8. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass

by Lewis Carroll
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| 9. |

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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| 10. |

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

by Alan Garnerheart

Which books would you re-read again and again? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist |

This Tuesday we’re pairing up the authors we’d love to see write a book together. This Top Ten will combine two authors from very different genres, one deceased and one living, to create some fascinating and comic duos. In no particular order, here are my dream team of duos:

| 1. |

rd and ja

Roald Dahl & Joe Abercrombie

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

Matilda by Roald Dahl

In a new set of books for children, the humour of Roald Dahl and the bloody violence of Joe Abercrombie meet to create a non-stop, whizzpopping, exceedingly dark series. Man eating giants hunger for small children, a young girl uses her telekinetic powers to wield axes and exact bloody vengeance, and Miss Trunchbull and Sand dan Glokta have a whirlwind romance. Illustrated by Quentin Blake of course.

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| 2. |

P.G. Wodehouse & Scott Lynch

“What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?” 

~ Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Forget Blandings Castle or The Drones Club, this series will be based in one of the Five Towers of Camorr – Raven’s Reach. Duke Nicovante is going dotty, scandals and rumours abound, relations are getting into all sorts of mischief, and scheming fraudsters are after the Duke’s money.  And no Wodehouse novel would be complete without an imposter or two – enter Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen. Lynch brings the intricacy and detailing of plot and Wodehouse brings a riot of humour and tomfoolery for a very gritty witty novel.

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| 3. |

csl and at

C.S. Lewis & Adrian Tchaikovsky

“She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree-trunks, she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Send four children through a wardrobe into a land of insectoid, warlike humans and see how they react when Peter waves about a sword and declares himself King. But that’s his problem. Susan wields a snapbow to avenge her brother, Edmund sinks into psychotic insanity for lack of Turkish Delight, and Lucy is enslaved on the battlefields to forever resurrect fallen soldiers with her magic cordial. All jolly good fun!

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| 4. |

J.R.R. Tolkien & C.J. Sansom

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Because who wouldn’t love a crime solving Bilbo! The depth of history in Middle Earth provides a perfect playing field for a spectacular series of crime novels. Who stole Farmer Maggot’s crops? Who squashed Bilbo’s begonias? And that’s just the beginning! A darkness is spreading over Middle Earth, there’s murder afoot and only one little Hobbit can stop it. Armed with his trusty walking stick, spotted hanky and brass buttons, Bilbo must travel to the far flung reaches of the land to solve the mysteries that ensue. If only that meddling wizard would show up.

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| 5. |

ja and bc

Jane Austen & Bernard Cornwell

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Especially when the husband decides to go on campaign to subdue the French and thinks it appropriate to take his wife and her female companions with him. Bonnets will go flying! Petticoats will be six inches deep in mud, blood and various other vile excretions! Not to mention the possibility of being garrotted by ribbons or bound by lace! Austen’s wit and sublime characterisation meets Cornwell’s action-packed descriptive excellence in the bloodiest romance of any century.

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| 6. |

cd and jb

Charles Dickens & Jim Butcher

“About the Fairies, sir, and the Dwarf, and the Hunchback, and the Genies,’ she sobbed out; ‘and about — ‘ ‘Hush!’ said Mr. Gradgrind, ‘that is enough. Never breathe a word of such destructive nonsense any more.’”

~ Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Harry Dresden, Wizard PI, finds himself in Victorian England in the midst of the industrial revolution. Poverty, disease and the Red Court of vampires are running rampant across the country; the Wizard hierarchy is even more insufferable; and orphans, pickpockets and general ne’er-do-wells are developing a dangerous affinity for magic. The descriptive genius of Dickens meets the action and dark humour of Butcher. Magic (and industrial machinery) – It can get a guy killed.

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| 7. |

ms and km

Mary Shelley & Karen Maitland

“Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!” 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Company of Reanimated Corpses? The Gallows Curse: A Guide to the Acquisition of Body Parts? Gothic horror and medieval mystery meet to create a tale of murder and superstition and raise those philosophical questions of what it means to be human in a world of myth and magic. The supernatural haunts every page, twists and turns abound and the terror of the unknown threaten all mankind in this medieval monster mash-up.

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| 8. |

lc and grrm

Lewis Carroll & George R.R. Martin

“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by C.S. Lewis

Alice’s Adventures in Westeros: After falling down a rabbit hole and finding herself in the middle of King’s Landing, can Alice find a way to survive the clash between warring dynasties. Alice must outrun disgusting perverts, bloodthirsty maniacs, dragons and jabberwockys to find her way home. The nonsensical, witty and utterly absurd meets the complex, bloody and thoroughly epic in this merging of literary masters.

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| 9. |

dg and ku

David Gemmell & Kaye Umansky

“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.” 

~ Legend by David Gemmell

After sampling one of Pongwiffy’s terrible potions, Pongwiffy, Hugo the Hamster, a hoard of goblins and Grandwitch Sourmuddle’s birthday cake find themselves transported to a world of dark knights, thirsty (non-hamster) vampires, bloody battles and axe wielding warriors. Will Pongwiffy forsake her dirty habits to lead an army to victory? Can Hugo subdue the goblin horde? And, most importantly, will the cake survive a battlefield encounter?

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| 10. |

fhb and gdt

Frances Hodgson Burnett & Guillermo del Toro

“A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked—a house on the edge of a moor—whatsoever a moor was—sounded dreary. A man with a crooked back who shut himself up also!”

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mistlethwaite Manor will never be the same again after an injection of del Toro magic. Terrifying monsters lurk in hidden passages, The Cravens harbour a dark secret and Mrs. Medlock isn’t at all what she appears – and that’s before Mary even reaches the garden! When Mary decides to do a spot of gardening in Mrs. Craven’s old patch, the secrets she unearths and the horrors which she disturbs will change her life forever. This is a tale of enchanting mystery and surreal horror which will certainly not be for children.heart

Which authors would you love to see as a duo? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land


Tough TravellingJoin me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.


| Portals to Another Land |

Fantasyland often has some unique entry points; not every traveler is born within its boundaries.  It is a regular event for someone from a non-magical place to suddenly find themselves in this world of dragons, magic, and danger.

After quite some time searching, it appeared that most of my favourite portal books were those from childhood. So this week I’ve gathered five of my childhood favourites. These are the stories of portals and time-slips, of nightmarish creatures and dangerous worlds, of brave children and unwitting adults. These are the five I’ve read countless times over the years.

| 1. |

ElidorElidor

by Alan Garner

The four Watson children enter an old and abandoned church in search of a football when one by one, they disappear through a heavy iron-ringed door. A door which leads to the world of Elidor, a dark and dangerous kingdom almost entirely fallen to evil.

| 2. |

AliceAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass 

by Lewis Carroll

Alice finds herself on all sorts of adventures after making her way down a rabbit hole and finding herself in Wonderland. It certainly doesn’t stop her from making her way through a looking-glass mirror.

| 3. | LionThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

After being evacuated from London, Lucy Pevensie is exploring her adopted home when she finds her way through the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. One by one, the disbelieving Pevensie children follow Lucy through the wardrobe to discover a world frozen in deep winter and ruled by the dark and terrible White Witch.

| 4. |TMGTom’s Midnight Garden

by Philippa Pearce

When Tom Long goes to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in an upstairs flat of a large house with no garden, he finds himself transported to the past every night when the old grandfather clock strikes 13 and the back door opens onto a magical garden.

| 5. |MoondialMoondial

by Helen Cresswell

After being sent to live with an elderly aunt in the country, Minty finds herself transported to the past every night by a strange moondial in the garden; a past where she must help the ‘lost souls’  of former residents find peace.

What are your favourite portal books? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Characters I Didn’t Click With


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Characters I Didn’t Click With |

This week’s Top Ten is about those irritating, needy, selfish characters that you really didn’t connect with. Included are novels and series I love, those I hate and those which just have incredibly annoying or frustrating characters. I found this Top Ten quite tough so (thanks to Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies) have included character transformations where I  grew to love a character over the course of the novel and a few supporting/side characters to flesh it out.

| The Irritating Ones |

| 1. |

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Jonathon Payne & David Jones

Payne & Jones Series by Chris Kuzneski

I hated everything about this book. The characters were immature and badly written as was the narrative. Never again.

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| 2. |

17207972

Renna Tanner

The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

I adore this series but if I hear “love you Arlen Bales” one more time…

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| 3. |

twilight

Bella Swan

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Oh get a grip woman. I can’t see why any man, dog or cannibal would go for you let alone several.

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| 4. |

HP

Cornelius Fudge

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Voldemort is back I tell you! He’s back!

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| 5. |

P+P

Mr. Collins

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I know we’re not meant to like you but you really are a disgusting creep.

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| 6. |

tlb

Susan Pevensie

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Narnia or nylons, Susan? Narnia every time!!

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| 7. |

PS

Yelena Zaltana

Study Series by Maria V. Snyder

Meh.

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| The Ones I Grew to Love |

| 8. |

LW+W

Edmund Pevensie

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Oh Edmund, what were you thinking? Turkish Delight isn’t even nice! But you became a good and noble king. Bravo.

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| 9. |

SoM

Malta Vestrit

The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb

Selfish and spoiled little sister to one of my favourite characters. Transformation complete.

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| 10. |

S+S

Marianne Dashwood

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Cruel Marianne! Poor Colonel Brandon. But you saw right in the end.

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What about you? Are there any literary characters you found it hard to connect with? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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