The Friday Face-Off: White


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!


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off!

This week we’re comparing book covers that are predominantly white and oh my were there a lot to choose from! In order to narrow down the wealth of possibilities, I decided that I would have to go for a book I had read and loved, a book which just so happens to have two absolutely stunning covers – enter Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

With Tor’s Nevernight cover by Jason Chan against Harper Voyager’s cover by Kerby Rosanes, take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Tor | Cover #1

Cover Art by Jason Chan

Harper Voyager | Cover #2

Cover Art by Kerby Rosanes


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Tor cover is beautiful and eerily atmospheric, the solitary figure of Mia Corvere with a blooded blade making for a dark, dramatic composition. Further to this, the winged shadow against the pale stonework make for an arresting backdrop which is set off by the twisting and swirling typeface.

By contrast, the Harper Voyager cover is bold and eye-catching, and the beautifully detailed bird against the blood red sun makes for a striking image. This is a Face-Off that I simply cannot choose between.

Concept Art for Nevernight by Jason Chan

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:

Action

  A cover that depicts action

Remember to check Lynn’s Books for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Mareli & Elza @ Elza Reads

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

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Friday Firsts: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: March 30 |

Nevernight

Book One of The Nevernight Chronicle

by Jay Kristoff

Fantasy | 448 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2016


| First Paragraphs |

People often shit themselves when they die.

Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just … slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When our hero breathes his last in his heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.

I mention this by way of warning, O, my gentlefriends, that your narrator shares no such restraint. And if the unpleasant realities of bloodshed turn your insides to water, be advised now that the pages in your hands speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music. Who did to happy ever afters what a sawblade does to skin.

She’s dead herself, now – words both the wicked and the just would give an eyeteeth smile to hear. A republic in ashes behind her. A city of bridges and bones laid at the bottom of the sea by her hand. And yet I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me if she knew I put these words to paper. Open me up and leave me for the hungry Dark. But I think someone should at least try to separate her from the lies told about her. Through her. By her.

Someone who knew her true.

A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow. But most often, nothing at all. A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know. And was she famous or infamous for it at the end? All this death? I confess I could never see the difference. But then, I’ve never seen things the way you have.

Never truly lived in the world you call your own.

Nor did she, really.

I think that’s why I loved her.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

Narrator led openings such as these always intrigue me –  giving away little details into the future of protagonists we are yet to meet, giving an impression as to their character, and giving clues as to how their existence affects the world around them.

Whoever the Pale Daughter is, and how she came by the names Kingmaker and Crow, I do not know – but I sure as hell can’t wait to find out!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Grey Sister


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme linking Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking The Spine and Can’t Wait Wednesday by Wishful Endings


| Waiting on Wednesday: March 14 |

Grey Sister

Book Two of the Book of the Ancestor Series

by Mark Lawrence


Second novel in the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS.

In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain. There will be blood.


To be published by Harper Voyager on 17th May 2018

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Teaser Tuesdays: February 13


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: February 13 |

Half the World

Book Two of the Shattered Sea

by Joe Abercrombie

Fantasy | 484 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2015


Thick neck darted towards her and she blocked his sword with hers, steel clashing, chopped at him and struck splinters from his shield, stepped away, trying to give herself room to think of something, slipped on fallen fruit in darkness and lurched against the table. A sword chopped into her leg.

~ Chapter: Rage | Page 303 | Half the World by Joe Abercrombie


| Synopsis |

Thorn Bathu was born to fight. But when she kills a boy in the training square she finds herself named a murderer.

Fate places her life in the hands of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi as he sets out to cross half the world in search of allies against the ruthless High King. Beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in her eyes and his own, the voyage is his last chance at redemption.

But warriors can be weapons, and weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn always be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path? Is there a place outside of legend for a woman with a blade?

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads



The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy | 306 Pages | Published by HarperCollins in 1995


To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more.

Very puffed he was, when he got to Bywater just on the stroke of eleven, and found he had come without a pocket-handkerchief!

~ Chapter II: Roast Mutton | Page 29 | The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


| Synopsis |

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.

Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Core


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 12 |

The Core

Book Five of The Demon Cycle

by Peter V. Brett


Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett brings one of the most imaginative fantasy sagas of the twenty-first century to an epic close.

The war begun…

For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them.

Two heroes arose—men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Painted Man, tattooed head-to-toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat—and emerge victorious. Ahmann Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka—the final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear—a Swarm. Now the war is at hand, and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen’s wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil—from which none of them expects to return alive


To be published by Harper Voyager on 28th September 2017

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Teaser Tuesdays: July 11


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 11 |

The Vagrant

Book One of The Vagrant Trilogy

by Peter Newman

Fantasy | 400 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2015


“Giant fists raise, open and plaster themselves over her face. Her body shakes with sadness, each sob ringing the armour like a dolorous bell. Harm edges closer, reaching out to rest two fingers on her exposed skin. He is careful to pick a place where the green is unbroken. In time, quieter tears spill.”

~ p. 186 | The Vagrant by Peter Newman


| Synopsis |

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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The Friday Face-Off: All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter


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.


Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off! This week we’re comparing covers which feature gold!

And when it comes to fantasy you’re never far from a beautiful gilded or embossed cover. This week the UK and the US are going head to head with Assassin’s Fool by Robin Hobb. With two gorgeous covers from Harper Voyager and Del Rey, take a look and see which one is your favourite!


UK Harper Voyager – Cover #1

Cover Art by Jackie Morris + Stephen Raw

US Del Rey – Cover #2

Cover Art by Alejandro Colucci


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The composition of this series of covers never fails to hit my cover sweet spot. The Harper Voyager cover is awash with gold, with a beautiful calligraphic typeface and that gorgeous flying flag. Simple, elegant and eye-catching and, like with all good treasure troves, as soon as I saw it I coveted it!

By comparison the Del Rey cover portrays an artistic view of a lone figure striding through the snow. Beautifully imagined with faded antlers and a misty white snow storm, I just wish this cover captured my attention as the Harper Voyager cover does.

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:

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…

A cover which features a boat

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


| Links |

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

Steve @ Books and Beyond Reviews

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Friday Firsts: The Vagrant by Peter Newman


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 07 |


The Vagrant

Book One of The Vagrant Trilogy

by Peter Newman

Fantasy | 400 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2015


| First Paragraphs |

Starlight gives way to bolder neon. Signs muscle in on all sides, brightly welcoming each arrival to New Horizon.

The Vagrant does not notice; his gaze fixes on the ground ahead.

People litter the streets like living waste, their eyes as hollow as their laughter. Voices beg and hands grasp, needy, aggressive.

The Vagrant does not notice and walks on, clasping his coat tightly at the neck.

Excited shouts draw a crowd ahead. A mixture of half-bloods and pimps, dealers and spectators gather in force. Platforms rise up in the street, unsteady on legs of salvaged metal. Wire cages sit on top. Within, shivering forms squat, waiting to be sold. For some of the assembled, the flesh auction provides new slaves, for others, fresh meat.

Unnoticed in the commotion, the Vagrant travels on.

The centre of New Horizon is dominated by a vast scrap yard dubbed ‘The Iron Mountain’, a legacy from the war. At its heart is the gutted corpse of a fallen sky-ship; its cargo of tanks and fighters has spilled out in the crash, forming a skirt of scattered metal at the mountain’s base.

Always opportunistic, the inhabitants of New Horizon have tunnelled out its insides to create living spaces and shops, selling on the sky-ship’s treasures. Scavenged lamps hang, colouring the shadows.

One tunnel is illuminated by a glowing hoop, off-white and erratic. In the pale light, the low ceiling is the colour of curdled milk.

Awkwardly, the Vagrant enters, bending his legs and bowing his head, his back held straight.

Corrugated shelves line the walls, packed with bottles, tins and tubes. The owner of the rusting cave hunches on the floor, cleaning a syringe with a ragged cloth. He appraises the Vagrant with a bloodshot eye.

‘A new customer?’ The Vagrant nods. Syringe and cloth are swiftly tucked away and yellowing fingers rub together. ‘Ah, welcome, welcome. I am Doctor Zero. I take it you’ve heard of me?’

The Vagrant nods.

‘Of course you have, that’s why you’re here. Well, what can I get you? You look tired. I have the finest selection of uppers this side of the Breach, or perhaps something to escape with?’ His eyes twinkle, sleazy, seductive.

One hand still on his collar, the Vagrant’s amber eyes roam the shelves. They alight on a small jar, its label faded to a uniform grey.

‘Ah, a discerning customer,’ says Doctor Zero, impressed. ‘Rare to have somebody who knows what they’re looking for. Most of the rabble I get through here can’t tell the difference between stardust and sawdust.’ He picks up the jar, flicking something sticky from the lid. ‘I assume whoever sent you appreciates the scarcity of good medicine … and the cost.’

In answer, the Vagrant kneels and places two platinum coins on the ground, sliding them across the floor towards the Doctor.

‘I hope you aren’t trying to trick me,’ the Doctor replies, picking them up and tapping each one in turn with his finger. The coins vibrate and a brief two-note duet fills the cramped space. For a moment neither speak, both moved to other memories by the sound.

Doctor Zero holds them to the light, the clean discs incongruous with his sallow skin. ‘My apologies,’ he says, handing the jar over quickly, hoping no change will be asked for. ‘And if you have any other needs, don’t hesitate to come back.’

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Newman’s writing style. Even from the opening paragraphs the flow of his words and the lyrical construction of his sentences drew me deep into its pages and refused to let me go. The mystery and tension is palpable, the world a dark unknown, and the characters ever more so. This is one novel which already has me hooked.

First impressions? Breathtaking. If The Vagrant continues in the vein in which it started I have high expectations of it being an outstanding and incredibly memorable read.

Fingers crossed.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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The Friday Face-Off: Here be Dragons


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.


Here be Dragons

Temeraire / His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik


Welcome to this week’s Friday Face-Off! This Face-Off is all about dragons, so I’ve gone for the first book in a series I intended to start almost ten years ago and still haven’t got around to!

Published as Temeraire by Harper Voyager in the UK and as His Majesty’s Dragon by Del Rey in the US, the first book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series has some stunning cover art on offer by some very talented artists. Take a look and see which one is your favourite.


Harper Voyager – UK Cover

Artwork by Andrew Davidson

Del Rey / Ballantine – US Cover

Artwork by Dominic Harman


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

For me, the UK cover of Temeraire wins hands down. That wood engraving by Andrew Davidson is ridiculously detailed and has some wonderful depictions of dragons. I love the illustrative style, the very simple colour palette and the interesting typeface which grows from the tail of the main dragon!

On the other hand, despite an eye-catching piece of dragon artwork in the centre, the red background of the US cover completely distracts my attention – so much so that I’d almost say I disliked it if it weren’t for the alternative editions below. The typeface similarly does nothing for this cover which has led to a very easy decision this week! I only hope Andrew Davidson continues to produce beautiful cover art!


| Alternative Cover Bonus |

Temeraire - Alternative

Artwork by Dominic Harman

Additionally, Dominic Harman has produced several alternative covers for the UK including this mass market edition (left) based on the first edition UK cover, and the latest cover (right) which is incredibly similar to the US cover from Del Rey. Despite both these covers being beautiful and the fact that I prefer both to the US offering above (the cover on the right definitely benefits from a light background and improved typeface!), I can’t help but think it’s something of a loss to have come away from that gorgeous wood engraving from Andrew Davidson.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Are any of the alternative editions your favourite? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next Friday’s theme is: Green With Envy

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

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