The Friday Face-Off: December 18


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature 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 Friday Face-Off: The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard |

I’m a huge fan of literary cover art and love to see the different interpretations which appear from across the globe. With that in mind, I decided to start a new feature where I take a look at the artwork which graces some of the covers on my bookshelves and see which, if any, tips the balance in their favour.

This week I’m looking at the covers for a very promising book which I’m currently in the process of devouring. The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard is a fantasy novel set in Twentieth Century Paris and provides a wealth of beautiful description to inspire artists and designers the world over. Published by Gollancz in the UK and by Roc in the US, this week we have two very beautiful and very different covers to ogle. Take a look and see which cover you think comes out on top.


Gollancz – UK Cover

House-of-Shattered-Wings-UK-resized

 Design by Graeme Longhorne

“It’s a very different beast to the US cover – classier and more refined, but I really like the details (the window and its reflection in the water, broken up by debris; the jewel-like wings, which are very appropriate for my Fallen, whose magic is beautiful, addictive and highly prized.”

~ Aliette de Bodard

Roc – US Cover 

House-of-Shattered-Wings-2

Artwork by Nekro

“It’s got oodles of atmosphere, it says creepy in all the right places, and the burning feathers are just a lovely touch from the opening scene of the novel. This is meant to be Morningstar’s throne in Notre-Dame, in its current state, and I love the ruined city in the background!”

~Aliette de Bodard 


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

THoSW - Winner

The winner of this week’s Friday Face-Off is Roc’s US cover for The House of Shattered Wings. The Gollancz UK cover is beautiful – the wings are reminiscent of stained glass and I love the reflective ecclesiastical interior – but the Roc cover is gorgeous! I love the image of Morningstar’s throne in the foreground with the burning feathers floating down to earth, and the image of a ruined Paris emerging from the deep blue sky in the background. The typeface is simple and the overall composition is both eye-catching and elegant. A definite winner!


| Audio Book Bonus |

THoSW - audio

Orion Audio (UK) vs. Blackstone Audio (US)

And here are the covers for the UK and US audio books! This one is a much harder choice for me; I love the gothic tracery framing the Eiffel Tower on the US edition but the UK cover looks very atmospheric by comparison. The edge might be tipping in Orion Audio’s favour but I think I’m going to have to call this one a draw!


Have you read The House of Shattered Wings? Which is your favourite cover? 

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