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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Teaser Tuesdays: December 15


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: December 15 |

The House of Shattered Wings

by Aliette de Bodard

Fantasy | 416 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2015


“Like most buildings in Paris, it was covered with soot, the blackened streaks characteristic of spell residue. Once, it must have sheltered thousands—a natural refuge, an island only connected to the rest of the city by seven bridges, but now it lay empty and dark, and the river that had once been its first line of defense had turned wild, become a power that snapped and killed anything that came near its shores.”

~ p. 38, The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard


| Synopsis |

A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…

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| 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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