I could begin by saying that this week my choice was extremely difficult, but since I say that most weeks, I shan’t bother. However, be prepared for a radical shift this week: I am only including two covers. Why this change you ask yourself? Is it because this week’s focus is very narrow – hardly any books written about it? Nope – in fact the very opposite, there’s a shed load of books about this week’s topic because it’s the Wars of the Roses.
Now this is an area that I know a bit about but obviously I am not going to include any of my own covers – wonderful though they are. [extracts tongue from cheek]
Clearly, even before this week, I’ve looked with great interest at the covers of many books set in this period. A lot of them feature models in pretty dresses – the female ones I mean – usually red. As regular readers will know, I’m not overly keen on such covers – it’s just a personal preference.
I am always looking for something eye-catching and different. Thus, when I surveyed the vast number of possible candidates for this week’s prize, I could find only two that were irresistible. They are very different – not least from each other – the only thing they have in common is a similar greyish background colour. So this week, both covers will share the accolade of cover of the week.
First up is the second of Conn Iggulden’s Wars of the Roses trilogy, Trinity.
The cover design includes a rose theme that runs throughout the trilogy, so we have the two roses – white and red.
The dominant feature though, is the brilliant sun shining out of the more central letter ‘O’. The “sun in splendour” is a powerful icon of the period and it does a very good job here of drawing the eye – try looking at it without going straight to that sun. I especially like the blood-red tinges to the outer rays of the sun.
The whole image pleads with the prospective reader to rip it off the shelf and take it to the till.
My second choice is also a belter: Toby Clements’ second book Kingmaker: Broken Faith.
The only item on this cover, apart from all the text, is a banner. You might be forgiven for thinking that it is thus a little limiting. Not at all, because this banner gives a strong blaze of colour across the centre of the cover and it stands out well.
We also have the detail on it with the white rose of York inside a golden sun and a crown just for good measure.
The tattered banner also prepares us for a story which, shall we say, is not without its troubles.
Both covers are good examples of the effective use of simple images and not a human being to be seen!
As always, the relative merits of cover art – like any art – is a subjective business, but these two are my best picks.
Great post as always, Derek. I’m enjoying this weekly series of posts about covers.
Thanks, Matt. I enjoy doing them. It makes me think a little more about covers too.
I actually think your own covers are fabulous – FEUD is as powerful as any of the two above.
Very kind of you to say so, Anna. I feel I’m still learning.