Cover Art

Cover Art Review – The Barrow

Welcome to a brand new cover art review! I have a ton of these I really want to do as there are so many great novels coming out this year. Words of Radiance, the next in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives series, is going to be another one I cover over the next couple of weeks.

So, perhaps in contrast to the more classical art featured on the cover of Words of Radiance, today we’re looking at a cover that could just as easily be a movie poster. This is The Barrow by Mark Smylie. The novel takes place in the same world as Mr Smylie’s Artesia comics, which are themselves a military fantasy series with a female main protagonist.

The Barrow
Mark Smylie, (2014 Pyr)
Cover Artist: Gene MollicaThe Barrow

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A Rant of Ice and Fire: New Cover Art

Well, I promised you a rant today. I intend to deliver, but I’m going to keep it relatively tame. Mostly because I love A Song of Ice and Fire and I respect George R. R. Martin too much to dive in here and heavily criticise the cover art on his series, no matter how much I may not like it.

What I will do, however, is give my opinions and thoughts and tell you why I feel these new covers do not do the series justice. This is nothing against the books themselves. This is a rant squarely aimed at the cover art.

With that said, I don’t know who decided that this would be the new look for the novels that birthed one of the most popular TV series in recent memory. Is this what we can come to expect from all our fantasy covers in the future?

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5 Examples of Good Fantasy Cover Art

I wanted to put together something to show off some really good fantasy cover art and discuss what makes them so successful and easy on the eye. It’s not that I’m some sort of masochist when it comes to pointing out flaws in book covers, but I am passionate about books having good art (which leads to… anyone? Sales!)

The Remembered

1. The Unremembered

The Unremembered by Peter Orullian is a stunning example of great cover art in action. Setting aside that gorgeous artwork for a moment, the first thing we see is the author’s name all big and bold and crimson. It’s almost a brand, which is great for a new author.

The book’s title is relatively discreet here. It’s the author’s ‘brand’ that the publisher wants us to see first.

Finally, the stand-out aspect of this cover is the artwork itself. It’s all greens and browns and golden hues and it really is beautiful. There’s a certain elegance to the man in the artwork too, which suggests a rich story.

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