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Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Face Off: Shadow and Bone

I just recently finished Leigh Bardugo's fantasy debut, Shadow and Bone (aka The Gathering Dark if you live in the UK). I'll be reviewing it for you soon, but I thought until then we could have ourselves a little Face Off between the two versions.  Below you'll find the US version (left) and the UK version (right), both of which are different from the ARC version I have.
This one is an interesting Face Off since they are completely different takes on the cover and have different titles for the same book - clearly each is going for something specific. So would you reach for either of these? Do they give you different impressions of what the story might be?
Which one did it better?

Last Week on FFO: Three books (The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Chosen and The Hedgewitch Queen) made use of the same pretty stock photo, with The Treachery of Beautiful Things coming out the clear winner, as predicted.
Now, I always try to save my comments until after the Face Off, or avoid giving them at all (don't want to bias anyone), but this time I wish I'd pointed out something I noticed - I really wanted to tell everyone to click on the photos and see them in a larger size, to really see the details. Gut instinct still makes Treachery seem the most appealing, what with the olivey skin and the edition of the flowers in the hair and on the dress. But something seemed off, and as I looked at it, it's because the editing has pretty much removed the models legs. She just fades out from about mid-calf, and the result is a little unsettling once you notice.  As all of the rest of the edits are good editions to the picture, I found this particular edit curious...
I still think there's a good chance Treachery would have won, but as no one else pointed this out, I thought I would...


  1. Oddly, the UK cover looks like a US cover (person) and the US cover looks like a UK cover (iconic illustration.)

    I have to say I prefer the US cover. The typography is lovely and is the onion dome building at the bottom - gives a real sense of the setting.

  2. Honestly, I don't like either cover very much. If I had to choose though, I'd go with the US since the UK version looks really childish to me.

  3. I like the US cover, but I think the UK cover wins this round. I love the blue colour.

  4. The Gathering Dark is a stunning cover. I would SO skip over the other if I saw it in a book shop.

  5. US cover for real yo! I agree with Liviania, in that the UK is totally doing the stereotypical US thing. I also don't think it's done the pretty girl in a fancy outfit thing particularly well.

  6. +JMJ+

    I usually prefer having no models on the cover, but it's the UK cover that would get me to pick it up and the read the story, so it's getting my vote.

    It's a steel grey vs. two gorgeous shades of blue thing. =P

  7. I love the cover and title "Shadow and Bone." It looks mysterious with a touch magcial.

    I usually like more "boy" books, or gender neutral covers. I find the UK cover to be, well, bland and girly.

  8. I would personally be drawn more to the UK version... I'm a color-blue girl and it looks more epic fantasy to me than the US version. But, on closer inspection, the cover model has a very strange expression, which kind of takes away from the beauty of the cover.

    The US version, on the other hand, reminded me of ghosts and spirits until I realized it wasn't a ghost story. Now I think it's absolutely stunning, and I'm soooo excited to read it (and I get to meet Leigh Bardugo on the 6th of June)!!

    So. 1st impressiong: UK

    Final answer: US.

  9. I know everyone's in love with the US version, but it honestly never really attracted me. If I was looking for a fantasy read, I'd be more attracted to the UK version. I love the gold styling around the edges, the art (painted, not model, yay!), and the color.


Tell me all your thoughts.
Let's be best friends.


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