News Ticker

Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Shadow Rising’ vs. ‘A Game of Thrones’ (French)

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

19 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Shadow Rising’ vs. ‘A Game of Thrones’ (French)

  1. I prefer the Jordan cover, partly because of the focus. It’s on a well-drawn Mat with great mood lighting with the play of shadows and light.

    As opposed to the Martin cover where the focus is … Martin’s gigantor name. It pushes the scene to the background. 

    Plus, I like the overall coloring of the Jordan cover. 😀

  2. We must be living in the future cause that WoT ebook cover is about a gazillion times more awesome than its print counterpart.

  3. I prefer the Jordan cover but neither cover will make me pick up the books as I know they are series I’m not interested in.

  4. I prefer the Jordan cover. It’s more striking to me. However I think that Martin cover will appeal to fans of the series, because the image has significance to those familiar with the plot. This makes me wonder: should the cover art for a book in a series be focused on attracting new readers or on appeasing current fans? Something I hadn’t considered before.

  5. They are both outstanding covers.  The Jordan cover fits the mood perfectly of the book and the Martin cover is very atmospheric.  Of the two, if I did not know anything about either series, I would be more inclined to buy the Martin book.  I tend to like the more atmospheric covers that provide a larger look at the world within the book rather than the character-based cover.

    It would almost be worth re-buying the Jordan series if the re-released the hard covers with the new e-book covers…

  6. Wow. I have to say – I really like both of these.

    With a gun to my head, I’d choose the Jordan cover because that is the best ‘Prince of the Raven’s’ image I’ve seen thus far.


  7. I like the GRRM one better (it’s more EPIC, if you know what I mean. Plus – Mat, for the cover of TSR? Really? And what’s with the ravens? A bit premature, isn’t it?), even though I think The Shadow Rising is the better book. Not by much, though – A Game of Thrones is a great book as well. Those two together are perhaps my two favorite fantasy books of all times.

  8. The first one reminds me of the Dark Tower. I guess it’s because the artwork looks a wee bit like the recent Jae Lee stuff that’s been done for the comics.


    The outer glow on the text of the Martin cover really kills it for me though.

  9. I like the Simonetti painting better, but I would have to give the nod to Sam Weber’s cover here, just because the type placement on the Martin book is so awful.  It covers up anything interesting about the painting, so that it might as well be a random blob of color.  This visual assault by an author’s name has always annoyed me about Stephen King’s books, and it serves no better purpose here.

  10. I’m beating the same drum in thinking that I like both very much.  It has been waaay too long since I’ve read this Jordan book and I haven’t kept up with the series, so I don’t know how representative it is, but I do like it.  Perhaps a tad bit too similar to urban fantasy covers with the ravens and all, but it is still well done. 

    I like snow.  I know. I’m odd.  So looking at the cover to GRRM’s book thrills me because I just like the massive feel of it.  And I much prefer it to the dreck they put on his book covers over here in the states.

  11. Both are wonderful, and both artists have been really looming large on my radar lately. 

  12. I prefer Jordan’s cover since it’s a very nice and stylish drawing. The drawing on Martin’s is very good too but I don’t like the title/author positioning.

  13. I like them both but if I had to pick one it would be the Jordan one. I would have went with the Martin one because I actually like that art piece better but the placement for the text just kills it for me. I wish they would have placed the text at the top on the Martin cover.

  14. @Mark G. “We must be living in the future cause that WoT ebook cover is about a gazillion times more awesome than its print counterpart.” I think this every time I see a new WoT ebook cover.

  15. Under normal circumstances, I’m opposed to covers that have a portrait of a/the protagonist as the sole point of focus, but this Wheel of Time e-book cover is very well done. I love that the painter focused on capturing the mood of the novel, instead of a photo-realistic recreation of a male model wearing Renaissance Faire garb. Even though Mat is generally recognized as a happy-go-lucky sort, an undercurrent of danger lies beneath his surface, and this cover captures that to a “T.” The pair of ravens, the shadowed tree, and the thick fog all contribute to a grim and prophetic mood.

    The cover for the French edition of Game of Thrones seems a bit bland. It’s a fortress-type building in a wintery-type mountain range. Yay? This doesn’t do much to differentiate the mood or story.

    Just looking at these two beside each other, I suddenly want to re-read the Wheel of Time, not A Song of Fire and Ice.

  16. I personally like the first one with Sam’s cover. He did a tremendous job with this illustration which harkens back to the classic artwork of Andrew Wyeth. His composition is tremendously strong and the lighting of the piece intriguing. There’s movement in the character and the blade feels strong as steel. The viewer’s eye is lead down to the title of the book, which is nicely designed and compliments the artwork.


    Well done Mr. Weber!

  17. Jordan cover, hands down. It immediately grabs your attention – subdued yellow/black scheme gives a nice feeling of forboding. But I also think the general layout is better as well. Your eye is led directly down to the title graphic and name, which is uncluttered and easy to read.

    While I like the Martin cover as well, it doesn’t play as nicely as the Jordan one. The cool tones work for the story, and the imposing icewall, which factors heavily into the story also works – but it doesn’t engage the eye as much. I think in part is that the copy is bullseyed dead center, and discourages you from wondering around the image, which is a shame. Had the title copy been moved up to the top, or to the bottom, I think it would have worked much better visually. But as is, the immensity of the wall is broken by the text over the face of it.


  18. I like the Jordan cover. It’s a sharp focus and I’m very interested in this guy and what he’s going to do, and the ravens add a bit of mystery. For the GRRM cover though, I didn’t even immediately see the cover simply because of the text placement, and overall the design is much more subdued. It doesn’t really convey the sense of epic adventure– which is a shame, because A Game of Thrones is full of more epic adventure and political conniving than many other fantasy books put together.

    Despite the awesome cover, though, I still wouldn’t read the Jordan book, since I long ago put the Wheel of Time onto my mental list of “series way too long and complicated to bother with.” I learned my lesson reading Gookind’s Sword of Truth series in that regard.

  19. The Wheel of Time cover. It is so much more focused then the other. It is really a great portrayal of Matt.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: