Sunday, May 22, 2011

Judge a Book by Its Cover - Heroes of the Valley

Today I wanted to look at the different covers of Heroes of the Valley, by Jonathan Stroud. Click any of the covers to view a larger version.




4. French Edition

5. Indonesian Edition

The first cover is the one I have at home, and I particularly like it because it has elements of the story, a unique illustration style (that I think has to do with the time period - please correct me if I'm wrong), and I like the overall design. Also, it doesn't try to scare me, but once I've read the story I can see some of the darker elements. I'd say this is my favorite cover of the bunch. This cover would make me want to take this book off the shelf.

I don't really like cover #2. It feels like a movie tie-in (although I'm pretty sure there is no movie), and the Trow hands are so creepy. Not that I would know it was a Trow anyway unless I'd read the book. The font also makes me think of a movie-tie in cover. However, I do like the design behind the text and how Halli is so small compared to anything else on the cover. And I just noticed he's on the rock (from the Battle of the Rock), which makes me happy :D. But again, that's a reference no one would get until they've read the book.

#3 is great. I really like it. The only thing that bugs me is that even though I've read this book several times, I have no idea what the cover is trying to depict. Is it Halli? I just have no clue. But aside from that, this cover is great. It has a darker side, but it's not all about the Trows. The whole illustration is wonderful, and I really like the style of the text. And even though I usually don't love quotes on the covers of books, this one works really well, giving the potential reader a sense of what the book is about rather than simply praising it. This cover is very well done. However, I personally would be less likely to pick it up in a bookstore than #1.

#4. Well, I feel like this would be a great cover... for a different book. Why is Svein's sword chained to a tree? Where is Halli? Aud? Anything about the journey? The Trows? Anything at all?? That said, I would like to see what the story for this cover turns out to be...

I can see why the Indonesian publishers used #5, but I wouldn't pick it up in a store. On the other hand, my brother said he'd definietly pick it up. So maybe they're trying to appeal more to boys with this cover. Which would be crummy because the story has just as much appeal for girls as it does for boys (in my eyes, anyway). I do really like Halli's position on this cover, though. He looks very hero-esque. And The silhouetted Trow hands are cool too. Even though I personally wouldn't have picked this cover up from a bookstore display, I have to say, it is a pretty good cover.

My favorite: #1, closely followed by #3. (If I could just figure out what part of the story #3 is showing...)

My least favorite: #2.

What's your favorite?

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