Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cover Confessions: Throne of Glass Series

Book 2. Yawn.
If you haven't read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, then this post won't make much sense. So for those who have not read Throne of Glass, you can read my review instead. Or feel free to chime in with your un-book-biased impressions! For all others, feel free to tell me I'm totally wrong in the comments!

Because, I know, I'm totally in the minority here.

So much so that even the publisher decided to take my choice and toss it out in favor of creating a mismatched series (a travesty in and of itself).

And, yes, I know, the new covers are "so badass" and she has swords and stuff and it's illustrated and she looks like a tough fighter and zzzzzzzzz.....

Yes, I admit it. The new covers BORE me. The colors are so bland and they make me think of a graphic novel. All things that would make me ignore the new books if I stumbled across them on a shelf.

I also don't think they fit the series at all.


I know, I know, I can hear the detractors now. This is a series about a badass assassin lady, right?! How can these covers NOT fit the series? Just look at her! She has weapons practically dripping off her body. An initial count turns up four, and that's only after giving the cover a cursory glance.

But that's ALL they show. And Celaena is so much more than a killer.

New cover: Ooooh she's going to kill someone!
Sure she probably looks JUST like that cover picture in a few scenes. Rage burning, weapons out, and a look that says, "I.WILL.END.YOU." There are definitely some scenes like that.

But she's also a girl, and I think that defines her much more than her assassin traits.

She's a girl who likes pretty dresses and swoony romances and glamorous parties and emotional music. She plays with her puppy and has giggly tea parties with her best friend. She eats chocolate cakes (like, the whole cake) and she likes glittery decorations. She frequently indulges in shopping sprees. She loves deeply and she treasures her friends (and, please tagline, she does NOT have a "heart of ice"). These are all the reasons I love her as a character and want to be her friend.

Does the girl on those new covers do those sorts of things? I'm having a hard time seeing her swoon over the prospect of elaborate dresses and bags of candy.

That girl on the first cover, though? SHE I can see doing all those things. Her makeup is perfect, she's curled her hair (and there's plenty of places to hide her stylized hair daggers—can't do that in her flowing new covers hair, can she, hmm?), and there's just something about her that makes me think she'd be down for having a sugar-laden sleepover party.
Old: This is a girl who reads fantasy romance novels

I can also see her tearing apart those who would dare threaten her loved ones. There's something about her that looks like she's been through some things and can hold her own. A wiriness and a wariness.

This all fits the first book extremely well. In Throne of Glass, Celaena had just left the salt mines. She was broken down, thin, and weak. She was still Ardlan's Assassin, but she was rusty.

She spent many memorable months in Throne of Glass training with Chaol (swoon!) to get back to peak form. I can totally picture the girl on the old covers running in the woods with Chaol, puking her guts out, sniping at him (in part because puking her guts out makes her look unattractive, which is something I would SO think about if I were barfing in front of the hot Captain Westfall) and then wishing she could attend a fancy ball.

The girl on the new covers? Not so much.

That new girl doesn't seem like she cares at all what she looks like, what she wears, what songs she dances to, or what sweets she eats. She doesn't look like she harbors any tender or sentimental feelings for anyone. Killing people seems to be her only focus. She seems boring and one-dimensional. Just another "tough girl" in a long boring string of tough girls. I definitely won't be inviting her to any sleepover parties!


Fan art of an actual scene in the book





So, sorry Bloomsbury. Everyone else might love the new covers, but I'm disappointed there won't be any more like the first.







What do you think about the covers?
Love the new ones? Hate the old one?


If you haven't read the books yet, which cover would make you more likely to pick them up?

I know, I know, I'm probably the only one who prefers the old cover, so feel free to tell me why you like the new ones better!

.

42 comments:

  1. I'm actually not that interested in either. I love the badass on the second style but not the colors while I think the first book's cover was kind of dull. Additionally I didn't really like the contents so this is overall not successful for me at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, I remember you were kind of three stars about it, right? Much as I do prefer the original cover, they definitely could have done a better job with it.

      Delete
  2. Oh, God, I love this post so very much. I like the cover redesigns because atheistically they catch my eye, BUT your explanation for not liking the change is why I'm not in love with them. This girl IS so much more than an assassin, and bringing that to the forefront will either surprise new readers or discourage potential ones and that makes me SAD.

    <3 <3 this post :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true! I wonder how new readers will like Celaena when they discover she's not quite like the new covers. Will that affect their impressions? Good point!

      Delete
  3. So I am a fan of the new covers, because they catch my eye so much more-- the colors are very vivid and the pose unique enough for me to look something like this: o.O. However, I understand your point. It is advertising very much only one side of Celaena, and CoM and the novellas and even ToG emphasize that there's a lot more to her than her assassin skills. But even so, that wouldn't make me prefer the old cover, because I thought that cover was quite bland. It was another girl, who looked too much like the author for my comfort, and with a hologram of the glass castle in the background that looked a bit sloppy to me. The girl certainly looks softer than the illustrated one in the new covers, but the newer covers, I think, are more aesthetically pleasing, or at least tend to catch your attention more easily in a store of thousand of other books.

    PS - have you read Crown of Midnight yet :D?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The poses are unique, especially the one for CoM. I think that's what I don't love about them too though. Have you seen the post where author Jim Hines tries to pose like the characters on book covers and he ends up having to contort in all these impossible positions? That's what the new covers make me think. The way she's holding her swords, and even her body in the second cover don't look very natural or comfortable.

      You're right that the original cover model looks a lot like the author. I've had to do a double take a few times because I thought it WAS the author! Normally that would seriously bother me, but for some reason it doesn't bother me at all with these books. The original cover model is exactly how I picture Celaena.

      I have read Crown of Midnight! I think I may even love it more! Have you read it yet?

      Delete
    2. True, it is a bit unnatural (and I have seen that post before--it's fantastic). It almost looks like she's going to take that sword to her vagina.

      I DEFINITELY love it more than ToG. We should discuss sometime!

      Delete
    3. lol, yes, it does!

      We should totally discuss! The shocks were so much higher in this one, and, well, *SWOON* x10000+

      Delete
  4. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! Honestly, I can't stand them. They just look....odd? Too comic book-ish? I don't know. Just weird. All I know is that if I saw this on the bookshelf and didn't know a thing about how awesome the series is, I would've passed right by this. It looks almost cheap.

    And I completely agree with you're description of her based on the cover. She just looks so coldhearted on the new covers. One thing I loved about her character is the fact that she's actually incredibly girly, and the original cover really showed that! It says "I love make-up, pretty dresses, and all that glitters. But piss me off and I'll kick your sorry butt". Girly and tough. Can't get much better than that!

    I'm really sad that these are the new covers because I though these were the British covers, not the US. But, oh well. I'm still looking forward to reading it. I got approved through Netgalley! WOOHOO! Have you read it yet?

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yay!!!!!!! Yes, you describe exactly my thoughts about the new covers! And about Celaena's character. I love love love how she's girly. So many "tough girls" now shed all femininity or act ashamed or awkward when they admit to their femininity. I love that Celaena not only embraces that side of her, but she revels in it. She's feminine AND tough, and I'm so happy to have a character who shows that you can be both without sacrificing one side for the other.

      I think the new covers are the British covers. It seemed like the British cover for ToG was so much more popular than the US cover that Bloomsbury decided to redesign the US covers to match the UK covers.

      I hope you love it!!!! I have read it. Just finished the other day and I'm seriously suffering book mourning. I think I may love it even more than the first! Are you a Chaol fan?

      Delete
    2. I completely agree! It's always like there is a huge divide between "tough" and "girly" when there shouldn't be! Why can't you be both? That's definitely what made me love this gal!

      Ohhhhhh seriously? I'm surprised they got that much love. And I HATE when they switch covers second book. Especially if it's not an improvement.

      UGHHHHHHHH.....so much anticipation now! I'll probably read it either next or the book after next. SERIOUSLY?! Better than the first?! Is that even possible?!?!

      YES! Oh, Chaol. You sexy, sexy man. How you make my heart go aflutter! You can train me anyday ;) hahaha yes, I totally love him. Honestly, this is one love triangle where I love both the interests. However, as much as I love Dorian and his cocky sense of humor, I love stoic, honor-drivin, manly Chaol. And, I'm a sucker for a man in uniform. Sooooooo OF COURSE I'M A CHAOL FAN!!!! <3

      Delete
    3. YES!!! You completely nailed what I was trying to say! You can totally be both tough and girly and I wish more YA characters showed that.

      I hate it when they switch covers mid-series, too. There's no chance of ever having a matching set then and I hate that. Ugh, or when they publish all the books at one height and then make one of the books in the series slightly taller or shorter than all the others. What gives, publishers????

      Seriously, better than the first. Also, with what you've just said about Chaol (100% agree, btw) YOU WILL LOVE IT. And that's all I'm going to say until you read it ;)

      Delete
  5. I.... clearly need to read these books.

    This was the best description ever, "Rage burning, weapons out, and a look that says, "I.WILL.END.YOU.""

    Followed by: "She's a girl who likes pretty dresses and swoony romances and glamorous parties and emotional music. She plays with her puppy and has giggly tea parties with her best friend. She eats chocolate cakes (like, the whole cake)"

    SOLD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll like them! Celaena's like a female Gen in The Thief or Sage in The False Prince.

      Delete
  6. I've felt in the minority too because I completely agree the old cover fits the tone of the series (or at least the first book) much more than the new cover. I imagine that's why they designed it that way in the first place. Celaena, in my opinion, is not particularly badass. As you mentioned, she's really quite frilly, and that's fine. It actually makes her somewhat original. And while I know the new covers are in fact attracting a new audience (could I venture to say it's attracting more male readers?), I worry they'll be disappointed because they won't be getting quite the type of book they're expecting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad I made this post because I thought I was totally alone.

      You make a good point too about the new covers attracting the wrong audience. Ha, could you imagine a guy reader opening the book expecting some tough no-nonsense lady assassin and instead getting Celaena? :P

      Delete
  7. I'm not wild about either cover but I do think that the new ones send the wrong message about the series. it almost looks like graphic novel covers.
    And thats not in and of itself a bad thing, it's just not what the books are about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes! They DO look like graphic novel covers! Complete wrong vibe for the books.

      Delete
  8. I agree. I don't particularly care for the new covers. They seem a bit, I don't know, more detached? Not as connectable with to me. While I don't like the first one all that much I really love the sort of holographic kind of background image they used for the castle. The deep blue color was very striking and eye-catching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, I get a similar detachment from them. I don't know if it's the illustration style, the colors, or that I just don't feel like I can connect with that girl. I also agree with you on the deep blue color and the castle (I like that the castle was also relevant to the book).

      Delete
  9. I like the new ones, but I agree with you. I liked the US cover a lot! I feel like they're trying to appeal to the people who didn't like ToG because C. was too silly for an assassin. I think they'd do better to appeal to the people who loved it because she was a girly girl and an assassin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXACTLY!! Perfectly said! They should sell the book for what it is so readers who like that sort of thing will find it. It doesn't help anyone to have the wrong kind of reader pick up the book and dislike it.

      Delete
  10. Whenever I see the new covers I think of R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy. Celaena looks pale and angry on the new covers, and I think that it really doesn't fit the feel of the book. I don't know why publishers do this (I mean, I do KNOW why, but I don't like it!) when they have an amazing cover in the first place. I mean THAT girl is not one you'd expect to have a dagger strapped to her arm, but she does. That gave the book intrigue enough that I wanted to read it.

    Also, I am SUPER pissed that my series is not going to match now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, yes, everything you said times a thousand! I don't think Celaena is the type of person who, if you just saw her in passing, would stand out as anyone particularly tough. I think she'd look like all the other court ladies. I think that's another reason I like her as a character so much. She doesn't fit the stereotypes, so she's a breath of fresh air.

      Also, ME TOO! I hate having series that don't match. I also prefer hardcovers, so getting the paperback versions isn't a great option either. Very annoyed. It seems like publishers are playing the cover switch mid series game a lot lately.

      Delete
  11. Lol, I actually like the new covers more because she looks so badass but in terms of the content of book 1, the old cover definitely fits it more. I wasn't expecting Celaena to be so girly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't expecting her to be so girly either! I like that she is though.

      Delete
  12. Haven't read Throne of Glass, but want too! So many books, not enough time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll probably like them! I seriously don't know how I'm going to wait until next year to read the next book. I've already re-read all my favorite parts of Crown of Midnight and the book isn't even published yet!

      Delete
  13. I'm not super keen on either of the covers, tbh (I don't really covers that feature large faces of the MC), but I totally see what you're getting at here. And so looking at it from your point of view, the first is more preferable, definitely. Because Celaena IS super girly!! Not just a kick ass assassin. The "heart of ice" comment confounds me because the thing I loved most about Celaena is the opposite of that tagline - she is very loyal and compassionate! Bah, stupid cover changes. I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too true!! Whenever I think of that "heart of ice" comment I just want be all "Fleetfoot. Heart of what now??"

      Delete
  14. I am in total and utter agreement with you. I despise the new covers. I never would pick up a book with a cover that looked like that. Yeah, I know "don't judge a book by it's cover," but let's be honest, how many books do you pass up or pick up because the cover repelled or caught you eye? Exactly. I am SO glad that they made the original cover at all or I would have totally missed out on an excellent book. Not only does the old cover suit the story much more, but it's attractive and draws my attention as well. It's elegant and fierce. It's mysterious and ultimately what got me into this mess in the first place. So, I could not agree with you more about the points you made in regards to each cover. There is nothing about the original that detracts from her as an assassin, which is the main argument for most lovers of the new covers. I am thankful to you for setting my quest at ease. I have been trying to figure out whether or not the original cover-art was discontinued and you have said as much. RIP beautiful, clever cover...now, to buy or not to buy the hideous new covered books? I suppose it's on the inside that matters...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. psh, I'm right there with you—I TOTALLY judge books by their covers! I'd be super reluctant to pick up the new covers if I didn't already know this series is awesome.

      I also picture Celaena looking like the girl on the original cover. I don't think I could read the books if I had to picture that freakishly proportioned ghost-white cartoon on the redesigns.

      I agree with you too! You're absolutely right that there isn't anything about the original cover that doesn't look like an assassin. I can totally picture her doing the assassiny things Celaena does!

      Unfortunately though, yup RIP old cover design. If it helps at all, at least the spines of the new covers mostly match the spine of the original cover. So when you have them lined up on your shelf they look like they match and you can pretend the rest of the books all have nice covers like the first :)

      Delete
    2. personally, i find the old covers wayyy to generic,"fake" and just plain cringe-worthy. i agree though, i expected more with the new covers.

      Delete
  15. I'm kind of against the two covers.
    I agre with everything about the new cover, but the first cover is justa generic cover that dont say nothing about the book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I personally like the new covers just because I see a whole different side to them. I see a girl who has gone through pain and missery and doesn't want the pity. She holds her own and she's so bad that you just can't help but think she is extremely arrogant, like she is, and just knows how intimidating she looks. That is how I feel about ToG and CoM at least. As for AB, I am quite ashamed of that cover because it looks like Celaena is hidng in the shadows and is scared to show her face. It doesn't bring out any parts of her. And I know this post was published earlier than it came out, but honestly, I can't stand the HoF cover because she is not an archer, she is a fire breathing fae and she is not Katniss Everdeen so shy the beach would they give her a bow and arrow. And as for QoS, it is okay, but I really don't like the short hair and the warrior side in that way. She looks too grown up and also too sick of living. It really brings me down. I wish one of the later ones showed her in Fae form and that they could've picked a better color scheme. But over all, I can't stand the original cover the most because it just looks like she's trying to hard to look complex and unique but she just looks too out of place. I hope you can see my point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant to say why the heck not shy the beach.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you on HoF! Where in the world did the bow and arrow come from?! I haven't read QoS yet, so I'm not sure how I feel about that cover and if it fits the book. I don't like the short hair, but I do like that it at least reflects the story.

      Delete
  17. I like the old one, but I like the new ones more, because where it shows Celaena as hard and icy on the front, when you flip the book over to read the back, it shows that she may be a trained assassin, she also likes to wear pretty dresses (My favourite's the red one) and dress up a little, because they aren't just the type of dresses that would be expected of a lady, she outdoes herself. The dresses on the back covers are so detailed and pretty. The front and back show her contrasting personalities. The front is what she is to everyone else, the back is who she is to her closest friends and to herself.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have you seen the back of the book covers? Because the back shows the girl you're describing. Front represents her darker, cunning side - assassin. Back, where she's wearing a dress, represents her girlish side. The cover's really cleverly designed that way to show two sides to the same person. So I don't really know why you think they're so bad... I know my comment's pretty late so do you still feel that way? :P

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm not a fan of real faces on covers because they make it hard for me to picture how I really see the character in my head. Also I refrained from reading this series simply because of the old covers. I'm all for the new covers though. Great post btw.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Okay, I'm not sure If I'm imagining her wrong or something, but, to me I see Celaena as a blonde or light brunette with a hint of tanned skin instead of that pale ghost on the cover. I've always thought the girl on the cover looks more like Manon with her white hair...Did I miss something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree! I do picture Celaena as a blonde, but much more of a honey blonde than a white blonde like on the new covers. I didn't think of Manon before, but now that you mention it, YES the new cover design is definitely how I would picture her!

      Delete

It's all about friendly conversation here at Small Review :) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.

Because I am absolutely terrible about following through with blog awards, I can't in good conscience accept any more. Thank you very much for thinking of me though!

Spam WILL be deleted. Attacks on myself or other comments WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...