Lioness Rampant (Tamora Pierce)
Finally, some hose on this girl, along with badass shin guards, a color scheme that works (and really makes the red of the shield and saddle stand out). The toned down colors of the title wokr better, as does the palette of the background, what with all the little waterfalls in the mountains.
Complaints: my least favorite of my original set of four, this one looks the most like it was staged by a photographer who couldn’t stop yelling about how much the camera loves the shield, and could you get your elbow up a little higher so we can get the whole sword in the shot, thanks honey. Also, Demon Beaver Badger Cat makes a second cameo. Formerly-11-Year-Old-Butch adds “she looks really bored for being about to chop someone’s head off.”
Esasily the best of the bunch: sticking with the great texture and detail, this one shines beautifully. Love the facial expression, the detail on the gloves and armor, the stark contrast against a black-and-gray background. Intense. Vivid. Stunning. Bravo, Atheneum. Nailed it.
Complaints: Those lion heads are still creepy, and the borders still unnecessary. But those are just quibbles about an overall outstanding piece of art.
Focused, compelling, badass and wintery, for a book with a climactic blizzard scene.
Complaints: Jesus, France, even Thailand knows she has red hair!
Someone pointed out on an earlier post that this German set features Alanna facing away from the reader in all the pictures, leaving the reader to decide for themself what she looks like. Former-11-year-old-butch says “it’s so weird, I would’ve totally picked it up.”
Complaints: Photoshopped mountains, and the costuming makes it look a little like Robin Hood Fights Bigfoot.
So, if I hadn’t known from T. Pierce herself that this artist is not the same one that illustrated the first 3 in this set, I would’ve guessed it anywya. The radical departure in style brings a much more vivid color palette, a more butch Alanna, and a noticeable change in the level of detail. "I like that people are visibly getting hacked to pieces,“ says the Formerly-11-year-old-butch cheerfully.
Complaints: One Jewel to Rule them All is a little hokey and kind of overdone, no?
Oh, Japan. True to form, you’ve got a whole lot going on here. The cat looks downright cuddly in this edition, thanks to his monkey-like tail and big eyes. The lion head/matching facial expression is pretty fierce, and the shield design works.
Complaints: a psychadelic tornado of plot does not compelling cover art make.
Oh, Twilight. Don’t ever change. I mean, good job removing the Flanking Boy Brigade, and I have to give you props for having the best horse of this bunch, actually.
Complaints: But no seriously, Alanna, darling, that is not how you hold the sword, unless you’re posing for the Knights of the Dominatrix Dungeon calendar. Oh - wait - is *that* what your outfit means?
Sensible fonts, I guess? Good contrasting colors for the visually impaireed?
Complaints: Egads! Someone spilled Mercurochrome all over the cover! Quick, whatever will our badly photoshopped book report look like now? Also, who knew Draco Malfoy was into cross dressing? Why is that kid wearing a dunce cap, and why is he following Draco Malfoy? Who is he, even? Is he in this book? Crap, will someone call the Fantasia cosplay people and tell them to take their Sorcerer’s Apprentice back?
Welp, it’s not #10.
Complaints: Better title for this cover: Xena, Warrior Princess, And The Magical Rock of New Age Spirituality. Also, the tagline. From this cover, it looks as though "her deepest desire” is to be hypnotized by a giant purple dragon turd. The headpiece isn’t helping, and neither is the bathrobe tunic or the - gasp - oh Mithros, I can’t - the FEATHER EARRINGS HELP THE FEATHER EARINGS. Someone send this lady back to the 1987 crystal shop that birthed her.
Thailand, baby, you did it. Good job getting all your text to stand out against the background this time, and getting rid of your “Bestseller!” assertions.
Complaints: “George Napoleon Bonaparte Washington Jr., you get back here this instant before I chop your rocking horse into firewood!”