Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group had a great topic: INACCURATE BOOK COVERS! Those book covers that have nothing to do with the story, or the cover model doesn’t look anything like the actual main character, or it’s a really cheesy cover for a great read!
As I’ve admitted before I’m a Cover Lover. I readily confess that I have and will buy books because the cover art is great. Yeah, yeah, maybe that is shallow, but for me anyway, you can, many times, judge books by whether their covers are good or bad. So with that in mind, here are my Top 5 picks for Most Inaccurate Fantasy Covers.
5. THE HOBBIT
There have been dozens and dozens of really amazing book covers for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Even the ones featuring the feature films were tastefully done in my opinion. But the cover to the right is by far the most inaccurate and worst one of the whole lot. I mean, has anyone ever (even before the feature films) pictured Bilbo or Gollum looking this way? I never did, and, honestly, this cover insults my vision of these iconic characters. And it is on the 50th anniversary edition to boot. Talk about a letdown.
4. BAZIL BROKETAIL SERIES
This military fantasy series by Christopher Rowley was a fun romp, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It had a classic feel, cool dragons, and a really fun story filled with enough magic and world spanning adventure to keep your attention. What it did not have were good covers. The one to the right might be the most inaccurate and silly looking of the bunch, but none of them correctly depicted this hard fighting, intelligent battle dragon and his dragon boy. All of which is a shame, since I’m sure loads of people did not try these novels due to the silly looking covers.
3. FOX AND EMPIRE
Okay, first off, this has one of those gold foil enhanced covers which were all the rage long ago, but which I personally never liked. Second, it shows a naked baby floating over a battlefield while soldiers hide under their shields in fear. It has been a long time since I read this book, but I seem to recall this book being more along the lines of a military fantasy with lots of political machinations and battles. Somehow, I don’t think this captured the epic nature of the story. Plus, you gotta admit that gold foil looks horribly tacky. Just saying.
2. THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON
Covers are there to sell books. I understand that. So an artist is going to take some artistic liberties to capture the essence of the story, even if the picture doesn’t really reflect a particular scene in the tale. With the book to the right, however, someone went way too far, because Thrones’ cover makes the book seem like it is about three brave heroes fighting off a monster horde. When you read the book though, these guys spend more time dealing with personal problems and drinking loads of tea than fighting anyone. And I would have really liked to have known that before I spent loads of time reading a novel about tea drinking.
1. HEIR OF RENGARTH
A book cover can’t get any more inaccurate than when the image on its front are of characters from another story. With Heir, some artist decided to take Prince Colwyn from the 1983 movie Krull and put him front and center with Valeria and Thulsa Doom’s general from the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian flanking him in the background. How do those three individuals have anything to do with this story? They don’t. And I can’t think of a better example of an inaccurate book cover than this one. It really is perfect for this topic.