The Friday Face-Off: Renewed Shall be Blade that Was Broken

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new weekly meme hosted by Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.

The Friday Face-Off: Shall be Blade that Was Broken

A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance #2) by David Dalglish










CreateSpace – US Cover


Cover art by Peter Ortiz

◊  ◊  ◊

Orbit – UK Cover


Cover art by Michael Frost and Gene Mollica

The Friday Face-Off Winner is…


Orbit – UK Cover;

Cover art by Michael Frost and Gene Mollica

Looking at these covers from afar (or as thumbnails) the US cover stands out a lot more than. I liked the colored pencil sketch style and how the women’s clock comes up as a faded red on the bottom on the cover. Reminded me a lot of Sam Green’s style, and I thought this might have been some of his earlier work. Upon closer inspection, I saw some flaws…

The colors all look slightly dull, and the artistic skill – while is a million time greater than myself – left my underwhelmed when I first saw it. I thought the US was going to have something special to it, but I was wrong.

Meanwhile, the UK cover has nothing wrong!

Great design on the assassin(? – I have not read these books) on the cover that perfectly matches the title of the book. Title of the book is a great font and style choice – and do you notice how the letter are slight see through where it cover over the character’s body? Plus, these colors are amazingly bright and bold. What I think I love most about this cover, is how the blade actually goes from behind the title, through, and over the word. So freaking cool, and I believe there was a cover last weeks (from @BooksByProxy?) that did the same thing.

Fun Fact: This Orbit cover is technically both a UK and US cover. Dalglish’s Shadowdance series was original self-published in the US through CreateSpace back in 2010. However, when Orbit picked the series up and published it in 2013, it was release in both the US and UK, at the same time with that same cover.

Which cover do you think is the best?


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14 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: Renewed Shall be Blade that Was Broken

  1. Have to agree with you and pick the UK cover though the blades the assassin is holding in the US cover look awesome.


  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    I do like the US cover but I agree with your choice too to be honest. I like the stance and the blade (like TTBG) but I still prefer the other – maybe because I’m already familiar with this series and these particular covers which I do find eye catching.
    Now I think about it the clock kind of reminds me of the cover on my choice this week.
    Lynn 😀


  3. proxyfish says:

    Both these covers are fantastic but I just can’t resist the UK covers! They’re so dynamic and swirling and swords and ahhhh! Love! And I’m noticing those title interactions everywhere now 😉


  4. Actually, I think the “UK” one is actually used for both the US and UK Orbit editions. The old createspace covers were from when they were self-published before they were bought (and I do not like them at all, lol. The new versions are much much better.)


  5. Bookwraiths says:

    UK-Orbit cover for me. I love the look to the assassin and the cover layout.


  6. sjhigbee says:

    Yes… I think the Orbit cover wins – although I do like the overall idea of the original cover, which has great flow and energy. But you’re right, the female figure isn’t particularly well drawn, which is a shame and there is a sense of tension and mystery in the shrouded figure in the Orbit cover which is lacking. A lovely choice, though. I haven’t read the books, either, but the covers do look tempting!


  7. […] S J Higbee @ Brainfluff – The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron […]


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