Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Misleading Covers

This week's topic is: Book Cover Freebie--Misleading Covers

This week's topic was a book cover freebie and since there are so many possibilities for book cover related topics, I couldn't decide what to choose! I saw one of the suggestions for possibilities was 'misleading covers' and I thought that sounded like a really fun idea that I've never tried before. Below are a few covers that I think just don't quite fit or accurately represent the story that follows. Some of these covers I love, some I don't care for, but either way I just find them a bit misleading to someone who doesn't know anything about the book.

Master Assassins (The Fire Sacraments, #1)

Master Assassins by Robert V.S. Redick: So in a sense, this cover is actually completely accurate to some scenes in the book. However, I remember when this came out a few people making comments about the cover (combined with the cliche-sounding title, which is actually brilliant after you've read the book) making this seem a little on the corny side, which I can understand. This book is a stunning literary fantasy that has so much depth to it and this cover doesn't necessarily convey that exceptionally well. I have grown to absolutely adore this cover, but I can totally see how it's a bit misleading about what to expect.


Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright: I'm still not completely sure what the idea is behind the colors and style of this cover, but it doesn't really match the story to me. I like the cover mostly and think it looks fine, but it sort of gives me little bit of a hippy and/or psychedelic vibe mixed with the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland because it looks like the guy on the bottom has some big weird hat. Islandia is not at all psychedelic and it's not exactly very '70s, either.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: It's no secret that I did not like this book at all, but I still find myself confused by this cover. Was there something to do with dominoes being really important in the book that I don't remember? I don't remember if there was, but I always thought it was just a cover that didn't really fit and that I didn't really like, either. I get that it's symbolic, but I don't think it's exactly helpful in setting the tone, either.

Fray (The Unraveled Kingdom, #2)

Fray by Rowenna Miller: So I've decided to consider this one misleading mainly because I find it confusing! I loved the cover of the first book in this trilogy, Torn, and I understand that the red is supposed to be fabric since the main protagonist works with fabric and sewing, but it just  doesn't really immediately look like fabric. I also find the castle image doesn't necessarily stand out as a building enough and from a distance it's just a bit of an odd image that feels incomplete. I have no idea what I would expect from this cover, but it's not what this book actually is.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: Okay, so part of me thinks this cover works just fine since it's one of the most cliche fantasy cover styles, but at the same time it gives off a lot more in the 'assassin' sort of vibe than it does 'guy who proceeds to tell a very long tale about his life.' I love this book, but I'm not sure this cover is the best choice for it.

A Cavern of Black Ice (Sword of Shadows, #1)A Fortress of Grey Ice (Sword of Shadows, #2)
A Cavern of Black Ice (& A Fortress of Grey Ice) by J.V. Jones: I have so many frustrations with this cover. You look at this and think: "hm, okay, so this is about an adult woman who ries a horse wearing super skimpy clothing and is being chased by weird dark figures." Yeah, no. There are two main protagonists at the start, one boy and one girl, and the girl is just that--a girl. She's definitely not as old as that image looks, and this fantasy is also set in a land t hat is freezing (inspired by Alaska!) and there is no chance that that is what she's wearing. This cover just doesn't convey nearly anything accurate about what to expect.

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

The Diviners by Libba Bray: I'm not sure what I expect from a broken string of pearls (?), but it's certainly not a lively, dark, and rather creepy story set in the 1920s and includes a serial killer and supernatural elements. This is (one of) the cover remakes for this book and I really dislike it.

Violet Grenade

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott: Maybe I'm taking this cover too literally, but it makes me think it's trying to maybe be about a woman who's in some sort of army. Or some war-based story where grenades are, you know, ubiquitous or symbolic and the violet part comes in in some way we'll discover. In short, this book has nothing to do with war and I'm not sure where this cover comes from.

Kushiel's Dart (Ph├Ędre's Trilogy, #1)

Kushiel's Dart by Jacquline Carey: Okay, so my only frustration with this cover is that it doesn't convey how utterly intelligent this book is and how filled to the brim it is with fantasy elements and the best political intrigue, scheming, and spying that I've ever read. The font and image of Phedre is just a bit lacking in conveying anything other than a romance-heavy novel when there's so much more that I think other people would love, but are turned off from because of the cover.

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: I love this book and I don't dislike this cover for the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition at all, but I do think it's fairly misleading for the story itself. I get its purpose and the reason this cover was chosen, but I would definitely expect this to be a story about some ghost girl in the woods or something. The house isn't even there and that's the most iconic part!

What do you think of these covers? What are some misleading covers for books I didn't mention?


  1. I love your twist on this week's topic! I've heard so many good things about Kushiel's Dart, I really need to give it a try, and I still need to try The Name of the Wind, too - but I must admit I don't think I like any of the covers for that book. I actually don't mind that cover of The Diviners compared to some of the other designs it's had, but I still don't understand why they strayed away from the original cover which is by far the best one. And I agree with you - I quite like the cover of that edition of The Haunting of Hill House, but it seems pretty weird that the house isn't on it...

    1. Totally agree about The Diviners--that first cover was absolutely the best. It's very odd to me about The Haunting of Hill House!

  2. This was a great idea for the theme this week:-) I agree with you on The Name of the Wind, I've seen some other covers for that book that are so much better. This one is pretty bland!

    1. It really is! I understand why they chose it, but I still question it sometimes.

  3. Master Assassins I'm definitely curious about now! I'm kind of conflicted on the Name of the Wind cover- on the one hand it has a mysterious vibe, but on the other hand seems like it needs a little more? Also The Diviners... I haven't read that one but from what I've seen - yeah not the best cover maybe?

  4. Very nice covers here (although maybe not enough to make me read them).

  5. The 'Master Assassins' cover reminds me of those old paperbacks where they used to have illustrations that are kind of weird but still kind of match what's in the book. I haven't read this so I can't say if this cover is accurate but it seems to fit the title.

    I read 'The book thief' and I really don't know what the dominoes have to do with the story either. I prefer the cover with the drawing of the girl and death.

    I haven't read any of the others so I couldn't say if they match the story but I don't like their designs. Frankly, I have seen 'Kushiel's Dart' cover a lot but I never had the urge to check it out because that cover makes me want to stay away.

    I find most classic books or books that are 100 years old or more sometimes has the most misleading covers. I have see Jane Austen covers that are so far from the story. And then there those Anne of Gables covers that are just so annoying. The one that is most misleading is when they use modern images for books set in the olden days. I really hate those and they are quite misleading, I think.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. I got that from Master Assassins also! It's sort of a fun throwback idea, in a way. And I also wasn't enticed by the cover of Kushiel's Dart either and kept avoiding it for years because it turned me off from it--I'm really glad I finally decided to read it anyway.
      Classics can totally have the weirdest covers--there are some that I just cannot puzzle out no matter how hard I try, haha.

  6. wow, what a great idea. so weird covers really. I have also run into amazing books that were recommended to me. Otherwise, I would never ever have opened them because of the awful covers.

    I featured my top ten book covers of the decade: https://wordsandpeace.com/2020/01/28/top-ten-book-covers-of-the-decade/

    1. Same here! I think we all probably judge our books at least a little bit, haha, so it's nice when people offer personal recommendations and then we read them, anyway and end up loving them!

  7. I also did not like The Book Thief and ended up DNFing it, but yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with that cover!

    1. I am so glad I'm not alone on that! I always feel like I'm spouting blasphemy when I mention I didnt like it, haha.