Yes, that’s a really big image. Yes, I did it on purpose. It’s the newly released cover from Tor UK for Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades. On the surface, it’s a rather fine cover despite hideous typesetting on the title. There are definite references to Daniel Abraham’s Dagger & Coin series covers, rereleases of David Gemmell’s Dranai books, and the like. However, the UK edition does not exist in a vacuum. It must be compared to its US counterpart, which. . . Hell, just look at it.
I guess my only commentary is. . . are you joking Tor UK? It’s like sending out the junior varsity middle school volleyball team to play football with the Dallas Cowboys. Illustrated covers seem to be a dying breed, but consider this a huge high five to Tor US art director Irene Gallo who continues to perpetuate one of the reasons so many of us fell in love with science fiction and fantasy that first time. I’m sure the UK version was cheaper. I’m sure book stores will prefer it because it might appeal to more non-genre readers, but the little boy in me says who gives a shit?
But, hey. . . at least we know R.A. Salavtore books will still look like this: