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DO Judge a Book by its Cover

We’ve all heard the phrase: don’t judge a book by its cover. And we know it’s true. Sometimes covers are misleading. They can tempt us into believing we have found our next favourite read, only to wind up deeply disappointed. Covers are like the tantalising smell of freshly baked bread. We are drawn to them. At least I am.

I have heard so many compliments for my first book’s cover, and I completely agree. The Watcher of the Night Sky has a gorgeous cover. I have to thank the photographer and designer for that. Some of my readers have only picked my book up based on their impression of the cover. And that’s OK. I am enticing you with my beautiful, freshly baked cover. Why would anyone consider a badly designed cover? I wouldn’t.

I have also been lured by a cover. I have bought books, somewhat apprehensively, because of the cover. The blurb sounds… OK… not my style… I’m not really into this… but the cover… the cover is so… oh, Lord… the cover is so beautiful... do I want it? Should I want it? Oh, but the cover… I’ll take it!!

This marketing tactic (let’s be honest) has been a good way for me to discover hidden treasures; books I would never have considered had it not been for their covers. So, I want to share the stunning Fantasy and Fantasy YA book covers I discovered last year, some I have read, and some are pending (we all have shamefully long TBR lists).

Let’s begin—and in no particular order—with:

The Selection

The premise and character names put me off this one. I was very reluctant to buy it, especially because I hadn’t read any dystopian novels prior to this. But the cover is so gorgeous and there were reviews aplenty on Goodreads. So I got it!

I liked it enough to read the second book. But after completing the series, just like Twilight, it’s not good enough for a reread (sorry guys who like it) and I kind lost interest somewhere between book two and three.

The Golem and the Jinni

If you haven’t read this one yet I urge you to. The writer is incredibly gifted in using English. The book is made of odd paper—I think it is recycled—so it reminiscent of a tome.

Just my style.

The blurb didn't sell this one to me. I made my final decision because of the design. But the story did not disappoint.

The Last Magician

What can I say? I saw this on my Goodreads feed so much I couldn’t get it out of my head.

And the premise?

Well, I love a good fantasy, but I am totally into fantasies with historical elements. The Golem and the Jinni is another and I suppose I should read Outlander—I am reluctant because romance as the main theme bugs me. Ironic really, since romance is a big part of my story... If any of you lovely readers have some books like this you can recommend please do so!

I am glad I read this one and the sequel awaits me.

A Kingdom of Exiles

I have yet to read this but, by gosh, I know I have to! The cover is stunning, the overall rating is high and there’s Fae in it!

On a side note, I am reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black—another Fae book—and it's awesome. It's been too long since a book hooked me in as much as this does. I'm excited to read some of her other work. I literally have those squirmy feelings that Christmas brings in my stomach.

I recommend The Cruel Prince to anyone who enjoys YA dark fantasies set in Faerie worlds.

Queen of Thieves

When I saw this cover, I wanted to hit up my designer and ask them to redesign mine in this style! I love the artwork.

I'm not sure if I am going to read it—you have no idea about how fussy I am about female leads these days and the fact they all seem to be the same person disguised under different names—but this cover is absolutely stunning.

Garden of Thrones

OK, so this one, honestly, I don’t think I will read it. Maybe I am too critical when I read blurbs, but I don’t want to read anything that may seem a little typical or cliched. So when I read the premise I thought, yup, the lead guy and girl are going be at odds for the whole book and then get together at the end.

Where have I seen that before? Oh right, in almost every romance book or movie. It was one of the reasons The Last Magician bugged me a little. The leads argued way too much and I knew the whole time something would come of it.

Anyway, I could be wrong, and if anyone has read it please tell me if I am! I will happily try a story from a personal recommendation.

The Shadow Queen

The first thing I thought when I saw this was Once Upon a Time—which I loved before it just got super repetitive and redundant.

How many curses can those folk keep falling for?

So gullible.

This book is a fairytale retelling of Snow White which is absolutely obvious from this spot on cover.


Ink, Iron, and Glass

I love blue. It is my favourite colour. So anything blue stands out to me. the blurb of this makes it sounds pretty good too. It’s steampunk—which I am up for—but the reviews are putting me off.

I’m not convinced enough to check it out. But the cover... oh the cover...

It was so hard for me to compile this list. There are way too many cool covers to pick from! Anything by Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Marissa Meyer are just gorgeous. I can't wait to check out some of 2019's covers.

How about you? Do you have any favourites you discovered last year? How did you discover them? Personally, bookstagram and Goodreads are a great way for me.

Share your comments below.

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Rachel Pudsey
Rachel Pudsey
Feb 11, 2019

So glad you agree :)


I agree, while I did like The Selection at first it's hard to love all three books when there was no need for it to drag out that long. I think the only one out of all three books that I truly enjoyed and really liked was the first one. After that, things kinda went down hill...

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