Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cover VS Cover: Lament & Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover VS Cover is a semi-weekly meme at A Myriad of Books that I started because I've long been fascinated with the differences between international covers.  A few weeks ago, while on the hunt for the covers of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I couldn't help but be distracted by the breathtaking covers for Maggie Stiefvater's other, earlier books-- the Books of Faerie, aka Lament and Ballad.  So this week I absolutely had to feature them in Cover VS Cover!

If you've never heard of these two books, here's a brief synopsis: in Lament, Deirdre is a talented and painfully shy harpist who discovers that she is a cloverhand-- a human whom faeries naturally flock and gather around.  She stumbles into a world of trouble and deadly fey politics, accompanied by her hilarious best friend and bagpiper, James, and the shady yet charming Luke.  Ballad is a sort of companion novel starring James at a boarding school for the musically talented, where he makes the mistake of falling in love with a faerie girl whose only purpose in life is to steal the talent and youth of artists like himself.  Both books are definitely worth checking out.  Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the covers, and let me know what you think!

 There have been two different editions of Lament released in the US.  The one with the sword and clovers is the hardcover, and the one featuring the woman the paperback.  I have the paperback, and the subtly eerie, almost ashy tones of that cover are very striking in person, although the first cover is more appropriate to the story.  I love the simple poignancy of the burning leaf on the Ballad cover.  A lot of countries have adopted that one, with only slight variations.

I can't help but love these covers, despite the fact that the caged bird being set free is based on something within the books (but not apparent from the synopsis), and thus will probably leave those who find them via browsing in book stores thinking, 'Huh?'  It all makes a lot more sense once you read the prologue of Lament, though.

Ich liebe the first cover: the girl's wistful expression and the leaves and clovers strewn through her red hair.  The book looks as though it would have an interesting texture-- kind of glossy.  The expression and pose of the Ballad girl is a bit weird for me, but again I love how the little swirls match up to the first cover.  


Not very much deviation from the US set here, just the addition of the sword being stuck in a log in the middle of a lake where clovers float like lily pads.  If I saw it (and couldn't read the title), I'd probably think it was an Arthurian-type novel about the Lady of the Lake or something.  The leaf is simply focused a little more on the Ballad cover.  And, no, I was unable to find an image of the second cover which was the same size as the first. (Frustrating!)

I like the two Bulgarian covers very much-- especially the one for Ballad.  Though, again, we have the same elements repositioned or recombined for this set.

There doesn't appear to be a Dutch edition of Ballad yet.  The simplicity of this one is intriguing, though I don't understand why they changed the title Lament to Heartbeat.

Again, I couldn't find a Latvian edition of the second book.  But this one is very striking!  I love the Celtic emblem subtly overlapping everything, and the sun beaming through the dark intricacy of the tree's silhouette.

To sum it up, that's 13 covers from 7 different countries.  My favorites are probably the UK covers and the Latvian cover of Lament.  What about you guys?


Cait said...

UK covers are my fave too though I agree they dont give much indication about the story! Very striking though

The Cait Files

Lu said...

I like the Bulgarian covers!

Amber said...

I think that overall, the UK covers are the best and the Bulgarian covers come in a close second!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Great post. I think the UK posts are the ones I like the most.

Ninja Girl said...

Hey there,
I've got the U.S. version w/the sword, but my favorite is the UK version. That imagery (the bird escaping the cage) was one the best parts of the book imo. It definitely reminds me of Luke. But I think I may just like UK covers better b/c I also liked the Forgotten UK cover for Cat Patrick's book.
Ah well, maybe the U.S. will get it together ;)
Ninja Girl

Alison said...

I like the German covers the best, but I think the UK version is better than the US version. Probably because the UK covers for Ballad and Lament match better than the US covers.

The Paperback Heart said...

The UK covers are my favourite, and are also the ones that I own. But I do love the US version of Ballad (I may have to purchase that too!)

Kat said...

@The Paperback Heart-- My thoughts exactly!

@Ninja Girl-- I tend to like the UK covers best, too. Maybe it's partly because they seem new and different after seeing the same covers on your shelves for so long. :)

andrea b said...

Hi! I just noticed that you've listed the French edition of Ballad as being the Spanish edition.

Just in case, the Spanish edition of Ballad looks like this http://www.grupotomo.com.mx/images/media/highres/247-0.jpg (it's a Mexican edition, I don't know if they've been published here in Spain... I haven't seen them in bookstores).

Also, the French edition of Lament looks like the US hardcover, like this http://www.archambault.ca/complaintela-ACH002531193-fr-pr

Personally, I like the UK covers a lot, but also the US paperback of Lament...

I enjoyed this post! :)

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