Okay, I gave the UK edition of Hoffman’s The Left Hand of God a hard time, but this is just ridiculous. Are they marketing it as a literary novel (with the inclusion the Name of the Wind-esque ‘A Novel’ tag) or a schlocky Fantasy novel (with the ham-fisted inclusion of a jackass in a hood)? I understand the idea that they want to hit a broad market with the release, but a complete mish-mash of styles is just as uncomfortable an unappealing as when Orbit tried it. I’m terrified that the hooded figure is looking out through a window cut from the front cover, his hood ending at his shoulders and revealing him in all his glory once you open the book.
I’m all for Fantasy novels trying to break new ground an broaden their appeal by straying away from the typical dude-in-a-hooded-cloak-fighting-an-orc-with-a-flaming-sword-and-a-castle-in-the-background covers, but if you’re going to do so, you’ve got to go one hundred percent, like Orbit’s recent re-issues of K.J. Parker’s The Engineer Trilogy.
James over at Dazed Ramblings has a similar rant about this charming cover.