Previous entries in this re-imagining of Abercrombie’s covers have come under fire for featuring too-pretty portrayals of his famously violent characters. And, really, should a man called ‘The Cripple’ really look this good? How about a scarred and battle-worn Barbarian? Still, this time around you have playboy Jezal Dan Luthar adorning the cover, and he’s anything but ugly in the text of the novels (though they’ve left out a certain scar attained by our pretty-boy in Before They Are Hanged.) I’m a fan of Chris McGrath, the artist, and generally like the set of covers, but it’s an odd decision to go with a trio of handsome (if slightly grizzled) figures that more or less completely miss the point being made by Abercrombie and fail to capture the tone of his work. War is ugly, mates, you just wouldn’t know it from these covers.

Complaining aside, I do like the general design of the covers and the artwork is among McGrath’s best. These will no doubt look quite sharp all lined up in a row on a bookshelf.

Thanks to The Mad Hatter for the heads up.

  • hagelrat February 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I thought when I saw it “ooh I wonder if that’s Chris McGrath’s handywork”. It’s gorgeous, as you say maybe not entirely appropriate to the series, but just lush.

  • Kendall February 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I like the cover. I haven’t read the books (I know, shame on me), but the covers do have a bit of a rough edge on them. Even the prettier two figures still are done in a kind of rough style.

  • aidan February 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Yeah, I’m a big fan of McGrath’s ‘dirty’ style. So much lovely texture.

  • Sam Kelly February 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

    War is ugly, but the books are mostly about peoples’ reactions to it. And as Abercrombie has said, characters’ self-images and descriptions of themselves are Less Than Accurate. The depictions are a bit cleaner than I’d ideally like, but they’ve got the right edge of nastiness to them.

  • Gabriele February 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with the not so realistic part, but heck, I’m a girl and I like me some hot guy on a book cover. :)

  • The Flying Halftrak February 11, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Looks like Sawyer from LOST.