Oh my. Celine Kiernan‘s US/UK covers are nice enough in a pedestrian kinda way, but this set of covers from Australia blows them clear out of the water. It’s great to see a publisher take an idea and execute it so surely. Seriously, click on the image above to see them int their hi-res glory. The seamless black and white artwork from Elise Hurst is beautiful, and the touch of colour in the title is just enough. The only thing I don’t completely love are the Roman numerals cluttering up the titles. I haven’t been so enamoured with a set of covers since I first saw the UK covers for Joe Abercrombie’s novels.

Unfortunately, any excitement and motivation to read the series stirred up by the covers is stamped down again by the fact that the protagonist of the series is named ‘Wynter’. So close, Kiernan. So close.

  • Kendall January 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm


    They should’ve put the Roman numerals on the line with the series name; they’d’ve fit there (or a slight reduction in size for the third would’ve made them work).

  • Raphael January 26, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I happen to like the numerals.

    The continuous motive sure is a great idea, and it has been executed well. I wonder, though: what do the individual books opened look like? Is there also a continuous motive? That would be great. And what to the three books next to each other look like when sitting on the shelves?

  • Mihai (Dark Wolf) January 26, 2011 at 5:41 am

    These are wonderful covers. The magic of black & white is not fading and they show that pencil, ink or charcoal can enrich a book cover too.

  • Calamity Jane January 26, 2011 at 5:56 am

    See? I was all excited to add this to my TBR pile until that final paragraph. Wynter? …Why do authors do that to their characters? Seriously.

  • brandon S. January 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Aidan: Don’t blame you. In fact the books themselves are actually (from what I heard) said to have something of a YA mindset. so if anything they are pretty much YA books given the adult fantasy treatment (and clearly aimed at the wrong audience).

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aidan Moher, 40kUSA. 40kUSA said: Cover Art | THE MOOREHAWKE TRILOGY by Celine Kiernan […]

  • Carl V. January 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Wow, those are absolutely beautiful covers. The trees remind me somewhat of Charles Vess’ work.

  • Aishwarya January 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    When they were first published in Ireland they were published as YA.

    I was also a bit iffy about “Wynter” and probably wouldn’t have picked up the books because of that. But I had to read the first for a review and ended up liking it rather a lot.

    And the Australian covers really are stunning. Some of the best cover art I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Ana January 30, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Dude, Aidan.These books are awesome. Don’t let such a small thing like a character’s name deter you. Mostly because her name is NOT Wynter and THIS IS A SPOILER, WARNING:

    this is merely how she is called – because she is a winter baby, a baby born in winter – and the reason why she is called Wynter and not by her real name is heartbreaking ( in the last book, she is mostly addressed to by her real name)

  • Edith January 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    But Ana, then she should be called “Winter” not “Wynter”. I hate *loathe* weird spellings of names. I’ve refused to read highly regarded books because of asinine/unusual/atypical spellings.

  • Celine February 1, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Hi guys, I came over to thank you for drawing attention to Elise Hurst’s brilliant art work :) Thanks, I can never praise Elise enough, she put so much thought into the work and she used so many images from the trilogy ( She spent a long time talking with me about castles and weapons and tack, and in fact read the entire trilogy before setting pencil to paper – such dedication!)

    I don’t usually have conversations about reviews as I think everyone should have space for their own opinions and conversations without author input! But I can’t help but comment on the ‘Wynter’ thing. I totally understand that you won’t read the book because of it, honestly, such is life :) But I thought you might be interested in the origins?

    ‘Wynter’ is one of the many renaissance spellings of ‘Winter’ (before spellings were formalised in the 17C there were many popular spellings of the same words) This version ( with the Y) was used as a typical/primary spelling of the word as a nickname for ‘ miserable or unfortunate’ person. Wyn is called so not so much because she was born in winter ( Hi, Ana!) but because she was orphaned at birth and was given the temporary name that all orphans are given ‘wynter baby’ before being named.

    Aside from the spelling of Christopher, and the shortening of his name to ‘Chris’ instead of ‘Kit’ all the names are accurate for the time ( even Alberon) but are chosen from many different countries and traditions to symbolise the multinational nature of Jon’s kingdom.

    BTW, Aishwarya is right, the books (though often considered more violent and dark and complex than usual ) are generally promoted as YA. It’s only in the UK and the US that the publishers (Orbit) have put them onto the adult book shelves.
    I hope this helps clear up any confusion or at least explains a little my motivations :D And thanks so much again for promoting Elise’s amazing art work ( BTW Allen and Unwin are the publishers of this edition – as well as publishing very challenging YA, their covers are usually incredible. Check out their work on Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels for example)

  • aidan February 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

    @Celine — Thanks for dropping by! What’s you’ve said here is more than enough to put the novels firmly back on my radar.

    Plus, I’m encouraged by them being marketed as YA in other regions. I’m a big fan of that subset of Fantasy and Literature.


  • Raphael February 1, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Celine, great that you bothered to clarify that name thing. It’s important that authors (or artists in general) talk back sometimes, and you did so graciously.

    Curious how some people seem to think that modern English is the only language.

    As a German, I have seen worse. I remember flipping through the German translation of Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice” which has a lot of descriptive names, usually common English words (Fitz, Shrewd, Regal, Verity, Chivalry, …). That is part of the local culture and is also explained in the books. In the German version, some are translated into German, some remain English and a few are even taken to Latin (e.g. Veritas). First and last names of one person are treated differently at times. Compared to that, wow, give I a sh*t about an ‘y’ instead of an ‘i’, even if it was not justified.

    In general, though, I appreciate authors that call a rabbit a rabbit.

  • madonnaearth February 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I am a jealous-hearted person; I want every cover I’ve seen so far. But the three of these forming a picture together makes me want to buy them over again so I can line them up just like that on a wall somewhere.

  • Celine February 2, 2011 at 12:13 am

    It’s absolutely my pleasure, Aidan. Thank you! I’m slapping myself that I said that spellings were formalised in the 17C. I meant the 1700’s of course. Hate when I do that!

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