It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, a landmark epic fantasy trilogy published in the ’90s. So, when Hodder & Stoughton, one of my favourite SF/F imprints, announced they’d be publishing the series in the UK with brand new covers, I was appropriately excited. I’m usually a fan of Hodder & Stoughton’s covers, and Summers’ previous work for Hodder & Stoughton is stylish—particularly his cover for Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming—but these are a big miss for me.
Even in a vacuum, where the series doesn’t already have some of the most iconic cover art, by one of the field’s legendary artists, these just aren’t right for the series. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn might have inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Song of Ice and Fire, but they’re not edgy or dark. They’re bright, expansive, and full of colour—these covers do little to convey the tone and spirit of Williams’ classic tale.
That all said, I do think the cover for Stone of Farewell is the best of the bunch, and is nice in a gritty, punch-you-in-the-face kind of way. Reminds me a bit of Stina Leicht’s (very good) contemporary Irish fantasy, Of Blood and Honey.
What do you think?