10 Books with Excellent Cover Art

I haven’t read any of these books, I have to preface by saying; but they were added to my various reading lists largely because of excellent artwork. Hear me out: no book cover is better than an illustration. I mean, typography is very fun but I just like nice drawings I think…

This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where each week you write a list of ten particular books.

This week’s theme is a cover freebie. I already wrote about books I purchased solely for the cover, so this is similar but different. Also it’s a fun one: pics everywhere!

Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silver Moreno-Garcia

Synopsis: The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy scrubbing floors in her wealthy grandfather’s house to do more than dream of a life far from her small town in southern Mexico. Until the day she accidentally frees an ancient Mayan god of death.

A Room Made of Laves – Kate Grenville
Floral illustrations… always work.

Synopsis: It is 1788. Twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth is hungry for life but, as the ward of a Devon clergyman, knows she has few prospects. When proud, scarred soldier John Macarthur promises her the earth one midsummer’s night, she believes him.

The Truants – Kate Weinberg
The multi-dimensionality of the image, with yellow trees and that car in the centre keeps drawing me to this book, despite not really knowing what it’s about.

Synopsis: It’s hard to say who I fell in love with first. Because it was love, I think you’ll agree, when I’ve finished telling you.

The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
I know there are many reasons to read this incredibly popular book, but the reason it’s on my TBR for so long is because I just really like that illustration.

Synopsis: For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, a divinely invincible leader. Hope is long lost, until a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa in the depths of the most hellish prison and discovered he has the powers of a Mistborn.

On Such a Full Sea – Chang-Rae Lee
I like it! I just extremely like it.

Synopsis: Lithe and tiny, Fan is a diver at the New China settlement of B-Mor, a worker colony long-ago known as Baltimore, her circumscribed world the temperature-controlled fish tanks that feed a contaminated continent, and Reg, the golden-skinned, simple-hearted man she loves.

Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayron
Is there anyone who has seen the combination of that drawing with that title and not immediately wanted to read this book?

Synopsis: It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over. Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball … are forfeit.

Not My Bag – Sina Grace
Admittedly, I could’ve filled this whole list with graphic novels if that didn’t feel like cheating, but there’s something about this particular cover, that creepy alien tentacle in the bag and the flat face on the man that’s just so incredibly intriguing!

Synopsis: A young artist takes a job at a department store in order to make ends meet… little does he know that he may meet his end! 

Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence
I’ve been putting off reading this for years because… I’m not so enthused about the plot? But the drama of the cover!

Synopsis: From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. 

In the Vanishers’ Palace – Aliette de Bodard
The movement of this illustration, the colour of her clothes and the full-page background is literally everything I ever want in a book cover.

Synopsis: When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement. But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. 

Seven Blades in Black – Sam Sykes
There is a very creepy realism to the face if you look closer, which surrounded by so much negative space and those seven red triangles, makes it enjoyable unnerving to look at.

Synopsis: Betrayed by those she trusts most and her magic ripped from her, all Sal the Cacophony has left is her name, her story, and the weapon she used to carve both. But she has a will stronger than magic, and knows exactly where to go.

This was a very nice and simple TTT, unlike the usual dithering I do over my lists. Writing it also let me find out the summaries to some of these — so it’s nice to know what I’ll be reading about!

What do you look for in book covers? Which one of these is your favourite?


    • Haha me too. There’s something a little bit whimsical about an illustration as opposed to any other type or artwork that I find really works well to grab my attention. The Mistborn trilogy is exactly what all fantasy covers should be I think, nice atmosphere!


  1. My favourite is probably ‘A Room Made of Leaves’, and obviously ‘Cinderella is Dead’. The latter seems to be everyone’s choice for this week; I’ve seen it three times already. I’d never heard of it before today.
    My personal favourites will always (for the next 3 months?) be the Greenglass House books (Kate Milford), they are mostly similar to ‘A Room Made of Leaves’. I clearly go for only one style.
    I love all of these covers though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, everyone definitely loves the Cinderella is Dead cover — very understandable tbh. A Room Made of Leaves is a book I would not have considered were that cover not so enchanting, so I guess the publishers did something right!

      I had a quick search for Greenglass House and I see why you like those covers so much, it’s stunning artwork!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love how many of us are drawn to the same kind of book covers 😂 they’re clearly doing something right! I’m so intrigued by The Truants bc I’ve got to admit the synopsis didn’t give me a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

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