Yes, I mean THAT one. The Winner’s Trilogy cover(s).
I am not afraid to admit that I had a rather knee-jerk reaction to the news. And I will go even further and say that my comments and feelings were entirely selfish.
That phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ has no place here. If that rang true with everyone then we wouldn’t even be talking about this.
But the sentiment is in the right place, and I think it’s easy to forget the roots, the reality, of what is underneath a shiny vaneer.
So what do I really think about the cover changes?
In case you haven’t seen it, this is what the old covers look like:
So, the last book hasn’t been released yet… so I was immediately outaged that when it was, and I bought it, it wouldn’t match the other two. And these covers are absolutely beautiful. Eye catching. Fierce. Delectable. I knew as soon as I saw the cover for the first one that I needed that book in my life.
Here’s the make-over the publisher have given them:
Outrage! I was in increduled. How dare- wait.
These covers are GORGEOUS!
After I’d taken a moment to remeber who the fuck I thought I was, I looked at these and fell in love with the series all over again. There are echoes of the previous covers, and I think it’s an intelligent interpretation of the main character, Kestrel.
There has been some talk about why the model had to go from being in a pretty dress to being dirtied up and leather-clad. And sure, I get some of that. The model is fierce in both sets, I think. I do not, however, accept that some kind of message is being touted here about having to wear something more appropriate to be a badass.
For one, we don’t know what will unfold in book 3… and if Kestrel goes down the leather pants and tunic route, then good for her. If she stays in her usual (sickening darling, extravaganza) gowns, then that’s great too. Kestrel is more than her clothes.
And let’s think about the feeling an image can evoke. The first three are very ethereal, beautiful, cunning and deadly. The second three are ethereal, beautiful, cunning and deadly. For different reasons. The original covers are certainly softer, but let’s not kid ourselves, The Winner’s Trilogy is not all fluff and delight. It’s devious, intelligent writing, and it isn’t afraid to play towards the darker side of things.
It’s political. It’s strategic. And despite the exhausting game of thrones (I was desperate to get that in here somewhere) Kestrel still maintains her heart and her feminity. She’s desperately in love, but it doesn’t hinder her in ways that make you want to punch the pages, and she makes tough, ballsy decisions.
Why shouldn’t she have a make-over? Girl needs a fresh perspective, ummkay? And if it helps to reach a wider readership, as the author explained on twitter, then I’m all for it. This series SHOULD reach more people because it is magnificent.
Who cares, really, what they stick on the front? Sure, at first it mattered to me. I like my eyes to be entranced by a pretty cover. But looking at the new set, I tried to imagine I was seeing the series for the first time… and I would have been impressed if these new covers were the originals.
Yeah, ok, so my collection won’t match. But I’m ok with that because I know that what is inside the cover will give so me much more in return.
Marie Rutkoski is an absolute boss. She writes slammin’ stories. And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?