METAL WORLD – Role-playing Game Review
 

Role-playing Game Review

 
Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
 

Grey Sister

Review

 
Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #5: The First Five to Fall
 

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #5

The First Five to Fall

 

#SPFBO 5 Cover Contest

Last year’s cover contest was splendid. Each of the ten bloggers nominated the top three covers from their batch before voting for their favorites from the final pool of thirty. There were some truly stunning gems fighting for the title, which eventually went to Benadict Patrick’s entry Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the
City of Swords

by Benedict Patrick

We had a great many lovely covers to choose from, and our eight judges’ tastes run the gamut. In the end it was really close. We each rank our top three, then use a point system to determine the winner. Consequently, while the highest average score gets picked, many of our judges picked favorites that didn’t make it into the top three. Many others simply loved more than they could pick, and hated being forced to choose. Here are a few honorable mentions that impressed our judges, even if they lost out in the consensus:

FULL DIVE
by T.M. Rain

GR Mathews writes:
“It is blue…and the man is falling. I just like it – fits the title :-).”

GUARDIAN BLOOD
by Nicholas Hoy

Lynn Kempner writes:
“A double take look at the vertigo-like aspect of the view, and the subject matter of a dragon. Very nice.”

David Zampa writes:
“I kept finding my attention being pulled to this cover every single time I looked at the collage of them all together. There’s something subtly special about it that makes it stand out from the crowd.”

VULTURES
by Luke Tarzian

Jessica Juby writes:
“Using two colours to illustrate the cover has resulted in one that’s very striking; especially when the fantasy genre allows us to stretch as far as our imagination will allow. There are elements that you can miss on a casual glance but there’s much to discover, building intrigue about what lies behind.”

GUNS OF LIBERTY
by Jaime Mauchline

David Zampa writes:
“As a devout lover of steampunk, airships, and (sigh) guns, this cover checked a lot of boxes for me. I would have picked it up instantly if I saw it on a store shelf.”

IRON
by Aiki Flinthart 

A. M. Justice writes:
“The central sword and the determined young woman wielding it immediately caught my attention on this cover. I liked the way the sword divides the cover vertically, and the way the glowing hilt draws your eye to the title. It was only on the second glance that I noticed the couple standing behind the woman. All in all, this cover whetted my appetite for the story within.”

BRINLIN ISLE
by Robin Stephen

Mariëlle Ooms-Voges writes:
“I love the simplicity, it intrigues me to read the book!”


To all these honorable mentions we offer our sincere appreciation for some gorgeous covers. But there were only three spots to fill for our nominations to the contest, and after a bit of blackmail and a few fist fights, we’ve all settled on our top picks. Drum roll, please:


Quill
by AC Cobble

The judges agree this one is just plain classy. Every one of us was smitten by it on sight, immediately curious to see the story it contained.

The Fairy Wren
by Ashley Capes

All but one of the judges was in awe of this cover’s transcendent artwork, and that judge is a soulless swine who doesn’t deserve to have nice things, so we don’t pay him any attention.

Blood of Heirs
by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

We all agree that this cover does everything right. It’s the typography is clean and crisp, the imagery is intriguing and clear. Overall it captures the current zeitgeist of the genre perfectly. It feels like a traditionally published, new release cover.


Again, this was a difficult decision all around, and our rating system meant that there were only one or two votes between
the winners and some of the runners up.

Congratulations to everyone mentioned – and best of luck to everyone entered in the contest!

To check out the other entries, go to Mark Lawrence’s blog. Be sure to come back and let us know what you think!

For more about the #SPFBO 5, read our introduction post here

If you’ve been following the previous SPFBO then let us know about any entries that have caught your fancy! Join the discussion on social media (there’s a Facebook group here) and weigh in with
your own opinions using the hashtag #SPFBO.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar ashleycapes says:

    Wow, thanks heaps – really happy to be in the top 3 – hope it’s okay that I leave a link here for my artist?

    ‘The Fairy Wren’ cover is by Rebekah at Vivid Covers and it’s probably still my favourite of all the covers she’s done for me over the years:

    https://www.vividcovers.com/

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