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I’m having a little difficulty on where I should start with this cover’s dissection, but first, let me show you why:


I know, right.

I’ve been a fan of a few YA covers that have been published by Tor, and The Faerie Ring just so happens to be the latest addition to my collection. It will forever sit among the likes of these covers:


And while my knee-jerk reaction towards The Fairie Ring may have been Oh my stars, look how gorgeous!, my fascination with this cover goes a bit deeper than that. This cover art tells a story just by looking at it, pure and simple. I love the perspective of the illustration — it makes you an active participant in what’s taking place on the cover. I feel like I’m in the same moment as Tiki, as if I’m discovering this ring at the same time she is. This is why I feel a fascination with this cover. All of its elements are purely magical — from Tiki’s half-hidden and obscured face to the glowing ring to the way elements of dark and light are balanced.

It seems to me that the team behind this cover had some pretty clear objectives when it came to its creation. I’d like to say that Seth Lerner (art director) and Susan Chang (editor) set out to create a cover that would hold its viewer captive long enough to make The Faerie Ring a “pick me up and hold me” type of book. And of course, this is pretty obvious to anyone who knows a lick about design and marketing. But then I learned from the author, Kiki Hamilton, that there were details beyond that beautifully intricate type treatment that were pulled directly from the story. Details I would have missed completely had she not pointed them out.

Luckily, she kindly agreed to let me harass her ask her a few questions pertaining to the cover design, and will be here on the blog tomorrow sharing those very details. Stay tuned for Authorthoughts in the morning!

Bryan Williams