Author Laini Taylor recently shared the full collection of international covers for her novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone in her Instagram stories. I absolutely loved this novel – it’s one of my top reads of this year so far. So it was fascinating to see the variations, not only in image concept but in title! See the full video from Laini’s feed at the bottom.
This was the US cover, and I have to admit I am not a fan at all. It’s like it belongs to a completely different book! Something erotic, written in the early 90s.
But then I think this cover is even worse! This was for the US advance review copy (ARC), so thankfully not many people would have had this intro to the book. WHY IS KAROU BLUE?? IS SHE AN ALIEN? (Maybe the cover person misread the fact that she has blue hair??)
And then we have the UK ARC and can I just say I wish this was the cover they went with for the final version? What is this beauty? Why did it get replaced? It perfectly fits the tone and theme of the book. I guess it was a cover before its time as this kind of mysterious, symbolic illustration is now all the rage. [Source]
I have mixed feelings about the UK hardcover. It feels a bit random even though the colours are nice. I’m pretty sure that those are supposed to be angel feathers but they’re definitely raven or crow feathers?
This is the cover that I have, the UK softcover. I don’t hate it per se (I’m definitely glad I didn’t end up with the US cover). It is intriguing… but it feels very static and quite random unless you already know the story. It seems to be a case of taking a scene from the book and translating it onto the cover rather than thinking about conveying the actual feeling of the story. I wouldn’t have bought the book based on this cover. In fact I bought the audiobook to avoid having to buy this cover and only purchased the softcover after I’d fallen in love with the book already.
THIS COVER! For some reason this was the special edition Tesco US cover and not the primary US cover?? To me this cover is a thousand times better as a representation of the feel of the book than the feather mask one. Again, the bridge is part of an actual scene, but the misty smoke stuff behind the title is important to the story and also just darn pretty. Perhaps they thought it looked too much like a murder mystery? To me the font is what signals it’s magical realism even if everything else looks a bit spooky. But you still haven’t seen my favourite…
This is the German Daughter of Smoke and Bone cover and it’s my favourite. At least Karou has blue hair and it shows Prague. Yes, it still has 90s vibes with the text and the swirlies, but you know what? This is just the dust cover. LOOK WHAT’S UNDERNEATH:
Yes, yes, yes! This for me perfectly captures the vibe of the book and is just so beautiful. I’d ditch the dust jacket completely and have this beauty on my shelf. It makes me wish I spoke German.
This is another cover I would love to own, and here we have the first name change. This is the Portuguese edition released in Portugal. The title is The Chimera of Prague which I also adore. I feel like it’s far less generic than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. They put a lot of effort into capturing the vibe of the book. The setting of Prague shines here. The image of the door from the UK version is still there but subtly, and we’ve got Karou with her blue hair. The only issue I have is the cloak. I guess it’s signposting that this is a fantasy. There is a cloak in the story but um well it’s not really in this type of context and there definitely isn’t a magic staff. But in terms of sending the right message about the book, I think this cover does a really good job.
The Dutch edition clearly borrowed from the US. Again, I’m not mad about the cover concept, but I do like this title: Dream Daughter.
Another blue girl. Whyyyy? I don’t like much about the cover of the French edition, but it’s interesting to note that it also went with Daughter of the Chimeras as a title. Maybe they worried that the US and UK audiences wouldn’t know what a chimera was?
The Italian hardcover looks a lot like the German cover and once again the title is The Chimera of Prague. The cover model is so 90s and I’m not personally a fan of glowy text, but it’s not the worst cover there is by far.
I really love the Italian softcover. It has everything I loved about that UK ARC cover, but with gorgeous colours. But I don’t know that it says all that much about the story, and I don’t know if I’d pick it up if I didn’t already love the book. The feather looks like a peacock feather so I might think that this was a story about birds? I also don’t get a clear read on the genre. But it sure is pretty.
Here’s the Japanese cover! I’m not usually a fan of illustrated people covers, but I kind of dig this one. It shows Prague, it shows Karou with her blue hair. I think what I love most about this one is the expression on her face. It really says so much about her character and the story. And check out the very subtle falling feathers on the bottom right.
The Korean cover obviously borrowed from the US one and I’m really not a fan. I don’t have much more to say. If anything I guess this mask looks a bit more like the sort of mask that might be part of the mask scene in the book?
The Greek edition did something different with both cover and title. The title is Αγγελοι και ΔΑΙΜΟΝΕΣ which means Angels and Demons. Appropriate! And the graphic is striking and suits Karou.
The Slavic version is interesting because it’s the only one to show Akiva on the front.
The Indonesian cover is another really pretty feather cover, but again I’m not sure if it adequately signals what the story is about.
I really love this simplified Chinese cover! This is from Laini Taylor’s website and unfortunately didn’t provide any information of what the name translates to, but I love the moody feel with the smoke and the angel wing.
This is the “Complex Chinese” cover. Also really pretty, but I don’t really get how it applies to the story. I think that this is supposed to be the one romantic location in the book (because of the little lights and the two moons).
Of the mask cover versions, this Thai edition is my favourite. The colours are beautiful. They signify magic, smoke, and mystery. I wouldn’t mind owning this cover at all.
Finally there’s this Czech version which I’m not overly fond of because I tend to associate split covers like this with academic books or classics. However, the more I look at it the more it grows on me.
What do you think? Do you have a favourite?
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Wheewwwwwww! 😍😍😍 You know, sometimes when I’m in the middle of a w.i.p. (especially a secret unannounced one) I don’t post about writing or books much besides *here’s my cat obstructing my computer* because I’m both obsessed and lost and flailing and falling in love and it’s hard to know what to say. But I had a wild hair to revel in one of my favorite things of all time: foreign editions! The rights team at Little Brown fulfilled a major lifelong dream for me with their incredible work getting this book into so many markets around the world. My awe has not diminished one tiny bit over the years. My book is in THAI, y’all! It’s in ESTONIAN. (At least, I *think* it is. Sometimes it’s hard to tell! I was googling very foreign words on the copyright page and one of them led me to…90% certainty? that that’s where it’s from. 😂😂) ANYWAY. Wow. Thank you to the rights team behind the scenes, thank you faraway publishers (and your designers!!), and thank you readers everywhere. I’ll just be over here petting my books. 😊😊 Oh, and if you have an edition I’m missing, can you send me a pic? They don’t always make it to me. 😘😘 #foreigneditions #writerdreams #daughterofsmokeandbone