King of Thorns vs. The Serpent Sea — Cover Battle Quarter Finals!

There have been two phases and a total of seven rounds in which your vote has reduced the competition in this Cover Battle of 2012 from sixty to eight covers. These eight covers have now reached the point where it’s all or nothing: the quarter finals! Over the course of four one on one battles, it is up to you to decide which covers will make it to the semi finals.

If you want to know more about the Cover Battle, want to see the bracket, or take a look at all sixty covers, check out the big introduction post here.

This quarter final is between the covers of Mark Lawrence’s King of Thorns and Martha Wells’ The Serpent Sea. Here are the covers:



King of Thorns (more information here) is the second novel in Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire trilogy, which started with his debut novel, Prince of Thorns. The epic cover art by Jason Chan is part of an amazing triptych, depicting the stages of royalty in the titles of the trilogy’s novels. The art does Lawrence’s gritty work of epic future fantasy great justice, and thus, it is completely understandable that the cover made it through the first phases with plenty of votes. If you want to see the three covers together, look here. King of Thorns was published by Ace Books.

Facing King of Thorns is another second novel in a trilogy. Martha Wells’ The Serpent Sea (more information here) is part of The Books of the Raksura. These gorgeous covers (the other two are here and here, though the first has award-winning art work by Matthew Stewart) were created by Steve Argyle, designed by Rebecca Silvers, and published by Night Shade Books. These covers fit perfectly well with Wells’ gorgeous world building and are a good representation of the stories in this trilogy. The Serpent Sea may have barely won its last battle with one vote difference in the last minute, but it definitely deserves its place in this quarter final!

So, which of these two covers is your favorite? King of Thorns or The Serpent Sea? You decide!


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About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 29 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he’s busy being a total geek for fantasy. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing too. Most of all, though, Stephan is just a crazy Dutch guy who enjoys doing things that people don’t expect.

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  1. Just a quick correction: Steven Argyle did The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths, but the cover for The Cloud Roads is actually by Matthew Stewart, who won a Chesley Award for it.

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