Cover Change Rant: The Winner’s Kiss

December 11, 2015     erinbook     Discussion, Feature, Uncategorized

I’ve already posted today but I really need to talk about the big news today. That being the cover change for the final book in the Winner’s Trilogy. I’m sure everyone has seen the original cover.
So, original cover. It matches the rest of the books, it fits Kestrel’s personally and who she is in the story, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. And this is coming from someone who usually hates girl in dress covers.
Now let’s look at the new cover.
Not going to lie, I think this new cover is ugly. For one I don’t think the model has anything to do with the main character. The entire idea for Kestrel is that she doesn’t want to be a warrior and she likes her dresses. Fierce Reads said they wanted her to look like a badass (in a tweet that they later deleted). But here’s the thing:
a) that’s not who Kestrel is. Kestrel is smart and strategic. Her power is in her mind, not in her body or whatever.
b) ummm why can’t she be a badass in a dress? If you have the right skills, which Kestrel does, your clothes don’t matter. Kestrel’s strength is her mind, her strategy. If you really have to change it, which you don’t do something that highlights that skill. I find it to be somewhat if not completely misogynist that the character has to be in pants on this cover for her to be considered “badass”. Why the leather? Why the flames? It’s such a sterotype of kickass female, but they’re not necessary for her to be one. Her mind alone makes her plenty awesome.
c) these covers look like Throne of Glass. We all have seen it, and I understand why. I mean they’re huge books. Super popular, beautiful covers. But this is that that series. Stop trying to put everything into one little box. Also may I point out that Celaena is totally a badass in a dress. Um, hello? And Kestrel is not her. We don’t want it to be her.
d) it’s a bad imitation. Seriously, I hate the tunic she’s wearing. Ugly. As. Heck. And let’s throw a little dirt on her. And some fire. No. It doesn’t look as eye catching, it looks like an assassin book. It’s not a freaking assassin book! Actually, they remind me a ton of Grave Mercy and the His Fair Assassin covers.
I like that these books were different. I like that Kestrel doesn’t want to fight. I like that these books feel kind of like a historical fantasy rather than high fantasy. These new covers just don’t work because they seem like they’re based on a totally different character. I don’t see Kestrel. I see Celaena from Throne of Glass. I see every assassin princess in YA.
That doesn’t work, guys.
That being said, let’s take a glance and the redesigns for Winner’s Crime and Winner’s Curse. Remember how I said I saw Celaena when I looked at the cover?
Look familiar? Also HELLO! She’s wearing a dress here! Why can she wear a dress on this cover and not the third? I’m confused.
And then Winner’s Curse….

Looks like a cross between Crown of Midnight with the coloring of Queen of Shadows. Once again, no dress, contrary to the character in the entire first book. Yep, that’s a thing.

So yeah, I’m mad. I think it’s disrespectful to the character. I think rebranding to make readers think of Throne of Glass is wrong. People will go in expecting something that they’re not going to get. I think every time I look at my shelves my brain is going to have a stroke because of my cover OCD.

Really, they already had a cover. We all saw it and it was loved. Here are the options as I see them:

1. Wait to change the cover for the paperbacks- not going to happen.

2. Print original covers for those of us who want the complete set. If I have to preorder for it? Fine. If I have to send something in for it? Fine. But I want it.

3. Continue to break our hearts and go on as planned- please don’t.

Personal Feelings:

I’m angry. I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I feel a little betrayed. I thought we were past this whole girls can’t be badass unless….(insert justification) thing. Have they seen Disney movies lately? Full of badasses in dresses. Elizabeth Bennet- badass in a dress. Irene Adler in Sherlock, Elizabeth Swann in Pirates 2, need I go on? What’s the problem? I really don’t see it.

Cover changes always suck but this one really hurts. What do you guys think of it? Let’s discuss. Share your thoughts in the comments.

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18 responses to “Cover Change Rant: The Winner’s Kiss

  1. What the heck… I never saw these new covers but I hate them omg. NO NO NO The book covers were so amazing for the first two that are already out and they are so photogenic. I don't know what made them change the covers! Totally agree with you on this because i love this series!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. I agree with you! I will be honest here, part of the reason I bought the books is because the beautiful cover, and I end up loving this series. The new cover is just really ugly, and now I won't have matching cover for this series! Sometimes I just don't understand why the publisher decide to change it :/

  3. I think the new covers are pretty, but I completely agree with you that they are trying to imitate the Throne of Glass covers and that they are disrespecting the readers. This series has a dedicated fan base, so I think it's disappointing for them to change the covers a few months before the book is supposed to be released. If they had a pre-order option, I would totally go for it. As of this moment, if they keep the new hardcover cover, I am simply borrowing the book from the library. No disrespect to Marie, but I hate unmatching books.

    • I totally understand. I have serious cover OCD and unmatching spines drive me insane. I think many will be ordering the UK edition, which right now it still the original but in green.

  4. Girl, You couldn't of put it any better. I totally agree with you. The problem I have is that no one sees how the publishing is stereotyping. Yeah I'm upset the covers don't match, sure. But the problem I have is more to do with the girl are only seen as badass if they wear pants. That's just bizarre and sad.
    Amazing post Erin xoxo

    • Absolutely! And it confuses me because has haven't they seen a disney movie lately? Badass girls in dresses are all over those. You'd think publishing would be more progressive than disney of all things.

  5. Now I know why there was a tweet that said kind of the same thing (maybe from you?) but I didn't pay much attention to it. But wow…. It's an imitation of ToG series and the covers are ugly! I really don't like how the model looks in the first book. Her face looks really weird. I haven't read the series so idk anything of it but I can see why many are mad. From gorgeous covers to…. Idk what that is.

  6. I love your thoughts on letter 'b,' and I agree that they should have let Kestrel be Kestrel instead of trying to make her look like Celaena on the new covers. I loved Kestrel SO much because she had a warrior's heart and a cunning mind despite not having ninja skills. She was/is a refreshing female character who showed a different kind of strength: that of the spirit. Kestrel was a survivor and adapted to her surrounds, outwitting (most of the time) her enemies rather than battling with them. I don't like how people are pushing the idea that females have to be this one blanket intense/warrior person to be considered a strong individual rather than letting the female characters be themselves, whether that be a ninja, clever, and/or kind.
    Now that I just rambled on for a long time, I will end with this: I love Marie's writing and her books, and I am looking forward to reading The Winner's Kiss, but I am disappointed in the publisher's choice to re-do the covers based on the idea that a dress does not signify a strong female.
    P.S. I liked your post!

  7. I agree that they're going to have a lot of disappointed new readers. I know Marie said that they wanted to reach more readers, but misrepresenting the book isn't going to do it. And isn't this a conversation the publishers should be having after The Winner's Curse release?

    And those tag lines are super generic."Following your heart can be a crime." Are we serious with this???

    • The tag lines are freaking terrible, it's like they didn't even try. No one is going to start by buying the third book in a series, why change the hardcover before release. Later, fine, but wait!

  8. This is exactly how I feel about this cover change. It is outrageous to change now and to such a crappy cover compared to what we had. I'm just so disappointed. The original covers drew me to the book!

  9. I do feel like they are trying to copy the Throne of Glass covers. And as much as I love Celaena and her ability to take out anyone with a sword, Kestrel is a different kind of protagonist. She isn't the sword-wielding kind of strong, she's strong in her ability to discern a situation, in her intelligence and in her determination. These are valuable characteristics and to say that wearing a dress nullifies her strength is insulting. I completely understand your anger and I'd like to hear from Fierce Reads about what was said.

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