Random (but not really)

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Books of 2021: Fantasy Covers

What Abigail Did That SummerWhat Abigail Did That Summer (2021) Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London)

Published by Subterranean Press. Cover map image by Stephen Walter.

Supernatural Mystery

This is pretty clearly a Rivers of London book cover, but also there are plenty of signs it’s not a Peter Grant book. Like The October Man, the title has a backing, unlike Peter’s books, and even more noticeably, the Fox Whisperer Badge, which if you read the rest of the series you know refers to Abigail.

Trailer Park TricksterTrailer Park Trickster (2021) David R. Slayton (Adam Binder)

Published by Blackstone. Cover design by Sean M. Thomas

Supernatural Mystery, LGBT

This is a relatively simple cover design, but like the previous book, refers to events in the book. I also think the starkness of the nearly monochrome art is fitting for the story.

Paladin’s Grace (2020), Paladin’s Strength (2021), Paladin’s Hope (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) 

Paladin's Hope   Paladin's Strength   Paladin's Grace

Published by Red Wombat Studios


My guess is that the T. Kingfisher / Ursula Vernon designed these herself, so kudos for that!

My favorite of the three is Paladin’s Grace, with the blue and green hues, but all three covers are striking, and quite clearly the same series.

Out of House and HomeOut of House and Home (2021) Drew Hayes (Fred the Vampire Accountant)

Self Published


This is another self-published author with a very distinct cover style, and all of them are good–better than some traditionally published novels, really.

Fred books all have accounting papers, blood drops, an item related to the story, and the title done as an old label.

Cry WolfCry Wolf (2021) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf)

Published by Carina Press

Supernatural Mystery, LGBT

This series also has a distinct look to its covers. All have the elements of earth and water and wolf prints.

It’s simple, but it’s also effective and I quite like it.

Daydream, Colorado: Blindspot (2021) Mischief (2021), Faces (2021); A.M. Rose

Mischief   Blindspot   Faces

Self Published. Cover designed by BCJ Art & Design

Supernatural Romance, LGBT

Seeing all three together, it’s clear that the first two books are part of a series, and the third is not.

The two styles are very different, but all are good.

I think the cover for Faces especially is good, since the outlines hint at the blindness of one of the characters, but also of two people finding each other.

The other series is playful and colorful, which also works well for that series.

The Noblemans Guide to Scandal and ShipwrecksThe Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (2021) Mackenzi Lee

Published by Tegen Books. Photo composite by Travis Commeau Cover design by David Curtis

Historical Fantasy

I’m guessing about the cover artist since I can’t find the copyright page for this book (borrowed from the library) but the design is very much like the previous two books in the series.

The dress tells you immediately this is an historical, but I absolutely love the whimsy of the font and the doodled elements.

This is hands-down my favorite fantasy cover of the year, and might be my favorite cover of any genre from this year.

The Fog of War (2021) The Quid Pro Quo (2021) A.L. Lester

The Fog of WarThe Quid Pro QuoPublished by JMS Books LLC. Cover Design: A.L. Lester

Historical, Supernatural Mystery, LGBT

Another self-published author that does their own covers.

Simple but the design tells you this is an historical, and that the pairings are likely same-sex.

I also adore the font, and the decorations above and below the title.

A Marvellous Light (2021) Freya Marske

A Marvellous LightPublished by Tor. Cover art by Will Staehle Cover design by Christine Foltzer

Historical, Supernatural Mystery, LGBT

More silhouettes. Single color. Wallpaper-type background.

It’s eye-catching and lovely.

Looking at which publishers came out on top:

self – 7
Katherine Tegen Books
Subterranean Press

Self published authors blew away all other publishers, which is quite impressive.

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