Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday: #29: The Cry of the Icemark, by Stuart Hill

This meme was originally started by Stephanie @ Five Alarm Book Reviews.  She will no longer be hosting it, so she asked me if I would like to continue it.  I was definitely interested, so here I am!

The original meme button

The purpose of the meme remains the same -- to display a beautiful book cover that has caught our eye.  We can also include information, if available, about the cover illustrator, designer, and/or photographer.

Any blogger wishing to participate can just write their own post, grab my button (or create your own), and link up in the Linky widget at the bottom of the post.  (Be sure to click on "Read more" first, so that the entire post will open up.)

Here's my choice for this week!

(The Icemark Chronicles #1)
Hardcover, 472 pages
The Chicken House/Scholastic, Inc.
April 1, 2005
Genre: YA Fantasy

Why do I love this cover?

This is an absolutely striking composition!  The snarling snow leopard, the spooked, solidly black stallion, the young girl dressed in warrior's clothing, with her brilliantly red-gold hair flaring out in the breeze...this is indeed an unusual combination, but it definitely works.  I'm totally enchanted!

The contrast between the leopard's white, spotted fur, and the stallion's dark skin, is very effective.  Also, the leopard is huge in comparison with the horse.  This gives the cover a rather surreal feel. 

The girl stands calmly staring out into the distance, as she cradles her helmet in her chain mail-gloved right hand.  Her left hand rests on an unsheathed sword, probably planted in the ground.  Interestingly, she seems totally oblivious to what's going on behind her.  It looks as if she's contemplating her destiny. 

I love the meticulous attention to details, especially on the girl's clothing and hair.  Oh, if only I had hair like hers!  The texture and color are lovely!  Both, by the way, bring to mind the flowing hair of Botticelli's Venus. 

I also like that helmet!  Instead of a crest, it's topped by a panther, which is also snarling, thus echoing the leopard in the background.

The font used for the title and author's name is also quite beautiful, as well as elegant.  It has a distinctly medieval feel to it.  The letters are raised, and done in gold. 

The overall effect of this cover is bold and exciting.  It definitely accomplished its purpose of drawing this reader to the book!  I had it on my wish list for some time, and finally bought it last night, at good old Barnes & Noble.

The dust jacket's back cover is beautiful as well, but I was unable to get a picture of it.   The scene depicted on it is of an army of female archers on horseback, with men riding on stags behind them.  Atop a low cliff, a wizard brings lightning down from the sky.  The style of this artwork is more subtle, but the effect is no less dramatic. 

In short, this dust jacket is truly a work of art!

The amazingly talented cover artist is

Biography from Wikipedia

Craft is a graduate (BFA 1964) of the Kanazawa College of Art (Kanazawa Bijutsu Kōgei Daigaku). She later studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she continued her studies in design and illustration. A majority of her earlier work was for the editorial and advertising market. Since the mid-1990s, she has concentrated her efforts on art for fantasy book jackets, opera posters and has illustrated eight picture books (fairy tale and classic mythology)designed for children and young readers. She has collaborated with many authors and worked with her husband, Mahlon F. Craft and her daughter, Marie Charlotte Craft. Her original paintings, drawings and limited edition prints are represented exclusively by Borsini-Burr Gallery in Montara, CA.

You can visit her site by clicking
on her name above.
There are many beautiful images
of her artwork there, and all
are exquisite!

The jacket designer is
She is the Executive Art Director
at Scholastic Inc.

So what do you think of
my choice?
What beautiful cover(s) are
you featuring this week?


  1. I like it. It gives me the impression of a lot going on, perhaps a little too much.

    Of course i am sure that it relates to the story. The three levels in the cover makes me wonder if there are three levels to the plot.

  2. Cool cover! I like illustrated covers! Thanks for sharing and taking over the meme!

  3. The flowing hair reminds me of Botticelli's Venus too. I love the Middle Ages look of the cover too.

    Here's my Shelf Candy

  4. Hey, Brian!

    What an interesting idea -- three levels to the plot! You know, I hadn't thought of that! I'll just have to read the book to find out, won't I?

    Thanks for such an intriguing comment!! Also, thanks for being such a loyal commenter!! : )

  5. Hi, Kimberly!

    Oh, yeah, illustrated covers are THE BEST, And I love the Middle Ages, too!! The clothing from that time period is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    Thank you so much for participating in the meme, as well as for the lovely comment!! : )

  6. Hi, Lis!

    As I told Kimberly, I LOVE the Middle Ages!! The clothing, as well as the whole ambience, was just so magical...

    You know, when I went to Craft's website and looked at some of her other illustrations, I could see more of the Botticelli influence. I LOVE Botticelli!! He's one of my favorite artists!! Of course, Craft has her own unigue flair, too. She is a true master!!

    Thank you so much for participating in this meme!! I'm going over to check out your post now.

    Also, thanks for the nice comment!! : )

  7. It is great to see you carrying on with SC. This cover is loaded with interesting elements. It definitely makes me want to know more. Beautiful choice.

  8. Hey, Steph!!

    Oh, it's so nice to see your comment!! Thanks for dropping by!!

    Yeah, I just LOVE this meme, and look forward to it every Saturday!! I just couldn't let it disappear. Even though the post takes a while to create, because I always try to get information on the cover artist(s), I enjoy every minute of it!

    This cover is definitely very, very interesting. The composition is unusual because of the size disparity between the horse and the snow leopard, but I think it jars the viewer so much, s/he can't help but be pulled in.

    Glad you like it, too. This artist is SO talented!! She has a book published with all her artwork in it, and you better believe I'm buying it!!

    Thanks again for commenting!! : )


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