Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #31: The Hound and the Falcon, by Judith Tarr

This meme/blog hop was originally started by Stephanie @ Five Alarm Book Reviews. After many excellent and visually exciting posts, she decided to stop hosting it, and asked me if I would be interested in continuing with it. Of course I enthusiastically agreed to do so!

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.

If you'd like to participate, just write your 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!

Hardcover, 728 pages
Doubleday Book Club
Genre: Fantasy

Why do I love this cover?

The very essence of magic is perfectly illustrated in this beautiful cover.  The people pictured on it are elves.  Their power shines between them, connecting them through their hands, which don't quite touch, but share the same misty light...

The woman's gown flows from head to toe in soft folds of pristine white.  A pastel blue ribbon girds her hips, and a gracefully billowing cloak of an even lighter shade is draped around her shoulders.  Her jewels are also of the same hue.  The effect is nothing short of otherworldly.  If it weren't for her pointed ears, she could be an angel.  She does look celestial, however, and that's mainly due to the colors of her gorgeous clothing.

The man also wears a cloak, but, in contrast to the woman's, it has an earthy brown tone.   His tunic is also rather earthy, being a soft red-orange.  The contrast between these two magical beings is very interesting.  Her hair is blonde, while his is white.  The colors of his clothing , as well as his posture, anchor him firmly to the earth, while the colors of hers, as I have already mentioned, are those of the sky. 

So it seems as if earth and sky are meeting, destined to fall in love...They are surrounded by the indigo night, which forms a perfect backdrop to this scene. 

The magic blazes between these two; they recognize each other as members of the same ethereal race, and share a powerful moment of bonding. 

The font used for the title and author's name is classical in style, and yet, it has a touch of the medieval about it.  The lettering is enclosed in a rectangle suspended above the scene.  While I do like it, I'm wondering if an elegant script wouldn't have been better -- something that would have added to the mystical, magical feeling of this cover...

I found this book in a bookstore that specialized in used books, some years ago.  It's actually an omnibus edition of the author's trilogy, the volumes of which you will find mentioned on Judith Tarr's Goodreads profile page, when you click on her name above.

Daniel R. Horne
is the highly talented illustrator
who created this gorgeous cover!
He is a multi-faceted artist,
being equally proficient in design,
painting, and sculpture.

You can check out the Wikipedia
article detailing his career

You can access his page, located at,

You can also see more of his
book covers at
which is the official website
of renowned fantasy author,
Raymond E. Feist.

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


  1. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for hosting the meme! I love your choice this week! The colors are bright and vibrant and it really is classic fantasy art. Another wonderful choice!

  2. Another visualizing pleasing choice Maria! I do not know that much about art so I am likely using the wrong terms, but the slightly blurry and hazy look of this one is interesting. It gives really creates mood and gives the impression the dreamlike and unreal.

    I think that your analysis of the colors and symbolism is informative and spot on!

  3. I'll second that, thanks for taking over the meme :)

  4. Hi, Lee!

    You're very welcome! I just couldn't let this meme disappear! I was very sad when Steph decided to stop hosting it, and even took down her entire blog... I've always looked forward to this meme -- it's my Saturday treat! So I immediately said "Yes"!!

    This cover is so beautiful...I've had the book for some time now, but didn't know where it was, which is why I hadn't featured it before. I need to own the book so I can see who the illustrator is. I just don't have the time to be contacting publishers to get information before putting up an SCS post. This is what Steph used to do.

    This cover is indeed classic fantasy art! I LOVE this kind of thing!!

    I'm heading over to read your Shelf Candy post. Thanks for participating and commenting!! : )

  5. Hi, Brian!

    Yes, this cover is indeed visual candy!! I LOVE it! It's ironic that you like the blurry look of it, because, although the cover is indeed a little bit on the hazy side, the image in the post is actually somewhat out of focus. That's because the picture I copied -- from Goodreads -- was not that big. When I blew it up, it lost much of its sharpness. But you're right -- the effect is rather interesting!

    Thanks for your complimens and comment!! : )

  6. Hi, Jen!

    You're very welcome! I just couldn't let my Saturday treat disappear forever! Lol.

    I'm heading over to read your own Shelf Candy post.

    Thank you so much for participating and commenting!! : )

  7. Thanks for hosting! Great choice. It reminds me of a book I would pick up browsing the shelves, stumble upon it and think- what is this about? I like the older illustrations! They remind me of books from my youth!

    Thanks so much

  8. Another wonderful cover! I love the contrast of the colors between the two characters, bright and dark. Thanks for hosting the meme!

  9. hey, Kimberly!

    You're welcome! This is my Saturday treat, so I wouldn't miss it for the world!!

    Yeah, there are some real treasures to be found in used books bookstores! I have the same feeling you do when I find an older, beautifully illustrated book -- it brings back memories!

    Thanks for participating and commenting!! : )

  10. Hi, Lis!

    Yeah, I LOVE the contrast between them, too! Glad you like this cover!! You're very welcome for the hosting, and thank YOU for participating and commenting!! : )

  11. Ha , Ha! Very funny that some of the fuzziness in the image was unintentional. When it comes to music theory John Cage believed that anything that changed a work of music after it was composed recorded or performed become part of the work. So if you were listening to a sing the on the radio and there was static, the static, for you at least,would become a legitimate part of the music. I guess something similar here happened for me :)

  12. Hey, Brian!

    Oh, it's interesting that Cage said that. I've heard of this composer, but I'm not at all familiar with his work. I'm sure most performance artists would agree with him in this case!

    Actually, I'd like this image to be sharper. Then the details on the female elf's clothing would stand out more. But, since this book is several years old, there aren't that many images of it available. So I guess the fuzziness will have to I'm glad it contributes to the overall magic of this cover.

    Thanks for such an interesting observation!! : )


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