Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #102: Winds of Change, by Mercedes Lackey

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers,
and provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

 Here's my choice for this week!!

Winds of Change
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
DAW Books
August 1,1993
Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

This is another beautiful cover by the very talented Jody A. Lee, who has created many stunning covers for this author.  I first featured her work in Shelf Candy Saturday #91, which I published on October 26, 2013.

Here the artist employs a great sense of dynamic rhythm, which is perfect for the title.  This cover has tremendous energy!  This is because of the movement created by the rearing horse, which is contrasted with the counter-movement of the demonic dogs. 

The pattern of swirls framing this image -- obviously influenced by the Art Deco style, also adds to the movement.

The horse is absolutely gorgeous!  He reminds me of the Lipizzaner stallions of Austria, doing one of their dressage maneuvers.

The font used for the title and author's name also shows a clear Art Deco influence.  The frame surrounding the title is also very effective.

There's another very interesting influence on the art of this cover, and it's from the renowned 19th-century French painter Theodore Gericault.  If you compare the horse and rider in the painting below, with the ones on the book cover above, you will definitely see some similarities, although there are differences, too.  Each rider is posed somewhat differently; the girl is sitting straight in the saddle, but has turned her head to look at something beyond the confines of the picture.  The soldier is almost entirely turned around in the saddle, and is also staring at something outside the composition.   However, the young girl has her left arm out to the side, while the soldier has his right arm out to the side.   He's holding tight to the rein with his left hand, while holding a sword in his right hand.  The girl, in contrast, has let go of the rein, and is holding nothing in either hand.

As for the horse, each artist has handled his front legs differently; in Lee's composition, the stallion's legs are more retracted, while in Gericault's work, one leg is more extended, while the other is barely visible.  Interestingly, each horse's head is rendered as a profile.  This was the first thing about the cover that reminded me of the Gericault painting.    

These similarities and differences between the two works show that, in the history of art, artists have always learned from their predecessors, using them as inspiration, as well. 

The Charging Chasseur
   (Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

I find it entirely fascinating to see how Lee has used this painting as the inspiration for her own composition, which is done in her inimitable style, and is just as beautiful as this painting, although the painting is obviously more realistic.  I love them both!!   These two artists are separated by centuries, and thus, there are differences in concept and execution.  They're both brilliant, however, each in his/her own way! 

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What do you think of 
my choice?
Leave me a comment and 
let me know!


  1. I like your comparison between the two works. The similarities are indeed obvious which I think makes some of the differences more interesting. I like the evil looking dogs. I seem to be drawn to depictions of strange creatures.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      When I first saw this book cover, the Gericault painting immediately came to mind! Since I studied Art History in college, I was already familiar with this painting, which is one of my favorite works of art -- because of the horse, of course! There are indeed some differences between the two works, but the basic composition is the same. Lee's art is more stylized, too, while Gericault's is more realistic. However, they both succeed in conveying dramatic impact! As I said in the post, I love both styles!!

      Those dogs are sure frightening! Actually, I don't like them, but they do serve to heighten the drama in the composition. Their ferocity is a strange contrast to the girl's calmness. It looks as if she's not even aware of them. The horse is, though, that's why he's rearing. I wonder what the girl finds so important to stare at that she hasn't noticed the dogs yet....

      Thanks for the interesting comment!! : )


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