Saturday, January 30, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday #162: The Ring & The Crown, by Melissa de la Cruz

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

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

Here's my choice for this week!

The Ring and the Crown
(The Ring and the Crown, Book 1)
Melissa de la Cruz 
Hardcover, 384 pages
April 1, 2014
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

What an incredible cover! This image just makes me want to rent a studio and start painting again! (Sadly, I can't afford to, however.....) It's such a LUSHLY "painterly" cover! Also, it combines an Abstract Expressionist style with photography, as well as three-dimensional design, in the letters of the title. In fact, there's a very tactile quality to this image. I can almost feel myself touching the letters of the title.

Although I'm not a huge fan of the color red (except during the Christmas season), I  find myself loving it in this cover!  The flowers on top of the model's head are just GORGEOUS, and are really more of an orange-red color. They go perfectly with the splashes of orange in the background, too.  And the sky blue peeking out from sections of this background complement the orange very well.

The model's stare seems to be saying to the viewer, "You think this is a crazy cover? Well, just deal with it!" Lol. She's wearing a crown of flowers against this quirky background, and not even batting an eye. I LOVE it!!

It's great when a cover artist doesn't take the obvious, more conventional route, and instead, creates a cover that startles and delights precisely because of its clever combination of elements. This is the type of cover that belongs in a modern art gallery, or perhaps even in MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art in New York City). It's an exhilarating cover, too, as it was obviously created with joy and love.

I realize that not everyone will love this cover, but the crazy artist in me sure does!

This brilliant design is a combination of talents.  The photo is by Ali Smith, the title type by Mario Hugo, and the overall design by Tanya Ross-Hughes. What an AWESOME collaboration by these three artists!! 

Ali Smith is an award-winning photographer whose book, Momma Love: How The Mother Half Lives, has won praise from Gloria Steinem, Huff Post, Yahoo's Shine, and many others. She has taught photography courses at ICP (The International Center of Photography), Alfred University, and with Step Up. She has a HUGE client list.

Mario Hugo is a New York-based designer, illustrator, and director of creative design with a very varied portfolio. His style incorporates typography as well as photography. Although well-versed in digital art techniques, he says he's most comfortable with plain pencil and paper.

Tanya Ross-Hughes is an independent graphic designer with her own studio. She also specializes in digital art and creative direction. She has extensive experience in all aspects of book design, having also created interior page layoiuts. Furthermore, she has designed covers for magazines such as The Oprah Magazine.

I can hardly wait to make this book a part of my private library collection, as I'm also a fan of Melissa de la Cruz!

Online Links

 Ali Smith

  Mario Hugo

  Tanya Ross-Hughes


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. I am in love with the cover! The color red definitely made the book stood out, and the fonts somehow managed to exert a 3D effect to the cover. I also appreciate your detailed breakdown of the artistic aspects of the book cover, I never thought of it that way! Hauntingly beautiful and thank you for sharing :)

    1. Hi, Natasha!

      I'm glad you like this cover, too! The red is very effective in the total composition, as are the 3D title and photo.

      Thanks for your compliment of my analysis! Much appreciated! I was an Art major in college, so I was trained to analyze these things.

      And you've put it very well -- this cover is indeed "hauntingly beautiful"!

      You're very welcome for the share! Thanks for your great comment!! : )

  2. This is really a striking cover. I love it too. You are spot on in regards to the way that the color red is used here.

    In addition, the lighter colors in the model's face make such a contrast with the red. For me, that adds so much to this picture.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks for the compliment!! Much appreciated!!

      Yes, the color red is used very effectively here. And you, too, are spot on regarding the colors in the model's face; they contribute a lot to the overall effect. This truly an inspired cover!!

      Thanks for the great comment!! : )

  3. Love it!! It's so unique, and it just POPS! We hope you can make this part of your library soon! As always, we just love reading your thoughts on the wonderful covers you showcase. Brilliant!
    ~Michele and Mckenzie

    1. Hi, Michele & Mckenzie!!

      Oh, how GREAT that you both love this cover, too!! As you say, it does POP! It's a GORGEOUS cover! And yes, I sure am hoping to own this one soon!! YAY!! Fangirling here!!

      Thanks for your super NICE compliments, as well as for the overall comment!! *SQUISHY HUGS BACK!!* <3 <3 :) :)


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