Saturday, April 28, 2018

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 248: The Falconer, by Elizabeth May

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 Falconer
(The Falconer, Book 1)
Elizabeth May
Hardcover, 378  pages
Chronicle Books
May 6, 2014
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, 
Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction,
Steampunk, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is the type of cover, with bold, yet detailed images, that I find simply STUNNING! 

I LOVE all the detail in the dagger's hilt, as well as in the rings, which appears to match it. The young woman's hair is beautifully detailed, as well, and I think its softness contrasts very nicely with the sharpness of that blade. 

The buttons on the young woman's richly green gown are also nicely detailed, as is the delicate lace embroidery on the sleeve of the blouse she's wearing beneath the gown.

Then there's that necklace, or whatever it might be called. It looks PERFECT with the rest of the girl's clothes. It, too, is bold, yet detailed.

The colors used are perfect, too. That green gown contrasts so nicely with the light red hair! And the shade of lipstick the young woman has on is perfect, too, although it IS an anachronism. Lol. But it picks up the highlights on the hair just right!

There is one quibble I have about this cover, and that's the title and author's name. I think the font used should have been a more ornate one, in keeping with the overall medieval feel of the cover, and I would have been happier if the title had been a bit bigger. Other than that, though, I do LOVE this cover!

The brilliant cover designer is Sara Schneider, who is the Executive Design Director at Chronicle Books. She is a graduate of the California College of the Arts as well as Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (not to be confused with the University of Miami, in Miami, Florida).

Schneider was previously the Marketing Specialist at MCI, and the Senior Designer at Jennifer Moria Design, where her clients included Levis, William Sonoma, San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli.

Online Links
California College of the Arts

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


  1. This is indeed a striking cover. I like it a lot. It is very unsymmetrical. One’s eyes are drawn to the woman’s hair which seem to dominate the scene.

    Have a great Saturday Maria!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      I like the fact that it's unsymmetrical, too. I think it creates a more dynamic composition when an artist or designer does this type of thing. Yes, one's eyes are indeed drawn to her hair right away. And then they go over to the knife, or short sword, she's holding, and back to the hair. Really quite awesome!

      You always leave such interesting comments, Brian! Thanks for this one!! Hope you're having a great Saturday, as well!! <3 :)

  2. It is indeed striking, though I, too, have a quibble - why, oh, why are there so many covers, mostly of historical novels, that chop off the top of the woman's head? Maybe I'm in a minority here, but I really don't like them. Even on this one, my eyes keep being drawn away from those lovely details to the eyes she doesn't have... ;-)

    1. Hi, Sue!

      Oh, I completely agree with you here! Lol. I have asked myself the very same question! WHY do they do this? And the same thing goes for guys, btw. Just the other day, I bought a book by one of my favorite vampire romance authors, Lynsay Sands (she's SO funny!), and noticed the same thing on the cover. The guy on it is a REAL hunk, BUT....the top of his head is cut off!

      Here's the Goodreads link to this book, which is titled "Twice Bitten":

      I think cover designers do this in order to emphasize some other aspect of the cover model, but it IS very unsettling to look at. In the case of this young woman, I get it -- they're emphasizing her hair. But gee, I don't think showing her eyes would detract from that! In the case of the hunk on the Sands cover, they're emphasizing his chest (he's wearing an open shirt), and six-pack abs. Again, I don't think that showing the poor guy's eyes would detract from that! Lol.

      Another thing that REALLY bothers me, and is VERY common on YA covers, is that the MC frequently has her BACK to the reader! WHY the heck do they do that, too? I HATE this just as much as the cut-off heads!

      I think I might do a future SCS post on these weird cover design features.

      Thanks for the interesting comment!! <3 :)

    2. If you do, don’t forget the prom dresses on YA covers!

  3. It is a strong, attractive cover and like you - I really like the fact that it is asymmetrical. However, I'll also give a shoutout for the UK Gollancz cover, which I actually prefer. The girl has a head, for starters and you get a sense of the violence and grittiness of this amazing series - and I also like the font... It doesn't hurt that it's the cover that first attracted me to this fabulous read:)). Thank you for sharing, Marie - it's a lovely post!

  4. Ooh The Falconer. Love that cover, and that was one I was going to read and never did. I like how you analyzed what works and what doesn't- fun! I do love the dagger and the necklace- and how they sort of complement each other.

    Unrelated question- I see a Star trek book in your sidebar. Do you read a lot of older Trek stuff? The reason I ask is I discovered the Animated series on Netflix and I've been watching a few, so I was just curious. :) I'd seen a few of them years ago but didn't remember much, but they're short and kind of interesting...

  5. Ooooh The Falconer! I actually own a hardcover copy of this book and I adore the cover (still need to read the book, though.) I always like books that have daggers on them, especially if a girl is holding it. I love that the necklace, dagger and ring kind of match and that they line up. I don't know if that was done intentionally or not but I think it's great! :D


  6. I've been meaning to read this book FOREVER. And you are right, the cover ROCKS!


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