Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
LDSP comment: Winner! Winner! Winner! I loved this cover the moment I laid eyes on it early this year, and I still love this cover. The colors. The ripped paper. The eyes. Yep! This is probably my second favorite all-time cover for 2010. And yep, it’s totally and completely subjective. I can’t even explain why I like it so much, I just do!
LDSP comment: If I’d never seen the UK version of this cover, this would have been my winner in this category. I’ve talked with Dan Wells (in my daytime, alter-ego persona) and he likes this cover better. There are really cool aspects to this cover, like his name on the knife. And the one little drop of blood. But still…I like UK better. Sorry, Dan.
Publisher: Walnut Springs
LDSP comment: If this were a medieval romance, it would have never made finalist for me. The girl on the cover is too modern looking. But since it’s speculative, I’m letting that slide. She really is quite lovely. I like the title fontage and placement as an element. The castle in the background is almost too much, too busy. But overall, I like it.
LDSP comment: Hickman covers have never been my favorites. They are generally too busy and the illustration too complicated for my tastes. But I really like this one. It’s simpler and cleaner, with my eye making a smooth transition from top to bottom, instead of leaping around all over the place. Hope his future covers are more like this one.
Publisher: Berkley Trade
LDSP comment: This is a more traditional epic fantasy cover. I like the colors. I’m really into blue this year. I like the placement of the image. It grabbed my attention right away so much that I didn’t even really need to read the author name or title—but I did eventually notice them. I really like the font they’ve used in this series.