#SPFBO: Cover Lover

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The great 2016 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off is underway! We here at the BiblioSanctum are currently as busy as bees reading through the first five chapters of each book and comparing notes, and every day that goes by we’re getting closer to narrowing down the field to the handful we’ll be selecting for fuller reads.

In the meantime though, we and our other fellow bloggers involved in SPFBO2 have noticed some beautiful covers among this year’s contestants. Inspired, Mark Lawrence has put together a cover contest, asking each blog site to select the top three covers from our batches. The final 30 from the 10 blogs will be voted on by all the bloggers to award gold, silver, and bronze medalists. There’s also an open poll open to the public.

To see all the entries of the SPFBO Favorite Covers contest, check out this post and vote!

It was a very tough choice for us, but in the end these are the three covers we’ve chosen to put forth into Mark’s cover contest. Today, we want to take this opportunity to feature them along with a few others that we considered, including their book descriptions. Keep in mind, we’re not actually going to be commenting on the content in any of these books at this point, since the reviewing process is still going on, but we did want to bring some attention to them since because we love pretty covers! An aesthetically pleasing, professional looking cover will go a long way in drawing readers in, leaving them with the impression that what’s inside is worth checking out. Your cover is your book’s chance to make a good first impression, so make it a good one!

BiblioSanctum’s Favorite Cover Selections

Gauntlet of Time by Trip Ellington SPFBO

Gauntlet of Time by Trip Ellington

“Xalo believes that he and his best friend, Jirnik, are destined to spend the rest of their days barely eking out a living as poor scavengers—until a lost princess reveals his destiny as a Wielder.

Wielding his newly bonded magical gauntlet, Xalo and Jirnik are soon pulled into a perilous quest to reunite the lost princess with her family, all while being chased by the corrupted emperor and his minions…”


Wendy: This was the cover that inspired me to contact my co-bloggers and say “Hey wanna do a cover lover feature on our favourite SPFBO covers?” shortly before Mark Lawrence ended up doing that very thing. The image and pose itself isn’t particularly unique when it comes to fantasy and the font could be more interesting, but the artistic style and the subdued, pastel colours are what grabbed my eye. The artwork is probably more conducive to a comic book cover, or perhaps an RPG guide book, though not quite either of those either. Perhaps more of a hybrid of all three. Plus it reminded me of the unfinished sketchiness of one of my favourite games, Valkyria Chronicles.

The Alignment by Kay Camden SPFBOThe Alignment by Kay Camden

“He’s killed three men in the few days she’s known him. Yes, it’s self-defense. But when he tried to kill her, it wasn’t. Her peaceful mountain refuge has been invaded, her inexplicable nausea linked to his physical presence. She’s captive in his house for her “protection,” with a churning stomach, his bad attitude, and no safe way home.

All that changed the night the stars aligned.

Now he’s talking about ancient bloodlines and celestial alignments…and other things she only believes because of what she’s seen him do. He’s heading out for revenge against the family who wronged him, and he needs her help. All she has to do is ingest one homemade dissolving tablet to allow him into her mind–to train her to be just like him.

The answer would be a definite no if she had anything of her world left. If she hadn’t fallen in love with him.

Book One of THE ALIGNMENT SERIES, a blend of modern fantasy, action, and romance.”


Tiara: I’m going to be my mother’s child and wax purple about my choice. This is a cover for the dreamers who look up at the sky and lose themselves in the night sky, for the dreamers who dream in luminous golds, ethereal blues, and wraith-like greens. This cover asks you step into a fictional land, to leave the world behind and live somewhere fantastic and unknowable, to use your imagination to be the master of the stars for just a little while. This cover ask the dreamers to find their wings and fly, to dance freely on the starlight, and revel in the beauty of their imaginations. Dream on, dreamers.

The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller SPFBOThe Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller

“Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging…”


Mogsy: Seeing weapons on fantasy covers is nothing new, but I really appreciate the art style on this one and the gorgeous draconic design of the hilt and cross-guard. The red and black swirling patterns exude a atmosphere of dark magic, and I love the symmetry. It’s a very eye-catching cover, and it grabbed my attention right away.



There was a lot of prettiness in our batch this year. These are the other beautiful covers that caught our eye, but alas we could only choose three for Mark’s cover contest!

Rise of the Storm by Christina Ochs SPFBO Rise of the Reaper by Lorna Reid SPFBO Endgame by Susan Kelly SPFBO

Wendy: Rise of the Storm and Endgame were my runners up. I liked the colours of the former and, having read the first few chapters already, I felt the fiery imagery really captured the urgency that those initial pages bring about. I also like the title text and placement. Endgame’s not perfect–it is a bit rough around the photoshopped edges upon closer inspection–but I liked the ethereal nature of the ghostly bodies rising into the light. Without reading the blurb, I could infer so many different things from this image. Is it an ascension? An alien invasion? Hmmm…

Mogsy: My runner up cover was Rise of the Reaper because of the spine-tingling feeling I get when I look at it. I love that effect of of stepping through a dark tunnel into a world of blazing color and shining magic. I also really like the cover for Rise of the Storm for a lot of the same reasons as Wendy. The layout and typography is very pleasing, and that’s a fantastically bold combination of colors.

Tiara               Wendy 2                Mogsy 2

9 Comments on “#SPFBO: Cover Lover”

  1. “The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King” has a special place in my favorite cover lists because I liked the book, but I have to say “Gauntlet of Time” is a stunner. 🙂


  2. I totally agree that the cover for The Alignment is for dreamers who enjoy letting their imagination run wild – that cover is gorgeous. I also love the one for The Dragon’s Blade (because… DRAGONS!), and I look forward to reading this book I recently received for review 🙂


  3. Pingback: THE CATALYST Update – May 30 – Kay Camden

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