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url 2014-09-04 18:01
#BookADayUK Day Four: Book You Bought For the Cover
Someplace to Be Flying - Charles de Lint
The Onion Girl - Charles de Lint

I'm pretty sure most of the Charles de Lint I've read can be traced back to John Jude Palencar's gorgeous covers. I'm not exactly enamored of de Lint's writing, but I don't think he's a bad writer or anything. I like how humane he is -- there is something very kind and gentle about his storytelling style -- but there's also something essentially dorky that embarrasses me. Like when I'd go to the grocery store with my parents, and my dad would run into sixteen people he knew and then there's be a huge conversation about local politics and whatnot, and I'd just die. My dad wasn't doing anything wrong -- probably he was doing something right -- but come onnnnnn let's gooooo. Doesn't exactly speak well of me, but there you have it.


a figure holding a mask to his face grows out of a gnarled tree

Cover for de Lint's Portraits of the Heart


a figure in a bathrobe stands in a snowy field. trees in the distance overlap the figure in an impossible way.

Cover for de Lint's Muse and Reverie, for which he won the Hamilton King Award


Hell, the fact that Eragon has a Palencar cover was not an insignificant factor in my reading that hilarious nonsense.The Eragon covers aren't my favorite of his stuff, nor are they exactly representational. But I like how the dragon portraits have this edge of goofiness. That they're framed like traditional portraiture is a very funny choice, when you think about it. Usually dragons are depicted with their whole bodies, often in motion, whereas Saphira is side-eyeing the viewer. It's like she's in a school photo or in a light box in Sears, which is adorably awkward and almost sly. 


portrait of a red dragon


Palencar has covered roughly a thousand books so far in his career. I've since wised up to buying de Lint titles solely on the strength of their covers -- check the reviews first, stupid! -- but there are a lot more books out there to tempt me. The Kushiel's Dart series, for example, I know I should stay away from, but good lord do the covers tempt me. 


a seated woman with her back to the viewer. she is naked from the waist up, with a black hate that invokes something out of the Renaissance


Damn you, John Jude Palencar. 




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