So…I made this far more difficult for myself than I needed to! Three Dark Crowns had 3 different covers for the first print run in the UK – one for each queen in the series. A red one with petals on the crown for Arsinoe, a green one with a snake on the crown for Kat and an orange one with fire on the crown for Mirabella.
After the initial print run, Arsinoe’s cover – the red one – was the one that was chosen to be reprinted and represent the book. So I easily could have just done the one cover based off of that info. But nooooo! I had to do all three!.
To be honest, I did kinda have to do all three. I spent a lot of time looking for the orange and green covers after reading the first book (I originally chose Arsinoe’s cover because I thought it was the prettiest). But my favourite queen turned out to be Kat, so I wanted her cover. which meant I’d have 2 out of 3…and I couldn’t have that!
Now Three Dark Crowns is a book I adored, but the series….eh….not so much. In fact, as each book in the four book series arrived I got more and more disappointed until in the end I was just plain mad. I felt like the series never gave us what it promised it would, and it crapped all over the original characters and premises in favour of pushing a character that the author clearly favoured from the beginning. I’m just bitter.
I wish that she’d just written the series clearly around that character and plot instead of half-assing the rest of it. But hey, we’re not here for a bitter book review.
The good news is, Three Dark Crowns, the first in the series, was really good, really enjoyable and I gave it 5 stars and it made the best of 2017 list! I know it’s a series so it leaves off on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it’s doable to just read this one book and have an ambiguous ending. Plus, making up your own ending will be far more satisfying than what the author gave us, I guarantee it. Ok, ok – enough saltiness!
So, on to the creative process!
Why did I choose this cover? I haven’t given myself the challenge of doing a multiple covers for the same book yet, so this was a new one for me, and I think the originals were so simple, yet elegant that I would have a good chance of doing something different to the originals.
Did I have an idea going in to it? Yes and no. I knew that I wanted to focus on the queens rather than their powers. The original covers focused on the powers, so I didn’t want to do that.
Did I like the book? Yes, but this is the only one in the series that I enjoyed.
Are you happy with it? Actually yes. Arsinoe’s is my least favourite, and Kat’s is my favourite. That’s actually how I feel about the queens too – it’s coincidence I swear!
So here are the original covers:
And here are my covers!
So as you can see I kept the colours that were used in the original, because…well…they kinda fit. Sure, Arsinoe’s naturalist gift could’ve been green, and Mirabella controls water so she could’ve been blue, but I liked the original colours.
I really did want to focus on the queens more than their powers – sure I have included some hint to the powers – perhaps a bit more than a hint with Mirabella’s cover…but hey! I kept the fonts and their placements in the same places across all the covers.
But what did the voters think?
Yeah, I expected that. I still think nearly 30% is something to be proud of, but I did expect the originals to win. The original covers have a polish to them that mine just don’t. Plus, they seem more cohesive and you could tell by looking at them that they are connected. Mine lack that. Perhaps they would work as single books – but as a collection of the same edition, I think I missed the mark.
But it was a really fun challenge and a great learning experience!
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