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Book review: <i>King Killer Chronicles, Day One</i> by Patrick Rothfuss


the cover of the book

Cover

From a distance, it's not too bad. The shadowed, hooded figure is suitably mysterious - there's no indication of a hero or villain, and he appears to be bleeding from the eyes. The foiled copper text is appropriately twiddly, but at least avoids cheesy medievalisation. Likewise, the image, though not surprising, lacks the standard "tiny-figures-'gainst-an-epic-panorama" that makes every fantasy book published since 1981 look exactly the same. Bring back the nude chicks with swords, I say, just before they throw me out of the pub. Pricks. Regardless, close inspection is a bit less favourable. The image is simply a crude collage - you could knock it up in Photoshop in an afternoon. The foliage framing the central image appears in different resolutions simultaneously, there's only one leaf repeated a dozen times, and, as we learn in the first 2 pages of the text, the blood is supposed to be hair. Red hair, yes, but accidentally making the cover look like more Stephen King than Tolkein is really not something an "artist" should do. Goodkind's last books were a bit like this, too. What's going on? Doesn't anyone want to pay painters for beautiful, ornate wrap-arounds any more? Curse you, Photoshop! How many lives must you ruin!!!!!?!!!?

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