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Jul 20

Luckily for you... I brought the brightest candle in the world!No larger image available

Alessandra’s Art Direction: I want a couple of giant kids, way too big for the architecture they’re in. I want the architecture to be real crazy, too, to make no sense in terms of scale or perspective or anything. Make the kids skinny, but make their heads real big and make sure the girl has lots of eye makeup and styling mousse. Dress ‘em in brightly-colored vaguely medievalish clothes like you see on Robin Hood on TV, or at Medieval Times or something.
Published 1995

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of artI would touch it without protective glovesI have seen worse. Far, far worseInteresting, but I would still read it in publicMiddling: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lamé picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show, Sir.... Good Show! (Average: 5.03 out of 10)
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19 Responses to “The Baker’s Boy”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    “I’m sure the fuse box is around here somewhere…”

  2. Muttley Says:

    Well, it’s official. Fantasy Trilogy (there’s no escape: this is a trilogy) Authors have run out of inspiration, reached the bottom of the barrel, dug through the planks and are using what they find in the dirt underneath.

    “The Book Of Words”

    Stone me, what’s next, The Book Of Pictures? Society’s regressing. We’re dooooomed, I tell yer, Doooooooooooomed!

  3. Phil Says:

    I already have a book of words, thanks. I call it my “dictionary”.

    Mr Artist, please insert a TING! into your cover painting. It’s not as if there is no source of light in the picture.

    I will leave it to others to draft a comment about the Baker Boy looking for his back passage.

  4. Rachel J Says:

    Something I’ve been wondering–

    –how is it that practically *every single book* is the “#1 bestseller” (according to the covers)? How does that work? Do they split the sales figures into thousands of micro-categories, or something?

  5. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Herschel and Vivienne LARP their favorite scene from Spinal Tap.

  6. Jaouad Says:

    @Dead Stuff: You win the thread, sir.

    Looking for the door that says Authorized Personnel Only.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    “I give up. I don’t see a chest of treasure anywhere.”

  8. Yoss Says:

    @Rachel: You mean like “#1 National Fantasy Bestseller” (by authors with palindromic initials)

    I don’t read much fantasy myself so I’m not familiar with this book, but Mr. Google tells me that the series was popular when it came out.

  9. Rachel J Says:

    @Yoss. Mmmn, but I googled it too– and it looks like it’s not *that* popular, judging by the overall scarcity of references and the 3 1/2 star average on both Amazon and goodreads.

    Also, by all accounts, it appears to be a totally generic fantasy– not sure why it would have outsold the hundreds of other similar books, particularly with a title like that. So I’d say there’s indeed some fudging involved in getting that “#1″ figure.

  10. Jaouad Says:

    @Rachel @Yoss. One word: marketing. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.) ‘Bestseller’ is not some protected category, so everyone can put it on their covers, if they like. ‘#1′ sounds even better, so why not?

    I’m actually a bit surprised they didn’t put it between quotation marks, as if it was an actual phrase used by an Authority in the fantasy bestselling community. The only point is to draw attention to the book, and to get people to pick it up and have a closer look.

  11. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Mary, can you help me yank my “sword” out? I can’t seem to get it out.

  12. fred Says:

    And this is a real book and not some spot on internet Wheel of Time spoof?

  13. Smith Says:

    It looks to me like Medieval Barbie is saying “sweet Jesus bakers boy, did you have to eat those curried beans for lunch?”

  14. Rachel J Says:

    @Fred. Yes, it’s an actual, published book. Though it can be quite hard to tell those from parodies, sometimes.

    By the way, any ideas what’s up with the top part of the illustration? Is this castle being depicted in cross-section, or what?

  15. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Wow, look how insanely vibrant all those colors are. That forgotten underground passage is REALLY well lit from just a single candle.

  16. Rachel J Says:

    Clearly an 800w tungsten candle.

  17. Sneaky Burrito Says:

    I have this book, it *is* a real book, and as suggested above, is mediocre as fantasies go (an easy read, but full of tropes and one-dimensional villains). Not the best out there, but not the worst either. SPOILERS AHEAD: Basic premise is your standard “special boy” discovers his heritage, coupled with a prophecy (contained in the “Book of Words”) which of course he accidentally fulfills in full. At least he does not become king, nor does he end up with the girl on the cover. For those of you familiar with J.V. Jones’s Sword of Shadows series, the Book of Words series provides some background information (not strictly necessary for understanding the later works, at least not yet). Got rather sick of the stupid prophecy-poem but at least I only paid about $3 for the book as a used paperback on Amazon.

  18. Rags Says:

    Baker boy should not be sticking his sword into dark holes!

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Q: What is “National Fantasy”?
    A: Basically, what Nazis believe.

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