Jan 11

Ok so you have the magical one... did you really need to get into the rose bush though?Click for full image

Frank Comments: I suppose I can understand how this got sorted in with the romance paperbacks, just from the color. But this is why I look through theromance paperbacks, so I can rescue the books that need it and put them over in the SF&F section.
Published 2002

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 7.45 out of 10)

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26 Responses to “Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses”

  1. A.R.Yngve Says:

    You know what this cover needs? More roses. There are two blank spots on the page.

  2. Smith Says:

    Is “Stealing the Elf King’s Roses” an over elaborate euphemism?

  3. RachelJ Says:

    That’s some font, that is. It very closely corresponds to my eight-year-old conception of “grown-up fancy writing”.

  4. THX 1138 Says:

    Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses
    So you can make lovely posies
    That sweet scent fills your noses
    Before they turn on the hoses
    Whereupon you cry “Holy Moses!”
    And on your heads put tea cosies.

  5. Phil Says:

    Is that the Elf-King in question, or the accursed rose thief? And is that glowing golden rose floating in space or emblazoned on his/her breastplate?


  6. Tom Noir Says:

    “I don’t understand how it’s only January and we’ve already blown through our entire Ornate Fonts budget and… Oh, god. What is THIS?!?”

  7. Phil Says:

    How many authors have first names and surnames that differ by just a single letter?

  8. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Ohmigod, I’ve summoned Calyxthulu!’

  9. fred Says:

    I would like to meet an unskilled master.

  10. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Is the background a candelabra?

  11. Greg M. Says:

    Two things. First, no matter where they put it, that Warner’s logo still manages to catch my eye. Which, given the entire cover design, is mighty impressive.
    Second, whoever that is on the cover (Elf-King or Thief), is being played by the mighty actress Mariette Hartley.

  12. FearofMusic Says:

    @Phil-You know, I was so entranced by those oddly ornate capital letters in her name, yet, my God, that is strange, her name, that Diane Duane. Now I will be forced to look at every author to see if…wait, there’s artwork too?

  13. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    It occurs to me you that could just as easily steal someone else’s fancy magic roses, and then claim they came from the Elf King’s garden.

  14. Adam Roberts Says:

    What makes the title for me are the emoticons embedded within it. ‘Stealing [Three-Eyed Smiley] The Elf-King’s [Three-Eyed Frowny Face] Roses’. Adds another layer of meaning.

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    See also the sequels

    Catching The Caliph’s Cactuses – A Tale Of A Thousand Small Nicks


    Pilfering The Paladin’s Petunias

  16. Rags Says:

    I got a fever, and the only cure is more roses!

  17. Tom Noir Says:

    Finally, cover art that the blind can enjoy!

  18. anon Says:

    “Diane Alea milks the fondue disaster genre” — Harper E.P. Quillhand III

  19. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Rose rose to put rose roes on her rows of roses.’–Robert J. Baran

    It’s a shame he didn’t include any rules of engagement for a deer when he said it. 😉

  20. GSS noob Says:

    Diane Duane is another good author who always got terrible covers. This novel is actually a police procedural (with magic) wherein the leads work for the Los Angeles District Attorney.

    Now that she’s got the rights to her books back, a cover that won’t end up in romance graces it.

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS Proselytizer: No question that the new cover is better!

    Pros: Nice balance with the imagery; well-rendered; font is decent if you’re in that sort of retro mood; Saturn snuck up on me, very creative backdrop.

    Cons: Changing the colour of the font for ‘roses’ is a bit superfluous. Also, the new title could be parsed as, ‘Whilst stealing the Elf-King’s roses from their Hollywood beds, the author has cut her hand on them, and will need a bandage.’ 🙂

  22. GSS noob Says:

    The font is CSI opening titles, which gets across police procedural. And the subtle Saturn is quite nice.

    Also, no pink or curlicues. I haven’t read the book, but the synopsis there makes it seem extremely non-twee.

    (I do love your variations on my name.)

  23. DaveM Says:

    Another cover that shows 2 of the 3 rules of covers

    [1] The quality and relevance of a cover is inversely proportional to the quality of the book.
    [2] All other things being equal a female author will have worse covers than a male author (the Ursula K. Le Guin effect)
    and the rule not covered here
    [3] Baen covers are always worse.

    I shall begin by dissertation for a doctorate in bad cover art at once! 🙂

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Hey, I forgot to mention I actually bought this book — with this cover — for a buck at a con last year.

    Turns out it’s pretty good, and really didn’t deserve this cover, which doesn’t even have the virtue of representing the book. It’s hard boiled cop stuff instead of drippy romance.

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask Tag Wiz to add another tag here: as you all suspected, the title is embossed. Deeply embossed. And shiny.

  25. Tag Wizard Says:

    @GSSxN – Back in the day, we didn’t have no fancy “embossing” tag. In fact, back in the day we only had THREE tags: “damsel”, “WTF” and “font problems”. And we managed just fine!

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tag: and you walked to tag school uphill both ways in the snow!

    (Mr. xn actually did — the school was exactly on the other side of a steep hill from his house, and it was so big that going around would have taken longer.)

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