Foreign Cover Friday: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Foreign Cover Friday is a weekly feature on The Reading Fever, where I spotlight foreign covers of the books we know and love. Want to know how it got started? Read this post.

This week's featured cover is:
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

When it comes to this book, I really like the US cover. I think the entire series has beautiful covers. In fact, the cover and title are what had me picking this book up in the first place. First of all, the title is compelling, and the picture is eye-catching. After I had read the back cover, I knew it was for me. I do admit that it looks somewhat like a gothic romance novel though, which is the main reason I hear for people not wanting to give it a try. (I can assure you, it's not...read the description!) Let's see what other versions there are out there:

These two aren't very different from the US covers, except in title. The one on the left is the Italian cover, with a translation of: A Great and Terrible Beauty, and the one on the right is the Spanish cover, with a translation of: The order of the Academy of Spence.

Here we have (from left to right), the Australian and Romanian covers. I like the layouts of both covers (especially the muted colors on the Romanian cover), although neither girl fits my vision of the main character. I think the Romanian cover is my favorite of the foreign covers, although I'm not too sure about the title. Its translation wasn't exactly forthcoming when I tried to figure it out, but I think it is something like: Gemma's Secret Visions

I really like this Dutch cover (on the left). The circle of girls with unfocused heads, looking as if they are hiding something. It goes with the book pretty well. Even the title is fitting, which translates into Terrible Beauty.
I have to admit that I'm not really digging this French cover (right). The title translates into Witches of Spence, and the cover doesn't really go along with the book either. Makes me wonder how much of the book is lost in translation. I've always wished I could speak/read another language for this exact reason. I would love to see how well books translate into other languages, and what meanings are changed/unchanged. It would be very interesting.

What are your thoughts?
Which cover do you like? Which do you hate?
How do you think they compare with the US cover?

Thanks for joining me for Foreign cover Friday!


  1. I like the US/Italian/Spanish covers and dislike the French cover. So basically, I agree with you. I haven't read the book so I'm not feeling the circle of girls.

  2. Mmm, I think this is one of my favorite features. I never really look up foreign book covers, so it's always eye-opening for me. ;D

    I have to agree, though. The US cover is probably my favorite, though I do like that the author's name is more noticeable on the Italian one. The Dutch one is pretty different, and I can't make up my mind if I like it or not - but the French one? Not a fan.

  3. I, too, loved the American cover. I thought it was so evocative of the mood of the story. I didn't love the book, but the cover art was beautiful. I have to say that the Australian cover and the French cover are both hideous, though obviously for very different reasons. The circle of girls fits the story, though I don't love it as a cover piece... I don't know why... it just doesn't do it for me.

  4. I'm patriotic, but I think the Australian cover is totally gross. I like the Italain cover best, but I'd probably only pick up the Romanian version and give it a flip through.

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  6. I love this feature. It's fun to see different visions of the same book. I think the Dutch cover is my favorite outside of the U.S. one.

  7. Very cool post!!!! Love it! I think the Dutch one is my favorite.

  8. This is one of those rare cases where I side with the US cover.


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