As a Horn Book intern, I’m on the Out of the Box frontlines: I open the boxes and see what’s in them first. I recently came across the new paperback edition of Tamora Pierce’s The Woman Who Rides like a Man (left), the third book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet (Simon and Schuster, April). As a fan of the series, I was taken aback by the new cover, which features a photographed Alanna, the protagonist of the series, with magenta-dyed hair, in modern clothes and makeup, and flanked by two teenage boys. The Alanna I picture is a combination of my own imagination and Joyce Patti’s softly illustrated cover portraying a ginger-haired heroine (1997 Random House edition, right).
My discomfort with this new edition lies not in the decision to change the cover image, but with my worry that the new art does not accurately represent the story to a new generation of readers. If I were unfamiliar with the plot—about newly knighted Alanna’s journey to Tortall’s desert and her capture and acceptance by the Bloody Hawk tribe—I would guess from the new cover that it‘s about a contemporary teenage girl who has a magic pendant and is caught in a love triangle a lá Twilight.
and some of which I have not (any post-Trina Schart Hyman editions of Patricia C. Wrede’s The Enchanted Forest Chronicles).