7 Books I want to read because… | Book covers inspired by Russian Folk Art!

There is something so appealing about Russian folk art inspired covers, isn’t there? The very first book done in this style that caught my attention was «The Bear and the Nightingale» by Katherine Arden. I was lucky to get the ARC of the first book through NetGalley, but when I fell in love with the story and saw the final book cover from Del Rey (Penguin UK) I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I don’t buy the book immediately to display on my shelf.

It’s by far one of the prettiest books I own and it holds a special place in my heart and on my shelves. 

[Here’s an example of what Russian Folk Art usually looks like. Inspired by numerous Russian folklore tales, it’s a whimsical, vibrant and surreal storytelling method, that uses floral patterns, surreal elements and bright colors with almost child-like quality to them.]

That’s when I discovered that all book covers made in this style make me want to read them! And there seem to be more and more artists getting inspiration from Russian Folk Art, especially for middle-grade book covers.  For today’s TTT [Top Ten Tuesday] theme – Books I Bought/Borrowed Because…, I decided to show you the seven books I’m very excited to read solely because of the specific art style of their covers! 😁



They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community. Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts… more

deeplight by frances hardinge

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure
The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt… more

the hazel wood by melissa albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away-by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”… more

once upon a river by diane setterfielD

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens… more

a skinful of shadows by frances hardinge

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.
And now there’s a spirit inside her… more

winterwood by shea ernshaw

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing… more

the house with chicken legs by sophie anderson

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.
But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day… more

What book covers do you love the most?
Let me know in the comments below!

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32 thoughts on “7 Books I want to read because… | Book covers inspired by Russian Folk Art!

  1. I love ALL of these covers but omg Alex so many of the books I didn’t like once I read them 🙈🙈🙈 I wasn’t a fan of the deathless girls, the hazel wood, a skinful of shadows… I didn’t particularly love the bear and the nightingale either. … I liked once upon a river though….. but I think the moral of the story is I should stop reading books based on covers 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They are so beautiful! I’ve only read Once Upon a River, but I did enjoy it! And I own WInterwood so hopefully I can read it soon. The Bear and Nightingale has been on my tbr forever, too. Great choice this week! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There have been mixed reviews. I think it also depends on whether a reader likes magical realism. And it takes a bit to get into it. But I still remember the opening scene. So good!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fab list, Alex! Love your take on this week’s prompt 😍 These covers are all so freaking gorgeous and I won’t deny that I’ve either bought or contemplated buying them for the covers alone 🤣 So dangerous!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, I’ve never seen that cover of The Bear and the Nightingle! It’s so gorgeous. But I know that The Hazel Wood is an awful read even though the cover is so beautiful 😭 I really love the cover for Woven in Moonlight. Stunning beyond belief!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All these covers are so freaking pretty! Woah, I’m in love 😍😍 I had seen The Deathless Girls already and while I’m a bit scared of going into it, I would totally risk it because of that cover!

    Liked by 1 person

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