Top Ten Tuesday – Maps on the Cover

I have decided to pick up something a little different and hopefully help me fill in days where I have an open spot on the blog. Today is my first Top Ten Tuesday.

This bookish meme was hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and has been going since June 2010! Since January 2018 Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is Books with [___] On the Cover. I recently picked up Luke Arnold’s One Foot in the Fade when Euan (the Husband) commented on the stylised map on the cover being similar to other books that grace my shelves and I thought “hmmmmmm I wander how many books I have that do have maps on their covers?” so that is todays Theme. Maps on the covers! I am curious to see what genres they fall into and the types of maps I find.

The Maps

I think there are a few distinct type of maps.

The Real map

Found on the US covers of the Shades of Magic series and on the UK cover of The Cartographers. These are just snippets of real maps used in the background. In both cases these are in geometric shapes to highlight other aspects of the cover such as typography or character art. They very similar to the next category the stylised city map

Shades of Magic Series
V.E. Schwab

US Covers

The Cartographers
Peng Shepherd

UK cover


My Review

The stylised city map

The most popular of the maps they are typically maps of London but other cities used these tend to form the background for the majority of the cover with heavy stylisation. All of those mentioned in the post are urban fantasy investigative novels so the map is used to highlight the setting and the stylization of that map, which in many cases is ink and blood splatters or character art, is used to set the scene. You know you are getting intrigue and mystery set in the city with this type of book cover. The examples are Rivers of London, Edinburgh Nights, Alex Verus and The Inspector Paris Mysteries

Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovich

My Review:
Amongst our Weapons
What Abigail did Last Summer~
My re-read series

Alex Verus
Benedict Jacka

My Review of Fated

Edinburgh Nights
T L Huchu

My Review:

The Library of the Dead
Our Lady or Mysterious Ailments

Inspector Paris Mysteries
Andy Redsmith

My review of Breaking the Lore

The Fantasy City Map

These are very similar to the Stylised City map but as they are for made up towns/cities they tend to be far more detailed to highlight areas of not within the fictional city this book is based in. This is exemplified in the covers for The Fetch Philip’s Archives and Rotherweird series.

The Fetch Philips Archives
Luke Arnold

My Reviews:
The Last Smile in Sunder City
Dead Man in a Ditch

My review of Book 3: One Foot in the Fade will be live on the 28/4/22

Rotherweird
Andrew Caldecott

I have not read this one yet but it is on my TBR shelf.

Other map types

We also have the nautical map, just subtly in the background of The Tide Child Series, I am pretty sure it is also used in the Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb.
The Blueprint map, the only example I could find on my shelves is The Key in the Lock but I am sure there must be others that use the layout of the house on the cover.

The Tide Child
RJ Barker

Another one on my TBR shelf. I was gifted it for Christmas 2021 so I must get to it soon

The Key in the Lock
Beth Underdown

My Review

The Genres

There are definitely distinct leaning towards Urban fantasy and magical crime solvers when it comes to maps on the cover, mystery seems to be a big proponent of the Map on the cover. All most all are fantasy of some form or another with Journey based fantasy also having maps on the cover.


So those are 10 series (several more books) with maps on the cover. Can you thin of any I have missed?

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Maps on the Cover

  1. Oh, I love that you picked maps! Love seeing all these covers and the maps. Some very noticeable others a bit more in the background. Now I am curious what other covers there are~

    Liked by 1 person

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