UK book cover on the left, and US cover on the right.

Nigerian-American writer Jordan Ifueko is publishing her YA romantic fantasy The Maid and the Crocodile this August. Set to publish through Hot Key Books in the UK and Amulet Books in the US, the books covers for the novel just came out and they are absolutely gorgeous!

Set in the magical West African world of Raybearer, the new book features Small Sade, a Curse Eater who can altering people’s fates through cleaning. She is looking for a job as a maid in the city of Oluwan; however, she accidentally binds herself to a god called The Crocodile, who supposedly eats young girls. Small Sade ignores him and begins work at an inn, hoping to avoid the The Crocodile and her secrets getting revealed. Read our book news post here.

The UK book cover (on the left) features a stunning representation of Small Sade in a long, flowing dress with her eyes closed and her entire body wrapped around by a large green crocodile with sharp teeth. While the UK book cover carries undertones of danger and a sense of feeling trapped, the US book cover (on the right) brings forth a much more hopeful tone. The US cover shows Small Sade looking directly at the reader with an arm extended outward, while the silhouette of a crocodile looms on the left side of the cover.

Ultimately, the two book covers do a brilliant job portraying the inextricable bond between Small Sade and The Crocodile. The UK cover art was done by the talented Micaela Alcaino, while The US cover illustrations were done by Charles Chaisson and the book design was by Deena Micah Fleming.

Ifueko announced the covers on Instagram and was stunned by the detail represented in the UK cover. She adds in her caption, “I love how the gecko has vitiligo to match Small Sade’s.” She shared with us in a conversation that the covers represent the themes of the novel well:

I’m very lucky to have Maid‘s covers designed by Charles Chaisson (US) and Micaela Alcaino (UK). Both covers give dignity and mystique to my new protagonist, Small Sade, a disabled domestic worker with a magical secret. I’m excited to share her story with the world!

Jordan Ifueko is a Nigerian-American writer best known for her novel Raybearer, which became a New York Times bestseller and was nominated for the Andre Norton Award and the Goodreads Choice Award for best Debut Novel and best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. The novel was also honored as one of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults and ALA Top Ten Best Fiction. The sequel, Redemptor was published in 2021 and nominated for Ignyte Awards, Lodestar Award and Andre Norton Award.

Preorder The Maid and the Crocodile here.