Molly is inspired by Jim Hines
She dug around for books and when her middle grade/YA illustrations were insufficiently entertaining, grabbed MY books and tried to duplicate THOSE cover poses.
(Cut for people who don't want to load a bunch of graphics.)
Fires of the Faithful:
(That's taken in her room. Yes, her walls are orange. Also her sheets. Also part of her bean bag chair. She's very fond of the color orange.) She's holding a Rubik's Cube in place of the little glowing ball from the cover, and the stand-in for the violin is a lint brush. I should've gotten out her sister's ukulele.)
Turning the Storm:
(Yes, she also has an orange trash can, orange backpack, and orange boffer sword, which is standing in for the showier, more lethal looking sword on the cover. The lint brush is once again standing in for the violin.)
She didn't try to do the cover for Freedom's Gate, because the protagonist is on a horse. But she did do a (CLOTHED!) version of the cover for Freedom's Apprentice. Original:
So, you'll notice that this one, far more than the first two, doesn't look right. She found it hard to balance, and it hurt her feet. It's probably not a coincidence that the most sexualized cover I've ever gotten was also the hardest for a real human being to imitate. (This book has literally no sex in it at all, which made the sexualized cover...kind of funny.) It still beats the hell out of any cover where the woman is supposed to simultaneously show you both her butt and her cleavage, though.
Finally, Freedom's Sisters:
So, for the most part these are a lot less funny than the poses done by Jim Hines. There are a number of reasons for this, but here's #1 -- none of these poses are ridiculous. Especially the first two -- Eliana is standing in ways that a human being might actually stand, doing things that the character actually does. As much as I have rolled my eyes over the cover to Freedom's Apprentice over the years (people, that scene takes place in January in Central Asia in a historical fantasy where people lack things like forced-air central heating, fiberglass insulation, and double-glazed windows. Not only is she not naked in that scene, she's dressed in bulky layers because that's what you do to keep warm in a cold climate in the winter, even indoors) there's nothing inherently absurd about what she's doing with her body.
My first two books came out in 2002 and 2003; the next three in 2004, 2005, and 2006. I am not operating with a particularly large sample of cover art here but frankly analyzing these images makes me wonder if the truly absurd human bodies DO NOT BEND THAT WAY cover art is a somewhat recent phenomenon, or if Bantam's art department in the early 2000s was unusually good in that respect?