Monthly Archives: April 2009

I hadn’t heard of this book until I stumbled across the cover art for it on the official Orbit Blog. Now I’m curious.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by J.K. Jemisin

Pretty cool, eh? Lauren Panepinto talks about the process behind the design:

Jemisin creates a very cool world and a very well-described landscape and characters, and it feels both epic and character-driven all at once. Since it’s the first of a trilogy, there’s even more pressure to get the look right because you have to carry it over 2 more books. We agonized a bit over the right illustrator, and decided on the dark and textural work of Cliff Nielsen. He did a fabulous job of depicting the city of Skye, and got a great rich dark tone set for the cover. We drove him a little crazy I think, poor guy, with color adjustments and revisions…and I hope he forgives us because I can’t wait to see what he does for the next two books.

Once I got the art back from Cliff, I must have gone through a hundred different fonts and layouts for the cover — there’s a lot of text that needs to be there, but of course, you don’t want it to look like there’s a lot of text on the cover, you want the art to be the star. But after a little hair-pulling and head-bonking-on-desk on my part, I think we nailed it.

Also, a synopsis:

“Yeine Darr is heir to the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is also an outcast. Until, that is, her mother dies under mysterious circumstances.

Summoned by her grandfather to the majestic city of Sky, Yeine finds herself thrust into a vicious power struggle for the throne. As she fights for her life, she comes ever closer to discovering the truth about her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history – as well as the unsettling truths within herself.

With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate are bound inseparably together, for both mortals and gods alike.”

Though maybe not the most original plot out there, the setting seems interesting and I’m always up for a good bout of political intrigue. Certainly looks like a novel I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Hot off the heels of the recently released cover art for A Princess of Landover and The Magic Kingdom of Landover Volume I is the cover for the second omnibus in The Magic Kingdom of Landover series. Unfortunately it doesn’t fair as well as the other two covers.

The Magic Kingdom of Landover Volume II by Terry Brooks

As is occasionally the problem with Steve Stone’s art, this cover just comes off as too artificial. While I think the colour’s are fantastic, and there’s a fair amount of tension in the artwork, it just feels like Stone phoned this one in, without instilling much interest or charisma into the art. A shame considering how nice the other two recently released covers are.

What do you think?

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Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front

AuthorJim Butcher

Pages: 320
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (Roc)
Release Date: April, 2000
ISBN-10: 0451461975
ISBN-13: 978-0451461971

Blame my girlfriend for this review, for I didn’t make up my mind about Jim Butcher’s debut novel, Storm Front, for myself, she did. The conversation started while we were laying in bed, with me debating whether I should jump into the sequel, Fool Moon or another novel, by a different author.

‘You must really have loved that book,” she said.

‘Huh?’ I said, turning to her.

‘That book, with the Wizard, you loved it.”

‘Uh, I did?’

‘Sure. You haven’t stopped talking about it since you finished yesterday.’

I thought about it for a second and realized she was right. I had been talking about Storm Front almost non-stop since the day before, when I hadn’t even finished it yet. I didn’t really realize it, but I did love Storm Front despite the problems it had. And you know why? It’s just plain, ol’ fun.
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Taken from Terry Brooks’ Official Forum:

A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks

Princess Mistaya Holiday hasn’t been fitting in too well at Carrington Women’s Preparatory. People don’t seem to appreciate her using her magic to settle matters in the human world. So when she summons a dragon to teach a lesson to the snotty school bully, she finds herself suspended. But Mistaya couldn’t care less – she wants nothing more than to continue her studies under Questor the court magician and Abernathy the court scribe. However, her father Ben Holiday, the King of Landover, has rather different plans in mind for her. He thinks he’ll teach her about perseverance and compromise by sending her to renovate Libiris, the long-abandoned royal library. How horribly dull. But before long, Mistaya will long for the boredom of cataloguing an unfeasible number of derelict books – for deep within the library there lies a secret so dangerous that it threatens the future of Landover itself …

I love it. Simple, I suppose, but the colours really seal the deal for me. Steve Stone’s artwork can be hit or miss when it comes to Fantasy covers, but this one works for me. Much better than the bland UK Cover art.

Or maybe it’s just my inner Terry-Brooks-fanboy coming out. What do you think?

Tolkien Library (and found via the Westeros Forums) is reporting that a new novel by the author of The Lord of the Rings will be published in May of this year.

HarperCollins is to publish a new book by the late Lord of the Rings author J R R Tolkien. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, edited and introduced by Tolkien’s son Christopher, will be published in hardback in May 2009.

The previously unpublished work was written while Tolkien was professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University during the 1920s and ’30s, before he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The publication will make available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and the Fall of the Niflungs.

David Brawn, the publishing director of HarperCollins UK, said: “It is an entirely unpublished work, dates from around the early 1930s, and will be published – all being well – in May this year. Otherwise the clue as to what the book will contain is in the title – THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN. You will surmise from this that it is not a Middle-earth book, but we are confident that Tolkien fans will be fascinated by it.”For those who are wondering about it, I can already tell that this new edition will not be illustrated by Alan Lee; but have not been confirmed who will be the illustrator.

Christopher Tolkien edited Tolkien’s most recent title The Children of Húrin in 2007.

Further details about the contents of the book will be revealed closer to publication.

As someone who grew up on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but loves the world and characters a lot more than Tolkien’s actual writing, I can’t say that this is a novel I’m going to jump on. Still, it’s an interesting look at Tolkien and the influences that led to The Lord of the Rings.

It will also be interesting to see how this is marketing, considering it’s not a traditional prose novel and, likely, won’t appeal to many of the fans of Tolkien’s most famous works.

Much more information about the novel can be found HERE.