Posts Categorized: Cover Art

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Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, the first volume of The Song of the Shattered Sands series, is one of my most anticipated novels for 2015. I had an opportunity to read an early draft of the book a few months ago, and Beaulieu impressed me with his rich, living world, characters you can root for as they struggle against forces they can’t comprehend, and a mystery that had me wondering the whole way through. So, when Beaulieu offered to debut the Adam Paquette’s artwork on A Dribble of Ink, I couldn’t say no.

Adam Paquette, the wonderful artist of this piece, wowed me when he created the art for the cover of my debut novel, The Winds of Khalakovo,” Beaulieu told me. “I was ecstatic when my US editor, Betsy Wollheim at DAW Books, asked if I’d like to work with Adam on the new series. Of course I said I’d love to work with Adam again, and I’m so pleased with what he came up with for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai. The morning cityscape of Sharakhai is stunning, and I’m really pleased that the hero of the story, Çeda, is shown to be looking out across it toward the House of Kings, the mountain where the palaces of the Twelve Kings stand. I’ll leave it up to the viewer to wonder why Çeda is so very interested in them…

“I’d also like to thank Betsy for her excellent eye in what makes a cover work, and for including me a bit in the process.”

Paquette is one of my favourite artist, particularly for his work on Magic: The Gathering, and produces some of the best landscapes and cityscapes in the business. I also love that Çeda is front-and-centre on the cover, but doesn’t succumb to the traditional tropes that cover artists use to cue readers to her gender. She’s feminine, but not over-sexualized, and that sword looks like it can do some damage (though, Çeda’s no chump with just her fists!)

The cover for the UK edition of the novel, published by Gollancz, is still in progress.

I can’t wait to see the cover with the final typography and final flourishes. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is worth getting excited about.

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A beautiful cover for what is sure to be one of the more mesmerizing short fiction collections released this year. China Mieville’s Three Moments of an Explosion is the latest collection from the author of Perdido Street Station and Embassytown. It’s due out on July 30th, 2015 from Tor Books UK.

“[Three Moments of an Explosion] is a wonderfully intelligent and engaging collection featuring stories with sentient oil rigs, flying icebergs and a ladder into space,” says the official announcement on the Tor UK blog. Mieville fans know exactly what to expect of the collection, which is to expect nothing at all.

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Most fans agreed that Robin Hobb’s return to Fitz and the Fool in last year’s Fool’s Assassin was a roaring success. Fool’s Quest is the second volume in the trilogy, and it tentatively scheduled for release in August 2015.

This cover is a fantasy book cover. It looks a lot like the last cover, also by Alejandro Colucci. Fitz has an axe, which is good, and he continues to look older and more grizzled (as Hobb points out in her blog post announcing the new cover!) I like that Del Rey has created a natural progression in the artwork that starts off looking somewhat like YA, before traipsing into full-blown moody Fitzdom. Seems suitable, if you’ve read the books.

Standing atop a pile of broken weapons, the detritus of war, is very similar to the covers that appear on Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire Trilogy, so it’s interesting to consider the difference in posture and emotion of the two main characters. Cocky and victorious Jorg Ancartch, and brooding, sorrowful FitzChivaly Farseer. It’s an interesting contrast, though likely unintentional.

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Michael Whelan’s official website revealed that the legendary artist, who rarely works on cover art since semi-retiring to focus on fine art in the early 2000s, will be painting the cover art for Tad Williams’ The Last King of Osten Ard, Williams’ sequel trilogy to his modern classic, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

The official back cover blurb provides some hints to what awaits Whelan:

In this new trilogy, Williams journeys back to the magical land of Osten Ard and continues the story of beloved characters King Simon and Queen Miriamele, married now for thirty years, and introduces newcomer Prince Morgan, their heir apparent. Also expanded is the story of the twin babies born to Prince Josua and Lady Vorzheva—a birth heralded by prophecy, which has been the subject of feverish fan speculation since the release of To Green Angel Tower in 1993.

This is tremendous news for fans of Williams and Whelan, as the artist’s work has become synonymous with Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Since the trilogy was released in the 90s, the North American editions have never featured different artwork. Let us hope, however, that we get more inspired work than Whelan’s last cover.

The first volume of The Last King of Osten Ard, The Witchwood Crown, will be released from DAW Books and Hodder and Stoughton in 2016. It is unclear if both publishers will use Whelan’s paintings, though the art that Whelan produced was not used on the Gollancz editions of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.

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I’m a big fan of Kotaki’s (he’s even written for A Dribble of Ink!), but there’s something here that doesn’t quite work for me. I miss Kotaki’s usual sense of energy and action, or the intricacies of his armour design and landscapes. The cover for Trial of Intentions is static and ponderous, and lacks for wonder, which is something I never thought I’d say of Kotaki’s work.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god—and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind—in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures.

But there is dissent. One king won’t answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse.

Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war.

And his choices may reshape a world . . . .

What’s more exciting, though, are the plans that Tor and Orullian are cooking up for the relaunch of this series. Trial of Intentions is the follow-up to Orullian’s 2001 debut, The Unremembered. Five years later, he’s returning with an author’s preferred edition of The Unremembered, one that better matches the vision he had for the series from the get go (snafu’d by a labyrinthine journey through the politics of book publishing and editorial authority), and by all accounts is more streamlined, easier to sink into, and more focused on introducing readers to the series without overwhelming them with a tidal wave of world building.

The “Author’s Definitive Edition” of The Unremembered arrives on April 7th, 2015, with Trial of Intentions following on May 26th, 2015.