Posts Categorized: Art

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

From the bestselling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and co-author of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who is the only hope for the survival of an empire.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.

Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

Wow, how did this one slip by me? Before you get too excited (or heated because you’re desperately waiting on the sequels to The Way of Kings, this is a ‘short novel’ from Sanderson, about 30,000 words, so less than half the length of The Alloy of Law. Now, with that out of the way, it looks like this story is set in Sanderson’s Cosmere universe, meaning it will have ties (though not necessarily directly) to his other novels in that universe, including The Way of Kings and Mistborn, and should fit into the overarching narrative he’s constructing throughout his various series. The ‘novel’ itself sounds like it has all the juicy magic that we’ve come to expect from Sanderson.

And how gorgeous is that cover? I’ll be sure to post a larger version if I come across one.

The Emperor’s Soul will be released by Tachyon Publications (a great coup for the small publishing house) in December 2012.

The Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson

I mean, the upside-down sword is fairly overdone at this point, but the cover is nicely executed and I’m glad to see a change of scenery now that The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is over. It’s still identifiably Erikson, thanks to the typeface, but also clearly from a new series. Reminiscent of the Gollancz editions of Richard Morgan’s The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands.

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The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest

Yowza. Priest’s Clockwork Century novels have never lacked for attractive covers, but I think this one might take the cake. Instead of the traditional browns and greys that defined the previous covers, this time around we’re given a nice splash of blue and orange that really makes the whole image pop.

The art is by Cliff Nielsen, his first time working on the Clockwork Century novels (previous covers were painted by the equally awesome Jon Foster, and you might recognize him for the amazing covers he did for N.K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy (like The Kingdom of Gods). I’m glad to see Nielsen getting even more exposure, he’s one of my favourite artists.

An a synopsis:

Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but that was years ago. Wreck has grown up, and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the orphanage.

And Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a home. He’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply of the sap he sells. He’s also pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know—Zeke Wilkes, who almost certainly died six months ago. Zeke would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place, and that was probably what killed him.Maybe it’s only a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore, so he sneaks over the wall.

The walled-off wasteland of Seattle is every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas. And then there’s the monster. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human—and not a rotter, either. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicables.”

In the process of tracking down these creatures, Rector comes across another incursion through the wall — just as bizarre but entirely attributable to human greed. It seems some outsiders have decided there’s gold to be found in the city and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie unless Rector and his posse have anything to do with it.

Much to my shame, I haven’t actually read any of the Clockwork Century novels, so I can’t really comment on the synopsis above. Hopefully you’ve found it enjoyable/interesting, though!

The Inexplicables is set for release on November 12th, 2012.

Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks
Here’s a first glimpse at the cover for The Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks, first volume in his next trilogy, The Legacy of Shannara, which takes place after Straken, instead of being part of the series of prequel’s he has been working on for years.

The cover’s a bit of a change of pace from his last several (like this one), but it’s a welcome change. I never really groove on Steve Stone’s figure-based covers, so this turn to a more emblematic cover, somewhat reminiscient of the recent George R.R. Martin covers, is aright with me. It’s interesting to see that they’ve dropped the branding in the title of the series by going with a different font (though Brooks keeps its looped Os). In all, a little boring, but should look nice enough with a foil-stamped cover.

UPDATED: Here’s a short synopsis for the book from Shawn Speakman, Brooks’ webmaster and friend:

Wards of Faerie, Book I in The Dark Legacy of Shannara, is the indirect continuation of the story found in High Druid of Shannara. Only one character, Khyber Elessedil, is left from those previous books. She is the Ard Rhys of the Druid Keep Paranor and lives in a world where technology has the upper hand against the Druids and all they stand for. When one of her fellow Druids comes upon information that might lead to the missing Elfstones of Faerie—talismans that might help shift the magic/technology balance back to the middle—Khyber knows she must try to attain them at all costs.

What she finds is a threat much larger than technology.

Sounds good. The prequel books have been hit-or-miss in quality, so I’m sort of looking forward to getting back to ‘present day’ Shannara and dealing with the conflict between magic and emerging science. It’ll be interesting seeing Khyber as a lead character. Surely there’ll be an Ohmsford in there somewhere.