Posts Categorized: Cover Art

KING OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

Another Fantasy cover, another hooded figure.

So, why do I like this one when so many others have frustrated and left me feeling hollow? There’s panache, it’s got chutzpah, character, personality. Seemingly influenced by Michael Komarck’s famous portrait of Jaime Lannister, the main character of Lawrence’s trilogy just oozes charisma. He looks like an absolute jackass, but somehow you want to know more about him and the situation that led to him lounging confidently on a throne atop a pile of dead bodies. What’s he holding. Who is he?

It also helps that the cover is entirely illustrated, instead of a photo manipulation featuring Mark Charan Newton in a hood with a photoshopped sword of fireball super-imposed over his white knuckles.

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

Since the release of her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin’s been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and World Fantasy awards. It’s a tremendous novel (see my REVIEW), but I also think a lot of its success can be attributed to some of the early excitement and speculation created by the release of the gorgeous cover. Of course, cover art is never used as a metric when nominating for or judging these awards, but the novel gained some significant buzz among the blogosphere that likely wouldn’t have existed (especially for a debut novelist without much in the way of published short fiction) if not for the striking work of designer Lauren Panepinto and artist Cliff Nielsen.

I like these covers for much the same reason as Jemisin’s previous colour: impactful use of colour. As they stand (and this could very well change between now and the final polished versions), I feel that the typeface seems a little out of place, though I like that it’s been kept simple (instead of something like this, for instance). It could also be solved by using a foil-technique (as Orbit used on the paperback of Brent Weeks’ The Black Prism, also seen on the recent paperback release of Towers of Midnight by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan), which generally looks sharp. In all, it’s a niggling complaint and I can’t wait to see the final copies in hand. Just as with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I’m bloody excited for these novels based on the covers alone without even knowing what they’re about. I can’t think of higher praise for the designer/artist.

CALIBAN'S WAR by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck)
Cover Not Final — Art by Daniel Dociu

We are not alone.

The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying.

When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, the race is on to discover if the protomolecule has escaped Venus, or if someone is building an army of super-soldiers.

Jim Holden is the center of it all. In spite of everything, he’s still the best man for the job to find out what happened on Ganymede. Either way, the protomolecule is loose and Holden must find a way to stop it before war engulfs the entire system.

CALIBAN’S WAR is an action-packed space adventure following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes.

Yesterday we had the cover for Abraham’s Fantasy offering, The King’s Blood and today we’ve got his collaborative Science Fiction (alongside the awesomely fun Ty Franck), Caliban’s War, the sequel to Leviathan Wakes (which rules, REVIEW), the second volume of The Expanse trilogy.

I’ve been informed by Orbit that this is an early, unfinished look at the cover, so expect a nice layer of polish to be added to the final copy. I loved the cover for Leviathan Wakes and this one looks like it’ll be just as great (if not quite so impressionistic and soothing). Burning Coruscant certainly promises that the action will gain scope in the second volume. That said, I don’t think the typeface works so well with this title. My excitement for the novel continues to be sky-high.

THE KING'S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham

War casts its shadow over the lands that the dragons once ruled. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no one stands between hope and universal darkness.

The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up, and everything will be remade. And quietly, almost beneath the notice of anyone, an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world.

An early cover nicked from the recent Orbit Books catalog. A decent continuation of the cover for the original book in the series, The Dragon’s Path. Not much else to say, other than to re-assert my slavering anticipation for the novel.

The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

Wowee. Wonderful cover. (Weird, though, that it has the same title as another Tor title, written by mega-personality, China Mieville.) If only I knew who the artist was, so I could slaver over the rest of their art. Looks a little like Justin Sweet, but I’m not convinced.

Continuing their newfound tradition of mining Eastern Europe/Russia for popular, untranslated works (like Alexei Pehov’s Shadow Prowler), The Scar is coming over to North American shores after finding much critical success in its homeland.

Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their reemergence through love and courage. Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him.

Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path. Toria, the woman whose fiancé Egert killed, hates Egert, and is saddened and numb, but comes to forgive the drastically changed Egert.

Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten.

It sounds like a tight, personal story, which is something I always appreciate in a novel. There’s also something to be said about Fantasy conventions and settings being approached by people raised in other countries and cultures (Ukraine, in this case). It’s firmly on my rader for that reason alone (and, well, that cover. Yum!)

(The final sentence of that blurb is patently ridiculous, though, no matter how good the book is.)