Posts Categorized: Cover Art

NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR by Mark Charan NewtonCITY OF RUIN by Mark Charan Newton

I’m fairly certain that Newton and the art team at Tor UK are just trolling me at this point. An old geezer and a melancholy Dashboard Confessional fan who doesn’t even know how to properly wear a bag with a shoulder strap? Le sigh. I’m far more interested in the fact that Newton spent some time combing through the first volume, Nights of Villjamur, and smoothing out some of the wrinkles:

There’s more, though: I’ve actually made quite a few (over a hundred) changes to Nights of Villjamur. Call it the ambitions of a first-time author, call it crap writing, but there were a few points of the text in this book that I believed caused a clunky experience. I’ve managed to iron many, many of these out, thankfully. It’s only a word or two here, a line there – not a complete re-edit, mind you, but enough to give me peace of mind that the most ridiculous of the excesses have now been removed.

This sort of thing happens all the time when authors are given a chance to tinker with their own work (David Anthony Durham recently mentioned that he’s done the same thing to the first volume of his Acacia trilogy). Nevertheless, it would be interesting to compare the revision.


You know, hooded figure aside, that’s pretty darn sexy and much preferable to the photorealistic cover for The Black Prism, while still retaining the same feeling for the series. This isn’t the final cover, but gives us a good idea of the direction that Orbit Books is taking with the series. I like it. Great colours. I’ll be sure to post the final cover when I get my hands on it.


RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie

I like this new direction for the US editions of Abercrombie’s novels, even if I still prefer the UK covers. They’re well executed and take a familiar concept (dude with a sword), but inject some life into it. This will sit well along the trade paperback releases of Best Served Cold and The Heroes. So, good on Lauren Panepinto, art director at Orbit Books, for saving the series’ cover from their previous lows. I was hoping for something that would reflect the Western influence on the novel, like a pistol (do they exist yet in Abercrombie’s world?) or a dude with a mean handlebar moustache and a wide-brimmed hat, but, well, c’est la vie.

Panepinto’s brief thoughts on the cover:

I’m super excited to be able to continue our new US cover style from the trade paperbacks of The Heroes and Best Served Cold into the hardcover of Red Country. These have been the most epic photo shoots I’ve ever participated in, and Michael Frost and Gene Mollica have done an excellent job casting, styling, and producing fantastic images. The model for this shoot was particularly into the shoot, having been Pierce Brosnan’s Bond stunt double! Extra credit.

Last week, I gathered together everything we know about (A) Red Country into one handy post, so head there for a synopsis and some juicy analysis. And, if you’re into book trailers (for some reason…), you can find a short teaser for (A) Red Country at Fantasy Faction.

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.