Just a couple of weeks ago, the cover art for the Tor Books edition of Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law leaked onto the web. It’s pretty, if McGrathy, and ties in well with his other Mistborn novels. As much as I had issues with the final two volumes of the trilogy (they should have been one tight novel), The Alloy of Law remains one of my most anticipated novels for 2011.
This UK cover only gets me more hot-and-bothered. Again, like the US cover, it ties in very nicely with the previously released covers for the original trilogy. I appreciate that they’re not beating you over the head with Steampunk (which Sanderson’s assistant, Peter Ahlstrom, has indicated is a bit of a misnomer when used to describe the novel) and instead embraces the magic and atmosphere of the series. I love the tagline, too:
There is still magic…
Sure, it’s generic, but anyone who’s finished the first trilogy can’t help but be curious given the climax and its fallout. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this.
Night had come to the city of Skalandarharia, the sort of night with such a quality of black to it that it was as if black coal had been wrapped in blackest velvet, bathed in the purple-black ink of the demon squid Drindel and flung down a black well that descended toward the deepest, blackest crevasses of Drindelthengen, the netherworld ruled by Drindel, in which the sinful were punished, the black of which was so legendarily black that when the dreaded Drindelthengenflagen, the ravenous blind black badger trolls of Drindelthengen, would feast upon the uselessly dilated eyes of damned, the abandoned would cry out in joy as the Drindelthengenflagenmorden, the feared Black Spoons of the Drindelthengenflagen, pressed against their optic nerves, giving them one last sensation of light before the most absolute blackness fell upon them, made yet even blacker by the injury sustained from a falling lump of ink-bathed, velvet-wrapped coal.
I’ll be honest. As much as I’ve always enjoyed Scalzi’s Science Fiction novels, I have also yearned for the day when he’d finally make a leap into the more viable, much more enjoyable realm of Fantasy. Inspired by many of the most prominent self-published novels of the past several years, The Shadow War of the Night Dragon: Book One: The Dead City finally looks to be that leap towards respectability that Scalzi’s always needed.
As for the cover itself: at first I was worried that that the typography was a little over the top—I mean, it’s huge, lime green and longer than healthy, but the more I look at the cover, the more I think it just… works. It’s certainly something that would catch a readers eye at the bookstore, and that’s the true purpose of cover art. What I appreciate most, however, is that the artist, the lovely John Stanko, hasn’t gone out of his way to emulate/trace/photograph a bunch of J-Crew models, but, instead went down to his local pub, rounded up some of the fellows sitting long-faced over their beers and used them as inspiration. It gives the novel a more genuine feel and makes me believe they could take on that scary Dragon lurking in the shadows of the background.
If you’re as curious about The Shadow War of the Night Dragon: Book One: The Dead City as I am, Tor.com has an early excerpt out. Review copies are expected within the next week or so, so keep an eye out for an early review later this month! Now, to go brush up on my Cthulhu-language so I can pronounce some of those names…
Just to ensure that Orbit Books doesn’t curbstomp me, I should make it clear that this is likely an early catalog cover and is subject to change (slightly or drastically) before the book ships later this year. For example, the first cover for Jemisin’s The Broken Kingdoms looked like this, the second (and final) version looked like this.
Phew. With that out of the way, can I squee? I don’t love it quite so much as the cover for the first and second volumes in Jemisin‘s The Inheritance Trilogy (no, not this one), but only due to my partiality towards the colour palettes used. It’s easy to say that Jemisin’s trilogy is one of the most consistent and sharpest looking sets to hit store shelves in years. Designer Lauren Panepinto and artist Cliff Nielsen deserve much attention and back-patting. It’s a crying shame that Orbit never released them in hardcover.
Terry Brooks has been around for a long time. He’s had good covers. He’s had bad covers. By this point, they could write his name in comic sans on a blank white cover and he’d sell like hotcakes. You’re either into Terry Brooks, or ambivalent. This cover’s just another trot around the block for artist Steve Stone. Nice colours, nice sense of exploration and the fantastic. In the end, it looks like a Terry Brooks book, and that’s good enough for me.
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be stro—
For a second there I forgot that I stopped caring about Paolini’s series six years ago. Sorry, just a hump-day brainfart.