Posts Categorized: Cover Art

SHADOW'S MASTER by Jon Sprunk

The northern wastes. . . .

A land of death and shadow where only the strongest survive. Yet that is where Caim must go to follow the mystery at the heart of his life. Armed only with his knives and his companions, he plunges into a world of eternal night where the sun is never seen and every hand is turned against him.

Caim has buried his father’s sword and found some measure of peace, but deep in the north an unfathomable power lays waiting. To succeed on this mission, Caim will have to more than just survive. He must face the Shadow’s Master.

Not my favourite from Pyr, or Komarck, frankly, and I’m not a fan of the colour palette at all, but I appreciate them keeping consistency across the series. I really need to read Shadow’s Son at some point.

THE SWORD & SORCERY ANTHOLOGY

Terrifying barbarians, cunning mages, and daring heroes run rampant through these exceptional examples of the exciting sword and sorcery genre. In “Tower of the Elephant,” Conan takes up jewel thievery but proves to be far better with his sword. “The Flamer Bringers” finds antihero Elric infiltrating a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries and outwitting a powerful sorcerer. “Become a Warrior” is the unexpected tale of a child who loses all she holds dear, only to gain unforeseen power and unlikely revenge. Further entries come from early legends such as Jack Vance and Catherine Louise Moore, the next wave of talents including Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock, and modern trendsetters like George R.R. Martin, Karl Edward Wagner, and David Drake. This essential, fast-paced anthology is a chronological gathering of influential, inventive, and entertaining fantasy—sure to appeal to action-oriented fans.

A perfectly schlocky cover.

And look at that lineup. Mighty, mighty fine. The anthology seems to be a re-print anthology hoping to chronicle the progression of the Sword & Sorcery sub-genre, something that fans introduced to Fantasy by the likes of Game of Thrones might be particularly interested in if they’re curious about the roots of the genre. Which stories by the listed authors would you like to see included in the anthology?

The Sword & Sorcery Anthology will find store shelve in June, 2012, published by Tachyon Publications.

AND BLUE SKIES FROM PAIN by Stina Leicht

Northern Ireland, 1977. Liam Kelly is many things: a former wheelman for the IRA, a one-time political prisoner, the half-breed son of a mystic Fey warrior and a mortal woman, and a troubled young man literally haunted by the ghosts of his past. Liam has turned his back on his land’s bloody sectarian Troubles, but the war isn’t done with him yet, and neither is an older, more mythic battle–between the Church and its demonic enemies, the Fallen.

After centuries of misunderstanding and conflict, the Church is on the verge of accepting that the Fey and the Fallen are not the same. But to achieve this historic truce, Liam must prove to the Church’s Inquisitors that he is not a demon, even as he wrestles with his own guilt and confusion, while being hunted by enemies both earthly and unworldly.

A shape-shifter by nature, Liam has a foot in two worlds–and it’s driving him mad.

As I work to assemble my year-end ‘Best of…’ list, one novel that continually demands inclusion is a relatively quiet debut novel from Stina Leicht. It’s called Of Blood and Honey and it’s beautiful.

From my review of Of Blood and Honey:

Not since Jim Butcher’s Storm Front have I read an Urban Fantasy that has felt so relevant to the overall discussion of Fantasy literature. Of Blood and Honey is Fantasy that deserves to stand alongside the best that authors like Powers, Gaiman and De Lint have to offer. It’s not perfect, but Leicht blew me away with her debut and has the potential to become a very important name in the annals of Urban Fantasy. If you’re bored of the same ol’ Epic Fantasy, or you need a break from spaceships, hyperdrives and anti-grav suits, cleanse your palette with Of Blood and Honey and find out just how good Urban Fantasy can be.

The cover for Of Blood and Honey first caused me to pick up the novel, and I think this cover is even more haunting and eye-catching. And Blue Skies From Pain is one of my most highly anticipated 2012 releases.