Covers are a powerful thing. Some compel me. Some repel me. And some slam me against the wall, violate me, pull at every string of desire in my body and demand that I read the book inside.
Posts Categorized: Cover Art
Previous entries in this re-imagining of Abercrombie’s covers have come under fire for featuring too-pretty portrayals of his famously violent characters. And, really, should a man called ‘The Cripple’ really look this good? How about a scarred and battle-worn Barbarian? Still, this time around you have playboy Jezal Dan Luthar adorning the cover, and he’s anything but ugly in the text of the novels (though they’ve left out a certain scar attained by our pretty-boy in Before They Are Hanged.) I’m a fan of Chris McGrath, the artist, and generally like the set of covers, but it’s an odd decision to go with a trio of handsome (if slightly grizzled) figures that more or less completely miss the point being made by Abercrombie and fail to capture the tone of his work. War is ugly, mates, you just wouldn’t know it from these covers.
Complaining aside, I do like the general design of the covers and the artwork is among McGrath’s best. These will no doubt look quite sharp all lined up in a row on a bookshelf.
Thanks to The Mad Hatter for the heads up.
From the Pyr Blog:
Lord Isak is dead; his armies and entire tribe in disarray. As the Farlan retreat and Kastan Styrax mourns his dead son, it is King Emin who takes the initiative while he still can. The secret, savage war he has devoted his life to nears its terrible conclusion as Ruhen positions himself as answer to the Land’s problems. Before the conquering eye of the Menin turns in his direction Emin must take his chance and strike without mercy.
A showdown is coming and battle lines are drawn as blood is spilled across the Land. The specter of the Great War looms but this time the Gods are not marching to war. It will be men who decide the future now. But before victory, before survival, there must first be salvation—even if it must be sought in the darkest place imaginable.
With the tide turning against Emin and his allies the key to their survival may lie in the hands of a dead man.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Todd Lockwood (the artist behind The Ragged Man). It’s also no secret that I feel he’s been a bit overworked the past couple of years, giving his work an inconsistent quality. Luckily for Lloyd, he seems to have caught Lockwood on the upswing, with some quality artwork (reminiscent of Lockwood’s work on Eldon Thompson’s The Divine Talisman). Plus, The Ragged Man is a wonderful title. It’s just too bad about that man thong….
Absolutely incredible. Just as impressive are some of the preliminary sketches by artist Dan dos Santos:
From the tor.com blog post about the cover:
By this time in the series I thought we should start to see some of the many strong women in The Wheel of Time. After collecting notes from various people, and an extended lunch with Tor.com’s resident life-long WoT-fan Megan Messinger, it became apparent that Moiraine’s final action in The Fires of Heaven was a moment well worth commemorating.
It didn’t take long to decide who the artist should be: over the past seven years, Dan Dos Santos has risen to be one of the most admired voices in the field. His talent for painting preternaturally beautiful women and his mastery of an intensely chromatic palette made him an easy choice for depicting Moiraine.
The trick, it turned out, was showing a lead character in an atypical moment: a fight scene. Dan’s answer was to go beyond the actual fight and into Moiraine’s thoughts prior to the sequence, where she envisions putting several key elements into play that aid other characters on their journey.
To the new-comer, it’s a striking image of a woman amongst something chaotic and magical; to the fans, it commemorates a character at a deeply consequential moment while foreshadowing events in further books.
It’s hard to believe, but each cover in the series has been better than the last. I absolutely cannot wait to see the series re-issued in a physical format with these covers. Another bravo to Irene Gallo and the art department at Tor Books!
From Deas‘ website:
When Berren makes the mistake of stealing a purse from a thief-taker, it should have condemned him to a short and brutal life in the slave-mines. So when the thief-taker offers to train him as an apprentice instead, he can’t believe his luck. The thief-taker has secrets of his own, though, and Berren is soon sucked into a faraway war, filled with mercenary soldiers, necromancers who brew potions that can change your destiny, and a psychotic girl-princess with a penchant for cutting pieces out of her lovers’ souls.
Jokes about hooded figures aside (there’s two this time, talk about innovation!), I like this artwork from Paul Young. Particularly, I enjoy how he uses the bright colours of the doorway to create contrast with the rest of the image and give the illusion of the thieves being hidden in the shadows without losing too much detail. The fellow on the left looks a little stiff, though. I do like the general layout of the text. The Thief Taker’s Apprentice is a sharp title.
As for the book itself, I’ve not read any of Deas’ other work, but it sounds interesting, if a bit similar to Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy. Still, you can hardly go wrong with Assassin’s and insane princesses.