In the holy city of Othir, treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, just the place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and few scruples.
Caim makes his living on the edge of a blade, but when a routine job goes south, he is thrust into the middle of an insidious plot. Pitted against crooked lawmen, rival killers, and sorcery from the Other Side, his only allies are Josephine, the socialite daughter of his last victim, and Kit, a guardian spirit no one else can see. But in this fight for his life, Caim only trusts his knives and his instincts, but they won’t be enough when his quest for justice leads him from Othir’s hazardous back alleys to its shining corridors of power. To unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the empire, he must claim his birthright as the Shadow’s Son….
I’m a sucker for anything by Michael Komarck, and this is no exception. I’m thrilled that Pyr Books have finally gotten their hands on him. The novel itself sounds like typical Sword & Sorcery, but Pyr generally do a good job at finding novels that do justice to tried-and-true genres.
I completely panned Orbit’s first attempt at creating a cover for Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold. It was a disaster. A cover that tried to please everybody from every angle, and ended up as mish-mashed as Frankenstein’s Monster and missed every mark a good cover should hit. Furthering the pain was the beautiful cover for the UK edition.
The second time around, the new Art Director at Orbit Books, Lauren Panepinto, does a much better job of capturing the character of Joe’s novels, while also producing a Mass Market Paperback book that wouldn’t look amiss in the hands of any reader too shy to admit they read Fantasy. And really, you can never go wrong with simple, red, white and black. With a cover that wouldn’t look amiss in the Literature or Mystery section of a bookstore, it seems clear that Orbit is going after the non-Fantasy reader with this release. It’ll certainly look sharp sitting at the front of a bookstore, unidentified by genre. It still doesn’t hit the same level as the UK eidtion, but kudos to Orbit for getting far away from their original cover, and coming up with something that I’d want to pick up in the bookstore.
I was rather tepid on the cover art for the E-Book edition of The Eye of the World, but Tor Book has won all my loyalty back with the cover for The Great Hunt. An incredible re-imagining of the original Darrell K Sweet cover, Kotaki (the author I was most excited about, when these new covers were first announced) brings everything I wanted from these new covers to the classic series. If this is an indication of what’s to come, I hope Tor considers recovering the novels once the final two volumes are out (no doubt with inadequate Sweet artwork).
Cheers to Irene Gallo (art director at Tor) and Kekai Kotaki!
FOR THOSE HUNTING THE HORN OF VALERE: Try again.
The Quiet War is over. The city states of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have fallen to the Three Powers Alliance of Greater Brazil, the European Union and the Pacific Community. A century of enlightenment, rational utopianism and exploration of new ways of being human has fallen dark. Outers are herded into prison camps and forced to collaborate in the systematic plundering of their great archives of scientific and technical knowledge, while Earth’s forces loot their cities, settlements and ships, and plan a final solution to the ‘Outer problem’. But Earth’s victory is fragile, and riven by vicious internal politics. While seeking out and trying to anatomise the strange gardens abandoned in place by Avernus, the Outers’ greatest genius, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her. The diplomat Loc Ifrahim soon discovers that profiting from victory isn’t as easy as he thought. And in Greater Brazil, the Outers’ democratic traditions have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them. After a conflict fought to contain the expansionist, posthuman ambitions of the Outers, the future is as uncertain as ever. Only one thing is clear. No one can escape the consequences of war – especially the victors.
Ignoring the strange choice of title (given the success of Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon, albeit in a different genre), Pyr Books have another winner on their hands. I love the green overtones, a colour generally associated with Fantasy, but that works wonders for bringing out the character of space, and the bold splash of complimentary red from the ship in the lower corner. The use of a cursive font is odd, but I suppose it hints to the potential reader that they’re not picking up a hardcore Space Opera.
The painting is the work of the wonderful Sparth.