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….

  • neth February 9, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Ha! I love the thong comment. And yes, it’s a bit unfortunate.

  • PeterWilliam February 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I love Aidan’s cover art discussion here. If only for that, I’d be checking in every day. :D

  • N. R. Alexander February 9, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I’m afraid we have to part ways on this one, Aidan. The man-thong totally makes this cover for me. ;)

  • aidan February 9, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Thanks Peter! The cover art posts are a fun way to keep the content flowing here on A Dribble of Ink. Glad I’m not the only one who enjoys them.

  • neth February 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I suppose it’s not necessarily a man-thong. It could be a female in facing the dragon. Afterall, the mid-drift is bare as well.

  • Kendall February 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Good cover and I always like cover-related posts here.

    I clicked to look at the larger image and it’s not a thong (man or otherwise); there are thin pants and some kind of leather(?) accoutrements on top. But I can see how it looks like a thong from the smaller/lower-res image.

    (In the higher-res image, the pants are shown to stretch interestingly to highlight the character’s, um, cheeks. Whatever the gender–I presume it’s the protagonist–isn’t that a guy?–I’m not complaining about the sexy clothes, LOL….)

    BTW, I didn’t know man-thongs were different from woman-thongs…. ;-)

  • Joseph February 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Hmm…I only got round to reading the first book by Lloyd. Began to read the 2nd, but quickly became disinterested and moved on. I may go back to it. I think one of my major problems was with Isak, the main character. Over seven foot and weighing more than twenty stone. It’s later mentioned he’s getting even bigger, that he weighs twice as much as some of the other White Eyes. So, does he weigh more than twenty stone, then? Crazy stuff. Certainly makes for a change from other main characters in the genre, like Locke, HP and Fitz. :D

  • aidan February 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I have been informed, by those in the know, that that is a woman on the cover. So, no man thongs, just an ill informed fashion faux pas by a heroine.

  • neth February 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    then all is OK because a woman wearing an armor-thong (is this some freaky chastity belt?) that leaves the mid-drift bare makes complete sense.

  • aidan February 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Ahh, Ken, Ken Ken… your cheek behooves you, for you must not be aware that Dragons, as a rule, never strike a person’s midriff. Thus, armour covering that section is nothing more than useless metal, weighing our heroine down.

  • neth February 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    While I certainly concede that a male dragon (well, a heterosexual male dragon) would like appreciate a well-presented mid-drift enough to no damage the beauty. However, I don’t think a female dragon would be so reluctant – in fact in a rage of jealousy, she may be more inclined to strike directly at said mid-drift.

    So, the pertinent question of the question about this cover is actually – is it a boy dragon or a girl dragon?

  • aidan February 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    One hopes, for the sake of the shapely woman, that it’s a male dragon. Then again, one less thong-wearing warrior woman gracing the front cover of Fantasy novels may be a good thing….

  • Sam Sykes February 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I’m not sure why it would matter, really. A dragon, what with its giant clawed hands and fiery breath, does not seem the kind of creature to appreciate precision striking enough to aim for any part of an anatomy.

    A lot of people complain that anything less than heavy armor is impractical for fantasy heroes: heroes that crawl, climb, tumble and frequently move around a lot.

    Combat thongs, though, are a little harder to defend.

  • aidan February 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    To your point, Sam, why wear armour at all if you can simply flash your luscious buttocks at your enemy and then stab them in the eye while they’re entranced?

  • Sam Sykes February 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Against certain enemies, that might work. Against a dragon? Well, what’s he going to do with that?

    I’d be interested to hear the reasoning behind this, actually, and I’d look further into it if I could ever finish Stormcaller.

  • Josiah Cadicamo February 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Haha it seems to me that if one is crawling leaping and generally moving about a great deal heavy armor might be more dangerous then the afore mentioned thong. After all it seems that dying of hyperventilation would be almost as bad as decapitation.

    Of course the real reason for this support of the thong is i just enjoy looking at the thong more.

    : )