Art by Marc Simonetti

Art by Marc Simonetti

Michael J. Sullivan revealed the cover art for The Death of Dulgath, the third volume in his Riyira Chronicles series, with artwork by French artist Marc Simonetti.

Marc Simonetti is one of my favourite fantasy artists, and his work here is just sublime. It should surprise no one that I’m much in favour of the shift away from the photo-realistic, figure-based covers that Orbit produced for the first two books in the Riyira Chronicles series. Sullivan agrees. “I never felt that the models used for the other pair were a good representation of how I saw Royce and Hadrian. But, by the time I saw them it was far too late to do anything about it,” he said on his blog. “For [The Death of Dulgath], we wanted to keep Royce and Hadrian’s back to the camera and focus instead on Castle Dulgath, a run-down abode on the edge of the sea and the site of the majority of the novel.”

For fun, you can watch Simonetti create the illustration thanks to It’s Art Magazine.

We wanted to focus on Castle Dulgath, a run-down abode on the edge of the sea.

Sullivan is currently running a Kickstarter for The Death of Dulgath, a somewhat surprising move after Orbit Books published the five previous Riyira novels to, I believe, strong commercial success. However, Orbit recently declined their option to publish Sullivan’s Rhune, a pre-cursor to the Riyira Revelations, fulfilling their contract and leaving Sullivan free to return to his roots as a self-published author. Rhune was eventually picked up, along with several other volumes in the The First Empire series, by Del Rey.

Sullivan has written extensively about his decision to publish his books traditionally in concert with self-published volumes.