It’s… alright, I guess. I haven’t been blown away by any of the covers for the series, and the shift in tone and subject, if not style, is a little jarring, but, hey, swords and axes had little to do with Abraham’s series, anyways. Torches are cool, I guess. I’m neither here nor there on the cover. It’s okay. I have no doubt that what’s underneath will be rockin’. Abraham suggests there might still be minor changes coming, but the design is almost final.
Speaking of, here’s the synopsis, beware, of course, of spoilers for the first two volumes, for there are several:
The great war cannot be stopped.
The tyrant Geder Palliako begins a conquest aimed at bringing peace to the world, though his resources are stretched too thin. When things go poorly, he finds a convenient target among the thirteen races and sparks a genocide.
Clara Kalliam, freed by having fallen from grace, remakes herself as a “loyal traitor” and starts building an underground resistance movement that seeks to undermine Geder through those closest to him.
Cithrin bel Sarcour is apprenticing in a city that’s taken over by Antea, and uses her status as Geder’s one-time lover to cover up an underground railroad smuggling refugees to safety.
And Marcus Wester and Master Kit race against time and Geder Palliako’s soldiers in an attempt to awaken a force that could change the fate of the world.
The Tyrant’s Law is set for a May, 2013 release, and I’m already salivating.
Tor.com today revealed the cover art, and a synopsis, of one of the most curious novels slated for 2013, Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist. The synopsis, written by Tor Teen’s Susan Chang:
The Rithmatist is an epic fantasy set in an alternate version of our world—a world in which life in the American Isles is threatened by the attacks of mysterious creatures known as Wild Chalklings. Chalklings are two-dimensional drawings that can be infused with life by Rithmatists and it is the job of the Rithmatists to keep the Wild Chalkings at bay.
You may wonder how a two-dimensional drawing could possibly be a threat. Here’s the answer: Wild Chalklings scurry across the ground like scorpions or land piranhas, and bite chunks out of your feet. At which point you fall to the ground and they swarm you. Enough said.
The Rithmatist is about a 14-year-old kid named Joel who wants desperately to be a Rithmatist. But he wasn’t Chosen, so he doesn’t have the ability to bring chalklings or Rithmatic lines to life. All he can do is watch as The Rithmatist students at Armedius Academy learn the mystical art that he would give anything to practice. Then Rithmatist students start disappearing, kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving only trails of blood. Joel’s professor asks him to help investigate—putting Joel and his friend Melody on the trail of a discovery that could change Rithmatics—and their world—forever….
The cover itself is sorta bog-standard YA, thought the steampunk horse is kind of cool. The synopsis, however, sounds like pure Sanderson (which, in the opinion of this blogger, is a very good thing), and I’m as curious to see Sanderson play with alternate history as I’m excited to see him explore and develop yet another new magic system. I also feel like Sanderson’s prose and story structure fit well with a YA audience. Looking good, all around.
Update: The previous cover posted was an early mockup. Thanks to Peter Ahlstrom, Sanderson’s assistant, I’ve posted the final cover.
I mean, the upside-down sword is fairly overdone at this point, but the cover is nicely executed and I’m glad to see a change of scenery now that The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is over. It’s still identifiably Erikson, thanks to the typeface, but also clearly from a new series. Reminiscent of the Gollancz editions of Richard Morgan’s The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands.
Read More »
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.