Here we go, the cover design for Drakenfeld, which is published in October. This was created by the talented in-house team at Pan Macmillan. Pretty good, right? Told you there’d be no hooded figure.
Of all my many covers, this is by far the best and most appropriate. It really sums up the book, because nations (or rather nationalism) are core to the series, and the idea with the covers is that each novel features a coloured banner representing the country in which the novel takes place. The one above is the banner of Detrata, with a double-headed falcon, various glaives and swords and a lovely icon. It also evokes the classical world, which was – as regular followers of the blog might have guessed – a major inspiration for the novel. I like to think that the main continent of Vispasia could sit just off the classical maps, as some forgotten corner of the world yet to be discovered by archeologists.
Anyway, just as important as all that, I think this cover has pretty wide appeal, connecting with fantasy fans, while not putting off crime or historical readers. And it’s just very striking, either as a thumbnail (like here) or simply sitting on a bookshelf. In addition to this cover, there will be internal art as well such as maps. The whole book will be rather lovely to look at. Hopefully you’ll find the words are all in the right order, too.
Here’s the back cover text:
“I am Lucan Drakenfeld, second son of Calludian, Officer of the Sun Chamber and keeper of the peace. Sometimes people get in the way of that ambition…”
The monarchies of the Royal Vispasian Union have been bound together for two hundred years by laws maintained and enforced by the powerful Sun Chamber. As a result, nations have flourished but corruption, deprivation and murder will always find a way to thrive.
Receiving news of his father’s death Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld is recalled home to the ancient city of Tryum and rapidly embroiled in a mystifying case. The King’s sister has been found brutally murdered – her beaten and bloody body discovered in a locked temple. With rumours of dark spirits and political assassination, Drakenfeld has his work cut out for him trying to separate superstition from certainty. His determination to find the killer quickly makes him a target as the underworld gangs of Tryum focus on this new threat to their power.
Embarking on the biggest and most complex investigation of his career, Drakenfeld soon realises the evidence is leading him towards a motive that could ultimately bring darkness to the whole continent. The fate of the nations is in his hands.
Publication date: October, 2013.
I like it. And I don’t like anything. Well done; and I’m happy to see Drakenfeld moving apace.
Its a shiny cover. Double headed bird of prey (not an eagle, oops!)
The cover doesn’t say “secondary world police procedural” though.
We’re aiming for the core audience of fantasy, first and foremost. Historical readers might naturally swing by, curious about it, and crime readers won’t be put off. If, for example, you look at the CJ Sansom novels (in the UK at least) they’re very firmly in the historical bracket. Besides, in the UK, police procedurals are generally all bleak moorland scenes!
That’s a fabulous cover. Really striking. Congrats 🙂
If it’s not rude to say so, the bird looks a bit like a muppet version of an evil bird, but I guess a “normal” bird would be less interesting.
It’s not strictly about it being ‘interesting’; I’d suggest it was more an aesthetic of other banners, historically, and reflecting that to book buyers.
Sure thing, that’s what I meant with “normal” bird, indicating the formalised nature of all heraldry, but you have to adapt it some to the tone, don’t you? As I said, I don’t mean to be disrepsectful, but there is some cartoon “evilness” to him. I suppose I was reminded of the Skeksis in “The Dark Crystal” and Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2… And that does contribute to its interesting impreesion, however constituted, no?
Sorry, wasn’t complete actually: I know what you mean, and I don’t mean it’s “fake” or whatever, just not completely “neutral”, if you know what I mean, and what I or anyone thinks of it is more or less purely anecdotal….