Cover Reveal: Skullsworn by Brian Staveley


Cover Reveal2


| Skullsworn by Brian Staveley |

Another day, another cover reveal missed! Last week, Brian Staveley and Tor revealed the cover art for Skullsworn, a new novel set in the world of The Emperor’s Blades. And yes, that can only mean one thing – another absolutely phenomenal cover by Richard Anderson!

Anderson’s artwork never fails to blow me away and has become an unchallenged fantasy favourite. With his dynamic compositions, recognisable style and effortless blend of a vibrant and muted palette, this cover reveal has left me itching to get my hands on – and possibly frame – Skullsworn.

Remember to check out the Tor post for the inside scoop and a whole host of wonderful sketches!



Skullsworn

by Brian Staveley

Artwork by Richard Anderson

Tor US – April 2017


| Synopsis |

Brian Staveley’s new standalone returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess attempting to join the ranks of the God of Death.

Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer–she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one you love / who will not come again.”

Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god.

Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love…and ending it on the edge of her sword.

What do you think of the cover for Skullsworn? Does this sound like something you would read?

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The Friday Face-Off: March 04


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


| The Friday Face-Off: Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner |

As soon as I saw the stunning covers for Marc Turner’s Dragon Hunters, a book which has a premise just as captivating as its wrappings, I knew this second novel in The Chronicles of the Exile belonged at the top of my to-read list – and that it had to feature on The Friday Face-Off.

Published by Titan in the UK and Tor / Forge in the US, we have two incredibly evocative pieces of artwork to ogle. With both covers capturing the drama and scale of this imaginative work of fantasy, this week’s face-off is sure to prove a tough choice. Take a look and see which cover comes out on top.


Titan – UK Cover

Tor / Forge – US Cover

Artwork by Greg Manchess

“Wow, that is stunning! I saw some pencil sketches of the cover a few months ago, but kudos to Greg Manchess for producing a final image that really captures the drama and threat of the book. I love how the waterline view makes the dragon loom higher. I also love how the creature seems to be staring at you rather than at the unfortunate souls on the ship. Hard to believe, looking at that cover, that the dragon is the one that’s being hunted. Perhaps someone should remind the creature of that fact.”

Marc Turner


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Both of these covers are ridiculously stunning and highlight one of the most appealing aspects of this book – the sea serpents! Whilst both the UK and the US cover capture two wonderfully dynamic images of dragons intent on dealing some damage on the high seas, both offerings remain distinct in their style and excecution.

However, despite the wonderful artwork of Greg Manchess, this week’s face-off has to go to Titan’s UK cover. The colours and lighting which play across the stormy skies and seas are so dramatic and so eye-catching that they bring out my inner magpie at just a glance. Plus, that is one awesome looking dragon. Titan? More please!

Which cover wins your vote this week? And stay tuned for the upcoming review!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Announcement


From Friday 11th March, The Friday Face-Off will be a weekly meme! Each week will follow a loose theme – which should of course spark a veritable cornucopia of visual delights – just post and compare your favourites from across the globe and link back to that Friday’s post.

The master list is currently being compiled and will be posted in the next few days. If there are any themes you are eager to see just drop me a comment or message! Happy cover hunting bookworms!

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The Friday Face-Off: February 19


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


| The Friday Face-Off: Vicious by V.E. Schwab |

Oops! I’ve most definitely failed by February challenge of posting every day… but before Friday comes to a swift close, here is this week’s Face-Off.

This week we’re returning to the brilliant V.E. (Victoria) Schwab and her wonderfully dark novel Vicious. Published by Titan in the UK and by Tor in the US, we’re looking at two gorgeous and entirely different covers which showcase some comic (anti)hero inspired artwork by Amazing15 and  Victo Ngai. Scroll down to see which one wins your vote.


Titan – UK Cover

Cover Design by Amazing15

“It’s so completely different from the US cover, which I adore with fiery heart, but I love it so very, very much. It’s dark and punchy and movie poster glorious, and my main character, Victor, looks like an arrogant badass, which is essentially what he is and ngghhhhhhh.”

V.E. Schwab

Tor – US Cover

Artwork by Victo Ngai

“I am a very, very lucky author.”

V.E. Schwab


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

This week Vicious threw up a difficult choice. I love Titan’s UK cover – I love how bold it is, how it grabs you as soon as you see it, how it takes the superhero theme and uses it to create a punchy and eye-catching cover, and I love those grungy blacks and whites and reds. It’s also a book I’m consistently drawn to as it loiters on my bookshelves – so it very nearly tipped the balance in Amazing15’s favour!

But Victo Ngai. The more I look at her artwork, the more I love it. It’s simply stunning – and not just on the Vicious cover (seriously, check her out!). The more you stare at this cover, the more details become apparent and the more you come to appreciate what a wonderful piece of illustration this is. It speaks to the book, it speaks to the superhero genre, and it remains playful whilst revealing the darkness at the core of this novel. It really is perfect for Vicious.

Check out the making of the US Vicious cover on Tor.com


Have you read Vicious? Which is your favourite cover? 

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The Friday Face-Off: February 05


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


| The Friday Face-Off: The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley |

This week’s Friday Face-Off is taking a very thorough look at the covers for Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades, the first Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne and a somewhat new addition to my reading pile (yes, I’m late to the party once again!). Published by Tor Books in both the UK and the US, we have two beautiful covers to cast our eyes over… and if you hear me squealing a little it’s because we have a ridiculously gorgeous Richard Anderson cover in the mix!


Tor – UK

Cover Design by Jo Thompson

I love the way this cover captures the cold menace that pervades the book. All the elements are there, presented in a wonderfully understated way — the mystery, the malice, even the grim determination of the Emperor’s children, which I see strung through the tendons of the hand gripping the sword.”

~ Brian Staveley

Tor – US

Artwork by Richard Anderson 

“I try not to be superficial, but when Richard Anderson’s stunning cover finally sidled up to the bar, my first thought was that she was, well… gorgeous. Didn’t pay much attention, at first, to whether we had anything in common—I just stared and stared, trying to keep my mouth closed.”

~ Brian Staveley


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

TEB - win -test

Oh dear, don’t look at me that way beautiful and atmospheric Tor UK cover! I can’t help it -Richard Anderson will probably win every time! A cold brutality permeates the UK cover and, overlaid with an elegant and eye-catching typeface, creates an atmospheric piece of art which would make me pick up this book in a heartbeat. The US cover, however, is an entirely different prospect. Showcasing the beautiful artwork of Anderson, this is a cover which stirs the imagination and conjures up the fantastical worlds which lie just beyond its borders. Both beautiful and evocative, this is a cover which is hard not to look at and is a definite winner for me!


Have you read The Emperor’s Blade? Which is your favourite cover? 

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Cover Reveal: Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Cover Reveal


| Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky |

It seems like only yesterday I was gushing over the cover for The Tiger and the Wolf – the forthcoming title by Adrian Tchaikovsky (which is brilliant! Review out soon!) – and here we are with a new book close to hand! Tor US have just revealed the wonderfully creepy (crawly) cover for Spiderlight, a brand new fantasy novel which comes out this August. Illustrated by Tyler Jacobson and designed by Christine Foltzer, Spiderlight conveys a distinctly dark and atmospheric impression for what promises to be another fantastic novel by this master of speculative fiction.



Spiderlight

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Illustrated by Tyler Jacobson | Designed by Christine Foltzer

Tor US – 2nd August 2016


| Synopsis |

from tor.com

The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen.

Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…

Spiderlight is an exhilarating fantasy quest from Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author of Guns at Dawn and the Shadows of the Apt series.

What do you think of the cover for Spiderlight? Does this sound like something you would read?

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The Friday Face-Off: January 29


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


| The Friday Face-Off: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab |

We’re soon to be celebrating the release of A Gathering of Shadows (hello, February 23rd!) so it seemed like perfect timing to have a look back at the first in what looks to become a highly enjoyable series. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is a dazzling, gripping foray into a world that parts at its seams and allows the brave, the bold and the bloody reckless to slide between its pages. Published by Titan in the UK and Tor in the US, this week we have two striking covers to weigh up. Take a look at the contenders and see which, if any, you favour…


Titan – UK Cover

Cover Design by Julia Lloyd

Tor – US Cover

Cover Design by Will Staehle


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

ADSoM - winner

I love both of these covers! They’re both beautiful, clearly relate back to the story and have a simple, eye-catching palette. The Titan cover is bold and brilliant – and makes a wonderful addition to my bookshelf! However it’s the illustrative Tor cover by Will Staehle that just tips the balance over to the other side of the Atlantic. Staehle’s cover is well composed and elegant whilst retaining its striking, bold use of colour and the typeface has a wonderful oldy-worldy quality to it that pairs well with the stylised illustration. As a whole Staehle’s cover just really hits me in my face-off sweet spot! 


Have you read A Darker Shade of Magic? Which is your favourite cover? 

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