Night Shade and the talented Aaron J. Riley have been hard at work on the cover for the third and final book in The Lays of Anuskaya, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. I just received this last night, and I’m all sorts of pleased.
I will admit, there’s always an adjustment for the author when you see the face of a character for the first time, because the artist will always envision them slightly differently than you did. But once I got over that (and really, it took no time at all because this is very close to how I pictured Nasim) I started to like this more and more and more.
That’s some gorgeous stuff right there. I’m really pleased with the oranges and yellows, which will play well with the flames motif. The light from the Atalayina (a powerful artifact in the books for the uninitiated) is a great effect. And I love Nasim’s look. Not fearful. Just surprised. He comes across as competent while under duress. Cool angle. Great details on the pillar and wall. The double robes and the embroidery on the hem and cuffs of his robe add a nice touch. Take a look at the damascus steel effects on the dagger. How cool is that?
Really great overall. There’s always some trepidation when cover art is coming, but I have to say that I’ve won the lottery three times with the books in this series. The last two have been more character oriented, this one even more than the fabulous Todd Lockwood cover of The Straits of Galahesh. And I think from a marketing perspective it’s the right way to go. It gives more sense of immediacy, of danger.
I think the cover design is going to be great as well. There are so many cool colors you could play with against this image, and there’s a lot of good negative space toward the top and bottom. I think the general aesthetic (fonts, placement, etc.) of the previous covers will lend themselves well to this cover too.