Gollancz Cover Reveal of Twelve Kings

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Today, Gollancz revealed the cover for Twelve Kings. You can head on over to their blog for a peak and a chance to win one of five advanced reading copies of the book.

Twelve Kings_Final


This cover was a long time in the making. I was lucky enough to have my editor, Gillian Redfearn, include me on some of the initial brainstorming, and I had chances to provide comments along the way as different incarnations progressed (and some were set aside), but I give credit to Gillian and the Gollancz art team for coming up with something that really captures the feel of the book.

The main character, Çeda, is a pit fighter, and clearly that aspect of her life is shown front and center here. But Çeda’s persona in the pits is only one small part of her story. She also works from the shadows against the Twelve Kings of Sharakhai. She’s been biding her time for years, ever since her mother’s death at the hands of the kings, waiting for the right moment to strike.

That moment finally comes when she goes out on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir, the night when the two moons are full and all are forbidden from treading the streets. It is on this night that one of the asirim, the fearsome defenders of the Kings, stops her and whispers a long-forgotten words in her ear. That one strange event—a thing chillingly linked to her mother’s death—gives Çeda a way to uncover the secrets the kings have worked so hard to bury in the sands.

I love that Çeda is stepping out from darkness and into light. I love that she’s holding a pair of shamshirs as she does. I love that she’s treading a dangerous path, a path lined by thorns and blood. It captures the essence of this book with a glance. Add to that just how eye-catching the overall design is, and I think Gollancz have come up with a real winner.


  1. Paul (@princejvstin)

    June 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I think this is a cover much more focused on symbolism than the US one. Not a bad thing, just a different pov

    • Brad

      June 19, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Yes, agreed. I think that’s somewhat representative of the overall differences between US and UK covers.

  2. Mihai A.

    June 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

    I’ve just met Çeda in your short story, “Irindai”, and I loved the experience. I loved the character, the setting and the story a lot. And now I can’t wait to read “Twelve Kings of Sharakhai”, to travel back to this lush and wonderful world and to meet Çeda again. :)
    Of course, I am also looking forward to a break in my schedule to finally catch up with the “Lays of Anuskaya”.

    • Brad

      June 23, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Thanks so much for the note, Mihai! I can’t wait to get Twelve Kings out there! There’ll be a few more ARC contests, so keep an eye out here or follow me on Twitter if you’re interested.