Gollancz Cover Reveal of Twelve Kings
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.