Today is a particularly exciting one as we get to share cover artwork for the magnificent, the page-turning, the out-and-out brilliant STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff (publication Sept 2012). This is an adventurous dystopian fantasy with a hint of steampunk and a flavour of feudal Japan. It's also a thumping good read featuring a young girl brought up in the shadow of a ruthless regime, who bonds with a supposedly-extinct griffin. Together, they realise they can right a great wrong - but at great cost. I have a feeling HUNGER GAMES fans will adore this one. I did! See some words from the author, input from our designer and also something on that fabulous plot below. There's also another version of the cover in big!
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Jay Kristoff was a big help in getting us spot-on descriptions and the right source material references so our cover matched his vision. And given this feedback, he seems very happy indeed:
'It's on the Whovian Scale of Awesome (totally an official mode of measurement), I’d rate it slightly higher than David Tennant. So, pretty frackin’ awesome. There’s power in it, but it’s elegant and beautiful, too. The guys at Tor UK did a shiny job.'
Our designer Neil Lang also gave us a few words on putting that shiny cover together:
'STORMDANCER is a fantastic book, and having read the novel I tried several routes. I tried icons, various steampunk ideas, and some fantasy illustrations but eventually decided to focus on the Japanese side of the novel, keeping it fairly minimal with stand-out lettering. This was specially commissioned to give it something extra, more of a Japanese feel rather than just using a standard font, and that makes all the difference for me. As always it's the whole package, and without the lettering I don’t think the end result would be as strong. We also commissioned a photo-shoot to fit the descriptions given in the text, and both photographer and model did everything they could to give me the best choice of images for the book.'
Lastly, here's more on the adventuresome plot itself:
A DYING LAND The Shima Imperium verges on collapse. The land has been poisoned by clockwork industrialisation, the Lotus Guild’s machine worshippers oppress the people, and the Shōgun cares for power more than the country he rules.
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father are ordered to hunt down a ‘thunder-tiger’ for the Shōgun, they fear their lives are over. Failure is not an option.
ONE YOUNG GIRL AND A GRIFFIN TAKE ON AN EMPIRE During the hunt, Yukiko is stranded in the wilderness and encounters the griffin, furious and crippled from their savage pursuit. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, Yukiko knows he’d rather see her dead than help her. And discovery of the talent allowing them to communicate would mean her execution. But together, the pair will form an indomitable bond, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.