Who here doesn't adore Blake Charlton?
Because in truth, it's tough not to fall for a man who takes gently self-effacing jokes about looking a little like Peter Andre with all the dignity and humour that latter specimen lacks.
Blake Charlton is an absolute bloody gentleman, I'm sure we can all agree, and a medicine-man in the making with what I can only imagine must be the loveliest bedside manner in existence... but perhaps more to point, as per the stated interests of this blog, his debut, last year's Spellwright - of which you can read the full TSS review here - was such a generously spirited story, with a literally literal magic system which knows no equal, that I've been looking forward to book two in the series from the moment I finished the first.
Which I might add was a few months in advance of its publication - so it's seemed a painfully long wait!
But the time is almost upon us, now. Voyager will be publishing Spellbound here in the UK on August 4th, whilst Tor will have an edition for US audiences sometime in September; on the 11th if Amazon is to be believed (which, as a rule, it isn't).
Anyway. As discussed earlier in the week, a release date isn't in and of itself the sort of news I tend to purvey here on The Speculative Scotsman. But brand spanking new cover art? For a book I can't wait to get my grubby paws on? Well, hell yeah!
Ladies... gents... it gives me really a great deal of pleasure to be able to exclusively introduce to you all today to the very image you'll be seeing on Voyager's TPB release of Spellbound.
Feast your eyes:
So a floaty magic diamond, as opposed to the floaty magic ball of Spellwright's UK PB, as ensconced above.
Really, there's not a great deal to it, but bah. I'm a fan. It's certainly a bold, iconic image - dazzling even - and so striking in no small part because it's been stripped of the usual fantasy distractions. And of course it maintains an aesthetic lineage between Spellbound and its storied predecessor - an important point: nothing quite rubs this reader the wrong way like an abrupt shift in cover looks. This'll be a perfect fit, sat beside Spellwright on my bookshelves; I can practically see it now...
And surely no-one out there is saying a cover has to have at least twenty vectors for it to be interesting, are they?
Oh, and here's a blurb, too:
Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses, but her life is thrown into chaos when a dead patient sits up and tells her to run. Suddenly Francesca finds herself in a game she doesn’t understand—one that ties her to the rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again.
Ten years have passed since Nicodemus Weal escaped Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and where he battled the demon who stole his birthright. Unable to use the magical languages of his own people, Nico has honed his skills in the dark Chthonic languages, preparing for his next encounter with the demon. But there are complications: his mentor suffers from an incurable curse, his half-sister’s agents are hunting him, and he’s unsure how Francesca DeVega fits into the intrigue.
In a world where a misused pronoun can spell death, Nicodemus can’t afford to make a single mistake.
And when you get right down to it, as we all know, what counts in a book - any book - isn't the cover art so much as the narrative art beneath. And in that regard, too, I expect Spellbound will be wonderful.
Roll on August!