Wednesday, 25 March 2009

I shouldn't like this book cover...

...but for some reason I do. Reminds me of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks I read/played when I was younger, and also reminds me of the Thief computer games. I could do without the protagonist posing dramatically in the foreground (which detracts from the cover a little bit) but it doesn't spoil what is a visual guilty pleasure. Misty cityscape + full moon + tower + bats = WIN.

The novel itself doesn't sound too bad either:

Centuries after the death of Uthar the Great, the throne of the Ontilian Empire lies vacant. The late Emperor's brother-in-law and murderer, Lord Urdhven, appoints himself Protector to his nephew, young King Lathmar VII and sets out to kill anyone who stands between himself and mastery of the Empire, including (if he can manage it) the King himself and his ancient but still formidable ancestress, Ambrosia Viviana.

When Ambrosia is accused of witchcraft and put to trial by combat, she is forced to play her trump card and call on her brother, Morlock Ambrosius--stateless person, master of all magical makers, deadly swordsman, and hopeless drunk.

As ministers of the king, they carry on the battle, magical and mundane, against the Protector and his shadowy patron. But all their struggles will be wasted unless the young king finds the strength to rule in his own right and his own name.

I'm quite partial to a bit of political backstabbing in a murky urban environment, so I might check this out.


Alex said...

Not sure they're bats; they look more like crows or ravens. They appear to be swarming in a very batlike fashion though. I looked up the collective noun ("a gaggle of geese" style) for bats and it said "a colony" but they definately look like they're swarming to me.

The bloke's definately posing. Why's he got his sword out? I don't see any adversaries, unless he's swiping ineffectually at the birds, reprimanding them for their attempt to "bite the style" of their chiropteran cousins. "You're not bats," he cries, "so stop acting like you are. I understand that it's appropriate to the setting but it's not impressing anyone".

Anonymous said...

They're crows, and for the record, it's actually a pretty good book. Very witty and stylish. The cover doesn't do it justice. Give it a read. It sucked me in after the first 30 pages or so.

Abalieno said...

Erase the guy on the front and it's suddenly a decent cover.