BANE OF ALL THINGS by Leo Valiquette (COVER REVEAL)
Today on the Hive, Leo Valiquette is here to share with us the cover for his debut novel THE BANE OF ALL THINGS
“Dragon’s Claw Abbey … A fortress on the edge of nowhere that might have been older than the Kingdoms themselves. A massive grave marker for all consigned to it—the living, the dead, and those whom despair had trapped in between. Weather had blunted the profile of the merlons that cut the top of the wall and ringed the roof of the keep. The moss-eaten teeth of some decrepit grin that mocked any thought of hope or reprieve.”
So begins Chapter 3 of Bane of All Things (Book 1 of A Silence of Worlds).
But let me take a step back and give some context. Here is the not-quite-final cover blurb:
“In the Four Kingdoms, the Holy Clerisy preaches that the gods are dead, and prayer is the path to Hell. Anyone who defies doctrine is punished for heresy. But blind faith can damn a soul as surely as betrayal.
Ryn Ruscroft, once sworn to serve as the Clerisy’s loyal soldier, finds himself torn between conscience and duty one bitter winter’s night. Those slain include his best friend, felled by his own hand.
Josalind Aumbrae has been tormented all her life by the Voices and their visions—an affliction that could have her facing a witch’s pyre. If only she could understand what they want.
Banished to Dragon’s Claw Abbey at the edge of the world, Ryn and Josalind discover a place built on more than penance and forgetting. What they find at the Claw will turn them into fugitives hunted by hellspawn, heretics, and Ryn’s former commander.
But more sinister forces have awoken—ancient things eager to settle old scores and find pawns among the outcast. When they cry for vengeance, the Living Sword must have a hand to wield it. A mortal it can reshape into the Earth Breaker, the Soul Taker, the Bane of All Things.”
I’ve had lots of ideas over the years of what I thought should be on the cover of this story should it ever publish, drifting between a particular tense action scene, or some dramatic posing of my main characters. Something like what I had seen on the covers of books from one Big Name Author or another over the years.
After I dumped pages of material on cover designer Tim Barber of Dissect Designs, he didn’t hesitate to suggest that many of my ideas were just past their prime. If you want to stand out in a forest, don’t try to look like all the big trees that came before (my words, not his).
“I have always believed that less is more when it comes to cover design,” Tim said. “So, when Leo gave me the (extensive) list of ideas and elements from the story, the real job was to try and strip it back and come up with a single scene or element that represents the story.”
Tim further brainstormed with the team at my publisher, Inkshares. Deputy Publicity Manager Noah Broyles considered the image of Dragon’s Claw Abbey – the Claw – the most powerful.
Let’s see if you agree:
“The arrival at Dragon’s Claw Abbey was potent for me in terms of both the striking imagery and what it meant for the characters,” Noah said. “I imagine the reality of being a convict is no more vivid than when you first come in sight of your prison. This place is not only the end of the world as far as civilization is concerned, but also the end of the world for Ryn and Josalind. Or so they think.”
It’s a foggy morning in that scene, not a stormy night, but Tim’s fantastic design captures the scope and atmosphere of the story as a whole.
“This scene doesn’t necessarily have to be accurate,” Tim said. “It’s the mood, the feel, the atmosphere, that needs to be captured on the cover.”
I wholeheartedly agree. There is a storm coming. What Ryn and Josalind don’t yet realize when they first set eyes on the Claw is that it’s already begun.
Bane of All Things is intended to be the first of a four-book series, but it won’t leave the reader with a cliff-hanger ending. It does have its own beginning, middle, and end.
Thank you to The Fantasy Hive for providing me with the opportunity to share Bane of All Things with you, to Tim for his awesome design, and to the entire team at Inkshares for making all this possible.
Release day is Nov. 16 and pre-orders can be placed now on Amazon, with many major booksellers, and at Inkshares.com
Leo Valiquette grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, but escaped to Tatooine, Middle Earth, and that barn in Charlotte’s Web by the age of eight. He trained to work in museums, before taking up the pen as a journalist and business writer. This love of the fantastical, the historical, and finding the root of a story fuel his need to create worlds of his own. He lives with his wife and son under the apple trees by the banks of a lazy old river.