ARC Cover Reveal & Competition for Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings
It has been a great year for readers looking to jump aboard a new series and an equally good one for those who like to be wowed by SFF cover art. For those of you who like both (a new series and some damned decent art), we’ve got a treat for you today. Renowned fantasy author Bradley P. Beaulieu – who many of you will know is the author of Gemmell Award nominated The Winds of Khalakovo – has given us permission to do a joint cover reveal of the advanced review copies (ARCS) for his latest novel, Twelve Kings. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also giving our UK readers a chance to pick one up months in advance of the release date! Check this out:
You’ll need to give it a click to maximise the size and read the quote, but yes, that is Robin Hobb along with some of the world’s finest fantasy bloggers letting the fantasy reading community know that this is a book that needs to be on our radar. Assassins, kings, betrayal, vengeance, epic, magic – everything we love about modern fantasy is promised to us!
Here’s the official blurb followed by some thoughts from Bradley on the cover. Oh, and that competition we promised you too:
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.
Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.
And here are Bradley’s thoughts on the ARC, along with your chance to win a copy:
At its most basic, Twelve Kings is a tale of revenge. Çeda is a young woman who hopes to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of the kings, but she finds danger on either side of the path she’s treading and learns early that if she’s to have any hope of defeating the kings, she must work from the shadows. The kings and their servants are too powerful to do otherwise.
As such, I love what Gollancz have done with the cover for the ARC. The thorns are related to the adichara trees that blossom every six weeks when the twin moons are full. All are forbidden from roaming to the killing fields far out in the desert where the adichara grow. It’s a perfect metaphor of the challenges Çeda must face in the novel, because the very history of the adichara themselves, the story they hide within their poisoned branches, is exactly the mystery Çeda must unravel to find the chink in the kings’ armor.
And from a purely artistic standpoint, I think Gollancz have nailed it. The color palette is gorgeous. The thorns sending shadows against the sandstone below is a great touch. And the blurb we came up with is a nice teaser. I’m glad we’re borrowing the motif from the ARC for the final cover, but bringing a fresh new image and style to it. I’m eager to share that with you in the weeks ahead, but mostly, I can’t wait to get this book into readers’ hands.
Toward that end! If you live in the UK, Northern Ireland, or Australia/NZ and would like a chance to win one of these ARCs, just comment below with your favorite story (movie, book, TV show, comic) that was set in or involved a desert. Five will be chosen randomly to win a print copy of the ARC.
As you can undoubtedly tell, I’m pretty excited about this one! I’ve been hearing from some of my most trusted SFF beta-readers and fellow reviewers that this is going to be BIG. I know setting your expectations high is dangerous, but I’m most certainly guilty of it with Twelve Kings. Do be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list, follow Bradley on Twitter and, of course, check back in with Fantasy-Faction for a full review very, very soon! 🙂
It might take a little while though, because as you will see to your right, in true modern fantasy trend style this is one BIG book. 😉