Cover Reveal & Extract for A TIME OF DREAD by John Gwynne
John Gwynne is a favourite here at Fantasy Faction. His The Faithful and the Fallen series has been named in our ‘best of’ and ‘most anticipated’ lists time and again, and for good reason. His debut, Malice, won the David Gemmell Morningstar award, and the next three books (Valour, Ruin, and Wrath) were all shortlisted for the Legend award.
Set in the Celtic-inspired world of the Banished Lands (even the name sounds epic), the series tells a tale of giants, wolven, wyrms, prophecies, angels, demons, magical trinkets and treasures – everything you’d want for in a legend! But for all the ‘epic’, both in terms of scale and plot, the story pulses with the heart of its characters, full of life, loss, hope and hardship. And I think that’s what makes the series so special – even in as dark a place as the Banished Lands, John Gwynne wrote a story in which light shines through. Not since the release of the Harry Potter books have I seen such a reaction amongst readers at the end of each book (especially Ruin).
John’s most recent release, Wrath (published in 2016 by Tor), brought the story arc to a close, culminating in a final battle between the titular Faithful and Fallen. But you know what they say – you might have won the battle, but not the war…
Which is why I am honoured to present the cover art for A TIME OF DREAD:
Even if it is true that a picture can say a thousand words, this cover shouts one word louder than the other nine hundred and ninety-nine. Dread. Illustrator Paul Young, who also worked on the covers for the first series, and designer James Annal, have done an amazing job of capturing what A TIME OF DREAD is as a story, and in this case, do judge a book by its cover. It’s dark, deadly, dramatic, and it’ll devour your waking hours until you finish it.
The covers for The Faithful and the Fallen are a fan favourite in the genre, and they themselves have also been nominated in the Ravenheart category for best cover art in the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy. It’s fantastic that Tor have decided to continue the style and design with A TIME OF DREAD, yet reflect the darker tone of the story. (Oh, and fun factoid for you: the runes on the hilt spell ‘Dread’ in old Norse.)
Here’s what John Gwynne had to say about the cover art:
‘I love the cover of A TIME OF DREAD. Initially, I was concerned with how the new cover would come out, as I truly love the cover art for Malice, Valour, Ruin and Wrath, and I thought it would be impossible to top that. Fortunately for me, I was wrong. The cover art for A TIME OF DREAD captures the heart of the book, dark and sinister, with more than a hint of Norse. It feels new and fresh, but still manages to show that it is a Banished Lands novel, subtly referencing the first series. Paul Young has done it again; he’s a genius. Back to the cover art – did I say I love it?’
A TIME OF DREAD is the start of a new epic series, with a whole new cast of characters to follow in the footsteps of (and in my experience as a beta-reader, fall in love with) Corban and his companions. Set in the Banished Lands many years after the events of The Faithful and the Fallen, A TIME OF DREAD can be read and enjoyed by newcomer and veteran alike. As a fan of the original series, I felt that familiar warmth at revisiting names-faces-places, but the Banished Lands is not quite the same as any reader will remember it. Without giving anything away, the world is a darker, grittier place now, which in my opinion the cover art embodies perfectly.
AND if a cover reveal wasn’t enough for you, the kind folks at Tor have treated us with the first chapter – yes, that’s right, THE FIRST CHAPTER, not just an extract! So, without further ado, now that you’ve been shown the way back into the Banished Lands, it’s time for you to take your first step into A TIME OF DREAD.
Chapter One, A Time of Dread by John Gwynne