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The Wolf of Oren-yaro by K. S. Villoso – Cover Reveal

Today we have author K. S. Villoso with us to talk about her upcoming release, The Wolf of Oren-yaro.

I write no-holds-barred character-driven epic fantasy. My stories are usually set in a fully realized fantasy world heavily influenced by Asian cultures (though it also has plenty of the usual fantasy staples), with developed characters and interweaving plots—most of which happen in the background. This allows me to draw the reader’s focus straight into the main characters’ lives, their thoughts, and their growth. While my work tries to juggle typical fantasy elements—magic, politics, intrigue, action, adventure, and monsters in particular—it’s all a medium for me to explore the very flawed, human characters and their relationships. They’re all shades of grey and intense, unreliable narrators who tend to be dealing with something in their lives—my own personal spin to this genre. It’s messy and emotional, and I love it.

My new trilogy, Annals of the Bitch Queen, is set from the POV of a queen. Daughter of a mass murderer, she was betrothed to her father’s enemy’s son in order to bring peace to the land. We follow events after this marriage falls apart. The story begins as a seemingly romance/adventure story gone wrong, with each book slowly unravelling a sinister plot the main character finds herself entangled in and which, ultimately, she must solve.

The first book, The Wolf of Oren-yaro, will be released on January 29, 2018. Pre-orders open in November 2017. I have twenty eARCs available in exchange for a review for anyone interested. Feel free to send me a message on Twitter @k_villoso to request one.

Here is the blurb:

“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien’s life unfolded like a storybook. The shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her marriage to Rayyel, the son of her father’s rival, spoke of peaceful days to come.

But all storybooks must end. Rayyel’s sudden departure before their reign began created fractures that left the land as divided as ever.

Years later, Talyien receives a message from Rayyel, urging her to meet with him across the sea. An assassination attempt interrupts Talyien’s quest for reconciliation, sending the queen struggling in a strange and dangerous land. With betrayals in every twist and turn, she is forced to enlist the help of a con-artist to survive and save her husband from the clutches of those who would seek to use him for their gain…if he would let her.

Now, without further ado, I’m going to let my artist, Ash Navarre (who is multi-talented and also writes about werewolves, fantasy, erotica, and other wonderful things under the pen name Julie Midnight) introduce the cover.

I’ve been illustrating and designing K. S. Villoso’s covers since her debut novel, Jaeth’s Eye, but we’ve been friends for much longer than that, to the point where we can basically read each other’s minds. She gives me the manuscript to read and then a few ideas to go on, and away I go.

For her new novel The Wolf of Oren-yaro, she told me she wanted a bold style where the main character (a queen who finds herself with a lot of enemies) is fighting.

The Wolf of Oren-yaro (cover art 1)

I focused on the composition and the values right from the start, keeping in mind the amount of text that would eventually enter the mix (the novel is the first in a series, so add that to the title and author name and you quickly find yourself having to juggle cover space).

I don’t go in with firm plans beyond whatever the author has specified, but I do usually have a good idea of the style I want to use, something that comes from reading the manuscript. The Regency romances I illustrate won’t have the same style as epic fantasy—every genre has its own trends and expectations when it comes to the cover art. For this cover, I used a flat ink-style brush in Photoshop to get the boldness and sense of urgency, and then a soft airbrush to feel out the value range.

The Wolf of Oren-yaro (cover art 2)

Then I pinned down the wolves and sword, and then added in the text. This is where everything really came together. I’m still using the flat ink-style brush for the linework, but brought in a new texture brush for the wolves to give them that magical, “forming from her cape” look.

The Wolf of Oren-yaro (cover art 3)

Color! And texture! And blood!

In the final touches hair is added in, slight details are added to emphasize the cape bristling against her shoulders, and the title text is given color and texture for emphasis. Which gives us the final cover!

The Wolf of Oren-yaro (cover)

Thank you again to K. S. Villoso for sharing with us today! The Wolf of Oren-yaro is due out January 29, 2018. If you’d like to know more about it and the rest of the Annals of the Bitch Queen, you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter!


One Comment

  1. […] The cover reveal has a lot of info about this, actually. You can read it at Fantasy-Faction. Long story short, my cover artist is one of my closest friends and is also a writer herself, as […]

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