Cover Choices

I got a chance to work with Andrew Luther on his new book, The Soldier and the Slave (I’m 3/4s through it and it is really good sword and sorcery stuff with interesting characters that make/forced into unusual choices.  Not sure where the book it going and I love that!).  Check out Andrew Luther and his writing here:

I came up with 3 pencil sketches for Andrew.

And while we all liked #3, #2 was chosen.  The reason, which I think is solid reasoning, is that this is the first time we see these characters and Andrew wanted the more traditional choice of showing the 2 protagonists on the cover in a fairly readable way.  I will show the painting, in steps as I go along my merry way, in a little bit.

In the meantime, here is a blurb from Andrew:

I want to talk a little bit about The Soldier and the Slave.

This is my first novel in the series to take place entirely outside of Ythis. There’s a whole Empire outside of the walls of the capital city, and an even larger world beyond. In this book, readers will get to see the mountainous northern region of the Empire, and will encounter the Imperial Legion for the first time.

The Soldier and the Slave is a story that’s been in the back of my mind since I first started writing about the Undying Empire, but it wasn’t formed enough to commit to paper (or pixels). But it’s finally time to escape from Ythis and to explore some of the history that lies behind the formation of the Empire.

This is a story about doing the right thing, even though it may cost you everything you hold dear. It’s about strength in the face of failure, and refusing to give up.

Here is the official back cover copy for The Soldier and the Slave:

Kied Leele is a traitor to the Empire.

Unable to follow orders that he knew to be wrong, Kied was convicted and imprisoned in a slave mine for betraying his commission as an officer in the Imperial Legion. With the executions of his subordinates who followed him weighing heavily on his soul, Kied expects the remainder of his life to be full of darkness, toil, and suffering.

The Legion—occupying the mountains in the north of the Empire—has rounded up all local civilians while a special team searches for a long-forgotten, buried object of power desired by the Emperor himself. But Kied’s mysterious new cellmate, a dangerous giant of a man named Rotos, seems to know a great deal about this hidden object.

Kied believes that together, they might just be able to stop the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians at the hand of the Imperial military and deny the Emperor his prize. However, they must first escape the slave mine, reach the mountain valleys where the Legion awaits, and contend with the Legion’s new Commander.

And Kied doesn’t know if he can trust his companion, a man whose terrible secrets may herald the return of ancientbeings long thought dead.

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