The early draft of this cover made the rounds a couple of weeks back, Mark Charan Newton even going as far as to ask the preference of those online concerning the artwork for his next book, The Book of Transformations. However, I restrained from posting about it then, hoping for a more final version of what was posted and here it is. Sort of. This is not, I believe, the final draft yet but after popular consent, the figure which originally featured in front of the cityscape was removed, allowing for the cover to look something like what you see above. I, for one, am much more inclined towards this version of the cover, though I remain attentive to see the absolutely final version of the cover when it is released. For those interested, the full cover with back cover and spine is available here. Also, I've included below the blurb that Mr. Newton has provided on his own blog.
A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. But when a stranger called Shalev arrives, empowering a militant underground movement, crime and terror becomes rampant.
The Inquisition is always one step behind, and military resources are spread thinly across the Empire. So Emperor Urtica calls upon cultists to help construct a group to eliminate those involved with the uprising, and calm the populace – the Villjamur Knights. But there’s more to Knights than just phenomenal skills and abilities – each have a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything they represent.
Investigator Fulcrom of the Villjamur Inquisition is given the unenviable task of managing the Knights, but his own skills are tested when a mysterious priest, who has travelled from beyond the fringes of the Empire, seeks his help. The priest’s existence threatens the church, and his quest promises to unravel the fabric of the world. And in a distant corner of the Empire, the enigmatic cultist Dartun Súr steps back into this world, having witnessed horrors beyond his imagination. Broken, altered, he and the remnants of his order are heading back to Villjamur.
And all eyes turn to the Sanctuary City, for Villjamur’s ancient legends are about to be shattered…