Julie Crisp, Editorial Director at the Tor imprint of Pan Macmillan in the UK, had some weeks ago alluded to a re-edition of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series. One of the notable changes of these new editions will be a shift up from mass market to B-size novels but it was also revealed that the earlier novels in the series would also benefit an all new cover treatment. Today, on her Twitter account, Julie Crisp posted the new artwork for the first two books in the series, Empire in Black and Gold which you can see above, and Dragonfly Falling which you'll discover if you scroll down the page.

What hadn't been announced was that the art had been commissioned from Alan Brooks and not from Jon Sullivan who's art has graced the covers of both the UK (first novel apart) and US editions up until now. I can't say this decision is a bad one as the art above and below is certainly stunning. I like the softer tones of the art as well as the detail and color of the backgrounds, especially that of Empire in Black and Gold, but am unsure of the font used for the title. Though the lone-character covers of the originals were quite bare, I had no issue with the style of font used on the first editions of the novel, and see no reason why they could not have been used here too.



While the background is particularly beautiful for the new cover of the first volume, Brooks' depiction of Felise centerfold on the cover of the second novel is, I think, a much better rendition than that of the original. The hood has been done away with (for once) and reveals beyond doubt that the figure is female - something the original embarrassingly could not claim to achieve. Overall, these are some very strong covers. It'll be interesting to see how Brooks will choose to illustrate the covers of the third and fourth novels. There is no word on whether the fifth, sixth and seventh (which is only released in October) books will get a similar treatment, though it appears likely. Already, the seventh will be published in the larger b-format from the start. So much to look forward to content-wise with this series and almost just as much from the art-side of things...