Tor.com is pleased to present Stephan Martinière’s cover art (designed by Jason Gurley) for Shield and Crocus, the first novel in a new epic fantasy series from Michael R Underwood!
Check out the full cover for Shield and Crocus below—there’s a giant skull involved!—and see what Underwood had to say about its design.
Author Michael R Underwood was blown away by the cover:
“I’ve had an image of a possible cover for Shield and Crocus in my head basically since I started writing the novel, back in late 2007. I’d always imagined the skeleton of the titan playing a central role, looming large in the city. But when I opened Stephan’s colored rough, I got chills. Serious, ‘Holy $@%&’ chills. With this cover, Stephan has depicted Audec-Hal with an incredible sense of mood and scale. From the dilapidated tenements around Aegis to the domed palaces in the background, he’s brought the haunted city to life. And to literally top it all off, we have the unforgettable image of a skyline atop Audec’s skull. This is my favorite cover I’ve ever gotten for my books, and it’s going to be hard to top.”
From the catalog copy for Shield and Crocus, which will be published in June 2014 by 47North:
In a city built among the bones of a fallen giant, a small group of heroes looks to reclaim their home from the five criminal tyrants who control it.
The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants, all with their own agendas. Their infighting is nothing, though, compared to the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people—a power that cost him the love of his life.
Now, with nothing left to lose, First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords as they strive to free themselves from the clutches of evil. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other as well—that is, until the tyrants agree to a summit that will permanently divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal.
It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.