Apr 1 2012 10:00am

Covers Revealed for John Scalzi’s Manga Fantasy Trilogy

The Shadow War of the Night Dragon series by John Scalzi

This past Friday, Tor Books announced that John Scalzi’s award-winning fantasy trilogy Shadow War of the Night Dragon will be adapted as a manga with artist Madeleine Rosca on illustration duties. (You can read an excerpt from the first book The Dead City here on

Now, we’ve got an exclusive reveal of the full-size covers for the three-volume series!

The manga adaptation follows closely after the success the original fantasy trilogy received after its completion last year.

“I have to admit at first I was skeptical,” said author John Scalzi of the adaptation decision. “Could the medium of manga truly contain all the deep layers that are the Shadow War series? All the writing craft, all the trenchant allusion, all the subtle yet pointed social commentary that the series’ readers had come to expect — nay, demand? But then Tor backed up the money truck, and I suddenly realized that, yes, in fact, manga was the perfect medium for Shadow War. I could not be more richly proud of this edition.”

Scalzi’s editor on the project, Patrick Nielsen Hayden explains the decision from the Tor Books end: “By leveraging our our best-of-breed holdings in the Scalzi mindspace we expect to facilitate new opportunities to monetize our subcultural platforms. Through granular 24/7 frictionless architectures we will embrace-and-extend our web-ready eyeballs into impactful relationships. As ever, Tor is proud to be at the forefront of the new wave of the cutting edge.”

Release dates for the Shadow War manga series have yet to be finalized, in the meantime, have a look at the covers for all three books in the series!


The Dead City:

The Shadow War of the Night Dragon manga by John Scalzi


Dark Blood Magic:

The Shadow War of the Night Dragon manga by John Scalzi


Dream World of the Fire Wolf:

The Shadow War of the Night Dragon manga by John Scalzi

Jon Freestone
1. jayowen
The Shadow War of the Night Dragons is da Bomb. Have the movie rights been sold yet? If not I think HBO should make it into a mini-series.
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
2. EllenMCM
My 10yo is suddenly a Shadow War of the Night Dragons trilogy fan.
3. cdalek
It's the little creature with the bucket of KFC that makes the cover illustration of the 2nd volume perfect.
Dave Chua
4. davechua
If this had a Kickstarter campaign it'd raise enough money to pay the US deficit.
Bill Weinberger
6. bweinberger
I definitely expect to see a proper mini-series on TV by this time next year.
Darice Moore
7. daricemoore
The words "Dream World of the Fire Wolf" alone are enough to get my daughter to buy in.
Mary Robinette Kowal
8. MaryRobinette
I think the terrifying thing is how many of us would totally buy this.
9. ThanRand
One of these days Scalzi will realize it's no longer a joke, and this will really happen.

We can only hope...
Sean Calhoun
10. Musicspren
I do worry about their ability to convey in this medium the blackness of the dark and stormy night that begins The Dead City. Printing this properly will probably require large amounts of ink from the demon squid Drindel.
11. Madeleine Rosca
Pleased to see my glorious full-colour abomination as written by the venerable John Scalzi has finally been announced. Pre-order now to pay off my college fund!
Pam Gaffney
13. Pamster
The two adorable kittehs with the dismembered arm on the first cover are awesome! I'd buy the book (if it were real) for that alone.
14. Douglas Barnes
These are amazing. I especially like it that someone is eating something on each cover.
David Harmon
15. DaveH
In other news, a noted science-fiction editor was revealed to have been possessed by a Sesquipedalian Malific Business Arranger.... ;-)
16. MichaelC
Sorry. I liked it better in the original French, by Proust.
Gregory Manchess
17. GregManchess
NOOO! Aw, guys missed the moment when D’kan’th’Luka spurns the Maid of the Elven District to challenge the Dark Drake’s core belief against the demon pack horse, Rorf.

THAT’s the moment. You guys JUST DON’T GET IT.

See if I do more covers for you.

John Scalzi
18. Scalzi
A.J. Bobo
19. Daedylus
The pony-unicorn-thing on the cover of #2 is awesome. Ok. It's all awesome, but that stood out above the rest of the awesome.

And I would buy this if it were real.
Barbara Gordon
20. bmlg
I will personally give PNH a shiny Canadian dollar if he can say that paragraph again without consulting notes.

So who's getting the plush toys contract for this series?
21. Donna Leonard
I see now, this needs to become a Saturday morning animated series --better yet, a Nickeldeon animated series like Avatar: The Last Airbender.
22. Mark H-B
Magnificent. The KCF bucket is awesome, but the kitten with the severed arm on Book 1's cover takes the gold.

Where, though, is the bacon? A baconless Scalzi title? Sorry, man. That's just going too far.
23. Drachefly
Mark, not everything is about bacon. This is just right on its own.

+1 for 'would buy'.
Karen Lofstrom
24. DPZora
Note the subtle chicken theme running through all the covers. Also, in the first two, attackers wielding an umbrella and fork; in the last, chicken defender wielding what looks to be a floor scrubber. This catholicity in armament portends inventiveness on a par with a Jackie Chan movie!
Irene Gallo
26. Irene
25, no it's,
We are very grateful that she agreed to do the project.
27. catullus
Reallly liked how Madeleine picked up on the Devo vibe, with the hat, towards the bottom of the third cover. "Are we not fooled? We are readers!"
28. Not that Frank
Mark H-B @22:

Obviously, the bacon is on the InnNOut burger upper left on volume 3.

And is that Athena holding a CD by the edges off lower right?
29. Tim Doyle
Love that the little character in the lower right of the third cover is holding out a pokeball - "Fire Wolf, I choose you!"
30. Ellestra
I see certain food theme on these covers. I don't remember anyone eating anything in the books. It's like the cover artist haven't even read the books. This adaptation is going to SUCK!
31. Dustoff
Did anyone mention the doughnut, the vampire , and the minion-creature with a veterinary Victorian collar, all on the Volume 1 cover?
Roland of Gilead
32. pKp
Nice takedown of the "project" by Gentlemen Bastards author Scott Lynch :

This is simply hilarious.
Melissa Shumake
33. cherie_2137
this is the gift that keeps on giving. =)
34. Douglas Barnes
@Ellestra: I think she was just very hungry when doing these.

I also just noticed the martini on #3. These definitely reward repeat viewing.
Douglas Barnes
35. Salguod
Er, that is, the martini in #2, carried by the skull-head guy.
36. Steve L
Please, please, PLEASE work with Ms. Rosca to turn these into posters. The only thing better than seeing these actual size would be seeing them larger than life.
David Lewis
37. dglewis
I smell another famed Scalzi Benefit Auction in the making. I think the original art for these covers could raise more money for libraries than Carnegie.
38. Terror and Love
Madeleine Rosca is killing on these!!

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