The Cover of Each Max Gladstone Book Has Predicted the Cover of the Next One

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We all knew Max Gladstone was some kind of red mage-ish wizard, but who knew that his wily magic influenced all who work on his books?

The other day, Tor Books designer Jamie Stafford-Hill noticed something peculiar…it turns out that the type color of the book title on each of Max Gladstone’s books in the Craft Sequence of novels has unintentionally become the thematic color for the following novel, before that novel is even finished!

It begins with Three Parts Dead, the first book released in the Craft Sequence trilogy, which features cover art by Chris McGrath with an overall brown/red scheme, with the title of the book colored in yellow. The next book released, Two Serpents Rise, featured cover art with an overall yellow tint.

Max Gladstone covers

It’s important to note that Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence story is being told out of sequential order. While each book can be read as a standalone, the title of each book indicates where it fits within the larger chronology of the Craft Sequence world. For example, Three Parts Dead would be the third book in the series, even though it was released first. Two Serpents Rise is the second book in the series and also the second book released. And the third book released, Full Fathom Five, is the fifth book in the series despite being released third.

But it also follows the unintentional color prediction scheme!

Max Gladstone covers

Max’s next book in the sequence is Last First Snow, which comes out on July 14. Since the title on Full Fathom Five is green, that means the color scheme for Last First Snow should be green, right?

Here’s where it gets weird!

The color scheme for Last First Snow is actually a grey/white, but its title actually predicts Three Parts Dead. So the first chronological story in the series predicts the first released book in the series. Considering the title of the book, this seems spookily appropriate.

Max Gladstone covers

The fourth chronological book in the Craft Sequence has yet to be titled (May we suggest 2 Fourth 2 Furious? We may not? Fair enough.) and the cover has yet to be designed but since each cover seems to predict the next, the choice is clear: The fourth book should be green, with a grey/white title.

Like this:

Max Gladstone covers


Only then will the cycle be complete and the time loop closed.

Spock unicorn art by Tim O’Brien


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