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  • Writer's pictureL.L. Stephens

What's Going On in This Cover?

This post might contain some spoilers for earlier books in the series, so consider yourself warned.

The main goal of cover art is to draw readers to give a book a closer look. I hope this cover for The God Spear does that. It is beautiful, after all. Larry Rostant does amazing work, especially given how little I give him to work with in the author questionnaire! As I have done with the other covers for the series, I will introduce the elements as they connect with the story within.

Color palette. Look at all those golds and reds. They signal that the book takes place during an autumn season: a time of trees shedding their leaves and fields going fallow. There's a certain richness to the scheme but it's muted, unawakened. The colors don't suggest violence, yet there's something restless about the way these colors clash with that quiet lavender sky.

The Season. Speaking of autumn, that season represents change. And change is a major theme in the book, both in terms of plot and character. The World is getting darker and more dangerous, and what changes in Amallar--might be the change needed to beat back that darkness. Or it could just be the change that dooms the World for good and all.

The Hill. The back copy reveals the book takes place in Amallar. Readers of the first three books know that Hans and Arne have gone there after fleeing Sordan; they also know that Dorilian has made the decision to enter Amallar in pursuit. Dorilian entering Amallar is huge. And so is that hill. What is going on with that thing? Well, forget the antlers for a moment. We'll address them below. Large naked hills feature prominently in the series. Readers first encountered them in Sordaneon and then again in The Kheld King; both books explained them very well. That there's one in Amallar isn't even a secret--and its presence is going to haunt the entire story. Kind of the way Dorilian does....

The Antlers. These are artistic license. There aren't actual antlers growing out of the hill. The antlers symbolize a presence that looms large in The God Spear and overshadows the hill and Amallar--and also casts a shadow over the book's main characters. My husband thought there should be blood on the antlers. It might have been a nice touch.

The Road. Roads are symbols too and this is a symbolic road, though there are a few scenes that could be very like this. Those scenes would not have a female figure on them, though the journey represented is most vividly undertaken by the main female character--and by Amallar. So the road is apt.

The Female Figure. Readers meet this character early in the book and it's fitting that she's shown alone, walking that road toward that hill. She is Kheld and fiercely independent and doesn't yet realize the great changes that await her people, and country, and her. In this sense, the female figure represents not just a personal journey--something other characters are also taking--but Amallar.

I hope readers enjoy this cover as much as I do. The God Spear has some of my personal favorite scenes in the entire series. Deep, connected, and yeah, a little bit World-changing.

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