Monday 12 July 2010

Cover Art for Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts and China Mieville

Courtesy of the ever-vigilant Jussi at Westeros, the new UK cover art for Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts's The Empire Trilogy. This classic trilogy, co-written by Feist when he was still good, is getting a make-over based on simple sigils, possibly to highlight the trilogy's more Asian influences.

Nice and elegant, if a little lacking in excitement.

A Dribble of Ink
has also spotted the Sub Press cover art for their limited edition of China Mieville's Kraken.

Very dark and Lovecraftian, quite appropriate.


bmusic said...

Nice! I always enjoyed the Empire Trilogy. And you're right it was written before Feist started to suck. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the "when he was still good" blurb (haha).

Isn't the artwork for Kraken beautiful? I also like the new Feist/Wurts artwork more than the original.

Adam Whitehead said...

When Feist was on top form, he was excellent. The last time he was on top form was circa 1996-97 though, around Books 2-3 of SERPENTWAR. It is a great shame that just about everything he's written since then (aside from HONOURED ENEMY, which was great, but maybe that was down to his cowriter William Forstchen) has veered from crushingly mediocre to downright unreadable.

It does feel like Midkemia has lost its magic for Feist, and I hope his rumoured SF work he's going to do after the last RIFTWAR book will reignite his enthusiasm.

Wise Bass said...

I must in the small minority that didn't like the books as the trilogy progressed. It seemed to me that the main character kept getting a progressively larger character shield, and I gradually lost interest.

Jebus said...

I agree with Wert 99% (I think book 2 of Serpentwar was great, book 3 atrocious and just downhill from there on in). I'm currently reading "At The Gates of Darkness" and I've actually thrown it down several times due to complete frustration. He's just painting by numbers and going outside the lines with sloppy characterisation, pathetically contrived situations and, quite frankly, boring results.

I'm determined to read the rest of the Riftwar books as they come out (another 3?) since I've invested so much time in the series already but that'll probably be it. Until ASOIAF and Malazan came along, the Empire trilogy was my favourite series of all time; I re-read it every couple of years and never get tired of the adventures of Mara of the Acoma. I still can't believe he destroyed Kelewan, I think that's when he truly lost me.

Anyway, I'm kind of sick of the trend to just put symbols on the front covers of genre books these days. At The Gates of Darkness has a scorpion on it which means absolutely nothing to the story the book contains. I think it's just plain lazy or publishers' bizarre attempt to appeal to people too ashamed of reading fantasy and sci-fi to show it in public.

The original Don Maitz cover for Servant of the Empire is still one of my favourite book covers ever and the Geoff Taylor ones aren't too far behind, especially the original Daughter one.

Anyway, I ramble - the Kraken cover looks stunning, THAT'S what cover art should look like.

Anonymous said...

I think Janny Wurts deserves a lot of the credit for the Empire trilogy, which is something no one here has mentioned yet...

Dave Cesarano said...

" Feist when he was still good."


Serpentwar was alright. The books based around the Krondor games were pretty lousy, although the first game was great. But Magician (full version) was awesome, and A Darkness at Sethanon is one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels. The imagination that is brought to bear, the immense scope of the struggle in the story, is just amazing. He peetered out until this latest series, but unfortunately, so much of it comes off as "more of the same" that it's not that interesting.

Booksnhorses said...

Love the Kraken cover, looks much more like it should. Hate this trend (cost anyone?) towards symbol covers and girly twirly fonts. I'm not ashamed to read fantasy - the covers are one of the highlights for me!

I also stopped reading Feist long ago - after the third trilogy if I remember correctly. Such a shame as the originals were much loved.

Jebus said...

Anonymous - very true, it was a co-authored series and Wurts deserves much of the credit for it being so great. I've tried reading her Mistwraith novel but couldn't get into it, that was years ago though so maybe I should give her another try.

Anonymous said...

Jebus: I enjoy the Mistwraith series a lot, although I don't always like her overwritten prose and odd use of emphasis in prargraphs. Also, oddly enough, I'm always a bit 'meh' about the latest book in the series, but when I re-read it after the next book comes out, I like it far, far more. It's big and a bit overambitious, but it's a large and fascinating world without being super grimdark.

-the same Anonymous

Adam Whitehead said...

I've tried several Wurts books (including first of the Wars of Light and Shadow gigaseries) and not particularly enjoyed them, the sole exception being THE MASTER OF WHITESTORM, which was pretty good.