Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Liar's Key - early rough for the US/UK cover.

Here's Jason Chan's rough for the cover of The Liar's Key (pre-order the UK version here).

In uniting the two cover styles for Prince of Fools into a single cover for The Liar's Key Jason has had to balance between the tastes of two different publishers/markets and make some interesting compromises.

The UK market (or publishers) are not keen on showing the protagonist's face - wanting the reader to be free to imagine their own version. So in the Liar's Key cover Jalan's sword will cast a heavy line of shadow (not seen here) across his eyes, a mask if you like, offering some ambiguity. And, while the artist has obviously retained the Beckham hair-cut from Chris McGrath's US Prince of Fools cover, he has perhaps given Jalan a little more dramatic flair/swagger more reminiscent of the UK Fools cover.

I did suggest a slightly pompous Prince Jal, or for Jal to be clearly edging away from the action but neither publisher believes their customers are ready for an epic fantasy cover to figure a non-heroic 'hero' so that didn't get realised. However, if you _know_ Jal then I think Jason Chan's final effort (to be revealed) leaves a little room to reinterpret the scene.

In any event - I think it's a fine cover and the Jason's undeniable talent has paid off yet again.


  1. What an assignment--to try and unite two divergent styles into one holistic cover. I like it

  2. I love the idea of Jal edging away from the action, but I think this links the two series very nicely.

  3. I cannot wait for the completed version already. Much less for the actual book.

  4. I look at it a different way... In this picture I see Jal as being just pompus enough to show up after the beast has already been killed to deliver the "killing blow." Something you've seen in movies when the king shows up to "slay" the dragon by climbing up a staircase and stabbing it though a non-beating heart. If you look at it that way, you both win.