A Look at the Cover (and Snippet)

Posted: September 25th, 2012 under artwork, Limits of Power, snippet.
Tags: ,

Via my agent’s tweet,  here’s a site with info on Limits of Power and a look at the cover.     Hurray!

Meanwhile, I’m struggling with a couple of scenes from Book V that don’t want to be written, which undoubtedly means I’ve messed up somewhere else…but still, things have to keep happening.

And so you get a snippet.

Who: POV is  Prince Camwyn of Tsaia

Situation:  King Mikeli is on a progress to tour his realm, and has agreed to have his younger brother along.  This is the first day; they’re on the River Road, heading east from Vérella.


To his delight, his own clothes for the journey included the mail Mikeli had worn some years before–not a perfect fit, but–as Mikeli said–it was no use changing the fit while he was growing so fast.  By midday, however, he felt much less gleeful about wearing real mail.  It was both heavy and hot, and as the morning heated up, he wished he’d followed Mikeli’s advice to wear it around camp in the evenings for awhile.

He told himself to ignore it, and that proved easier than he’d thought as they neared the edge of Mahieran lands and ventured into unknown–for Mikeli and Camwyn both–territory.  Ordinary-looking fields and orchards and pastures and patches of woodland…but ones he’d never seen.  On their left the Honnorgat rolled on, sometimes near enough to see long-necked wading birds prowling the shallows fishing, sometimes screened by a field, a hedge, a fringe of trees.  On their right, the land rose to distant hills, clearly arranged in some kind of pattern.


Camwyn is curious, observant,  and only restrained from pestering his brother and the lords riding with them about everything he sees by his initial glee at being publicly a prince…he’s been kept close, for his own safety and this is a huge adventure, from his perspective.


  • Comment by Caryn — September 26, 2012 @ 12:41 am


    Gorgeous cover, and Paks!!!

  • Comment by Rowanmdm — September 26, 2012 @ 2:24 am


    The cover is fabulous. The cover artist did a great job with Paks, and the High Lord’s mark on her forehead looks great. I’m sad about the release date though. Do we really have to wait that long?

  • Comment by ellen — September 26, 2012 @ 3:23 am


    Love that cover! And as for the synopsis, wow! Can’t wait til next June! Fortunately got a few exciting things happening in the meantime to distract us…

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — September 26, 2012 @ 6:13 am


    Paks! and Kieri? But who is that supposed to be down in the corner?

    Is the snippet from Limits?

    Enough questions – thank you!

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — September 26, 2012 @ 6:21 am


    So Kieri’s got another new look for the beard.

  • Comment by Jenn — September 26, 2012 @ 6:59 am


    Thank you for the snippet. Camwyn is a favorite because he keeps me up to date with Aris.

    June! 🙁

    Okay let’s see. If I read one chapter a day starting with SD that should get me to June and keep me up to date one what’s what and who’s that. I just have to have the discipline for chapter at a time.

  • Comment by Iphinome — September 26, 2012 @ 8:57 am


    Paks! *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 26, 2012 @ 9:11 am


    I was so glad they put Paks on the cover.

    Glad you all like it, too.

    Jenn: Didn’t realize you were an Aris fan. I like writing him (and Camwyn) and there will be more of both in the next two books.

  • Comment by mikelabb — September 26, 2012 @ 9:33 am


    I like the cover; I assume that means Paks makes an appearance in LoP. But I am a UK fan, so this won’t be what we get. I am looking forward to seeing the UK cover when confirmed, and of course I am getting excited about June 2013. Elizabeth, I hope you have recovered from “stings and arrows”, and bicycles. Keep the snippets coming – I check the blog daily.

  • Comment by Karen — September 26, 2012 @ 12:02 pm


    Love the cover, love the snippet (I’m another who crushed on Aris — long after I should have been able to form such crushes).

    Now I just want the book (which I suppose is the point, but darn your publisher — unless their secret goal is to make this a beach read, aka something everyone will be reading next summer?!? :-D).

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 26, 2012 @ 12:50 pm


    No, no–I explained that before, Karen. The timing is because my new editor, who is very good, wanted to read the entire Paksworld group before she edited Limits. It took her awhile (she does have other work to do, other authors to shepherd through the process), and meant that Production didn’t get the book for copy editing until early July, by which time the assigned copy editor was tied up until sometime in August. They had to move the release back, moving the book’s “reservations” in copy editing, typesetting, at the printer’s, etc. Somebody’s book was then bumped the other direction. Nothing sinister about it…the same thing would’ve happened if I’d broken both arms and had to turn the book in 2-3 months late. I was and am delighted that Editor put in the effort of reading all the preceding books.

  • Comment by Karen — September 26, 2012 @ 3:27 pm


    Dear Hostess,

    I don’t blame your editor — at all!

    I simply blame my inability to travel into the future.

    Oh, — that — and my consummate dreams that your book will become a summer must-read (along with all the others that preceded it, up to, and including books that weren’t part of the series!)! 😀

  • Comment by Karen — September 26, 2012 @ 3:29 pm



    If I could only be living within the mind of your new editor.

    So many pleasures to encounter! So much to learn!

    So many friends to begin to know!

  • Comment by Adam Baker — September 26, 2012 @ 3:34 pm


    Oh man, I love the cover!

    The synopsis definitely builds the anticipation! Eagerly anticipating next June for sure.

  • Comment by Kathleen — September 26, 2012 @ 4:18 pm


    LOVE the cover. And yes Paks looks great. The snippet was fun too.

  • Comment by SorchaRei — September 26, 2012 @ 6:07 pm


    I did not realize until I saw that gorgeous cover that I have always imagined Paks with grey eyes. I suppose you mentioned otherwise somewhere and I just ignored it because I am stubborn that way. Other than the eyes, the picture looks a lot like the one I built in my head.

    Sorry for myself that the book is coming later rather than sooner, but thrilled that it’s coming at all.

  • Comment by patrick — September 26, 2012 @ 8:53 pm


    Looking forward to my next summer’s reading. And practicing patience in the meantime. Reading this blog helps with both. 🙂

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — September 26, 2012 @ 11:20 pm


    I, too, like the cover design, but my absolute favorite picture of Paks is the one on the American paperback edition of Oath of Gold. Paks is mounted on that big red horse charging at the reader, sword raised, braid flying, and that great smile.
    As far as the wait for Limits of Power, we just got a new distraction. Our second grandson was born yesterday.

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — September 26, 2012 @ 11:30 pm


    Checked Amazon to see if they have Limits available for pre-order. They do. I did.

  • Comment by Karen H — September 27, 2012 @ 2:21 am


    The cover is beautiful.

  • Comment by Richard — September 27, 2012 @ 4:08 am


    Cover, synopsis and snippet – a surfeit of things to talk about.

    Kerry, Daniel: such a good match for the Kings cover in particular. The “house style” for the series is well established. Same artist? Artist (or Editor, briefing Artist) has really done his or her homework on Paks (hair as well as forehead).

    So having got Kieri wrong for Kings, (no beard), would it be making amends to show him again, with beard but wrong hair color? I vote the man is Arvid who we know is dark-haired, and now bearded in his merchant guise.

    Does that prove Paks and Arvid will meet again? Not if the paperback cover of Echoes is Beclan and Stammel, who are never together in that book.

  • Comment by Sharidann — September 27, 2012 @ 4:17 am


    OK, the cover is simply gorgeous!

    The blurb, or synopsis, is good, making us ponder and wonder.

    And the snippet is great, reminding us of the fondness between the King and his brother, something which is not automatical in Great Houses.

  • Comment by Rolv — September 27, 2012 @ 6:16 am


    Great cover, and delighted to see Paks having such a prominent place!
    I guess I need to make sure I have a few days off by the end of June …
    Am near the end of the second re-read of Echoes.
    It will be a long wait … 🙂

    Grandchildren are “the desserts of life”.

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — September 27, 2012 @ 8:51 am


    @Richard – Thanks – I had forgotten about the previous cover showing Kieri clean-shaven. Arvid? Maybe, but given the title, I would think more likely Arcolin who is coming into his power and finding out just what limits there are to wielding it. Hmm, but so is Arvid (finding limits to the power he already had or finding new power) as someone talks to him more and more often. I wonder if Editor or Artist would be willing to tell us and their reasoning.

  • Comment by Chuck — September 27, 2012 @ 9:22 am


    It’s coming out June 11, 2013, the day before my birthday. I took that as a sign I should pre-order now, to ensure it’s a happy occasion. I pre-ordered one for my eldest niece as well (as a hobbit birthday present!)

  • Comment by Mette — September 27, 2012 @ 1:49 pm


    Thanj you for the snippet. I too am a camwyn fan. He sort of reminds me of my oldest daughter, but for being several years older. 🙂
    Also like the cover, but i feel like Paks is just too pretty. With what she has gone through, kolobia and all, i think of her as much more “weathered”, scars and all. I agree that artistically the cover is beautiful but i fint recognize Paks.
    I realise that there might be several reasons why the main protagonists are ‘prettyfied’ on covers, but that doesn’t stop me not liking it.
    But, that is a general thing with many fantasy novels I find. I might be the only reader who is a bit annoyed with that. o_O

  • Comment by Mette — September 27, 2012 @ 1:51 pm


    fint = don’t… Typing on a phone with a danish dictionary sometimes makes things difficult…

  • Comment by Iphinome — September 27, 2012 @ 3:53 pm


    The man in the picture is a bit ghostly, I think we’re seeing Gird, or maybe Falk as he seems to have a metal collar and I have trouble seeing Gird in a proper fitted breastplate.

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — September 27, 2012 @ 6:33 pm


    Mette – the High Lord cleared up ALL of Paks’ scars when he healed her and put the circle on her forehead, so there’s no reason she wouldn’t be pretty now.

    Iphinome – I hadn’t noticed the metal collar, but it makes me even more think it might be Arcolin since he’s still a mercenary.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 27, 2012 @ 9:06 pm


    Mette: Paks is not quite that pretty, but given the constraints of cover art (not just in fantasy) I think they got close; as for aging and scars–remember that she was healed of most scars in Oath of Gold, and she’s only a very few years older now–mid-20s. (Yes, 20 years between books, but not in her life…it confuses me, too, sometimes.) I spent my childhood in south Texas, playing outside a lot, and even in my late 20s showed hardly any sun damage to my skin.

    Iphinome: I’m not entirely sure myself who it is…we had discussed various characters and at some point I was told, but that was about the time things went seriously squirrelly and I’ve forgotten.

    Kerry: Oops…should’ve read your post first before answering Mette.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 27, 2012 @ 9:55 pm


    Sorcha Rai: Sorry, your comment got hung up in moderation and I just missed it. Paks does have gray eyes. (Which probably harks back to my fondness for Greek literature, back in the day: “gray-eyed Athena…”) Tamarrion had blue eyes, “fire-blue”.

    Cover art is not meant to be a perfect portrait–it’s meant to suggest the kind of story you’ve got. Every once in awhile an artist hits it dead on (I think the _Oath of Fealty_ cover did, even though Dorrin doesn’t show her age) but since artists don’t have time to read all the books, they have to go by descriptions.

  • Comment by Mette — September 28, 2012 @ 7:00 am


    @ Kerry and Elizabeth.
    Oh, I remember her being healed, but think I must have missed that about all the scars. Thougt the high Lord healed the worst, but left enough that she needed healing at a grange? Oh well, wouldn’t be the first time I remember something wrong. 🙂
    It really wasn’t meant to say anything about the cover, which I do think is beautiful.
    I guess it just goes to show how different our imaginations paint the people in books, I only just realized that stammel has a moustache, I always pictured him without beard.

  • Comment by Sarah Stapleton — September 28, 2012 @ 7:50 am


    The cover is gorgeous and will sell the book.
    I will continue to imagine Paks as a “big-boned gal”, a Viking, very blond and fair-skinned.
    Pogroms. Damn.

  • Comment by Genko — September 28, 2012 @ 11:34 am


    And one enemy — I’ve been wondering if all of this was from a mastermind or some combination of forces. Still wondering who, or what …

    Yes, I remember Paks specifically being mentioned as grey-eyed in OoG.

  • Comment by Richard — September 28, 2012 @ 3:59 pm


    Being a paladin must be better than any cosmetic. If her horse is always immaculate (without grooming) and her mail and gear gleaming, how could her face ever show less than perfect health?

    Synopsis: I never saw that coming, but Yes! Story on! (and never a hint in any of your blogs, Elizabeth – well done).

    Genko, make allowances for synopsis writer’s limited space to cover multiple storylines and sell the book to new readers as well as old. Many enemies as we know but one specific traitor to be winkled out (or not) in this book. Mind you, we’re spoilt for choice even with traitors since we suspect there is one against Kieri (and earlier his mother), and another in Vérella (undermining Dorrin’s reputation).

    Snippet: how much can one change the fit of mail, once it is made?

  • Comment by Iphinome — September 28, 2012 @ 4:22 pm


    @Richard, It can be completely changed, unlike cloth which might have been made with room to let out but can’t actually be made larger mail can always have new rings added much in the same way as replacing rings when mail is damaged.

    The process is less time consuming than making a whole new set but the varied appearance of new and old rings is less attractive to look at. A mercenary wouldn’t care, a young prince trying to look dashing might grumble a bit.

  • Comment by Richard — September 30, 2012 @ 2:20 pm


    So presumably mail could be made smaller just as easily (if the prince weren’t rapidly growing into it the size it is) but still with obvious new joins. Especially since, for comfort, I assume it would be better to take out small sections from several places (equal amounts front and back, for example, for a thinner person?) than one large chunk.

  • Comment by Iphinome — September 30, 2012 @ 5:36 pm


    @Richard Take a hammer and chisel, break off the rings you don’t want, “sew” back together with fresh rings.

  • Comment by Linda — September 30, 2012 @ 8:03 pm


    Chain mail tailoring sounds a bit easier than resizing an already knit garment, but I think I’ll stick with reworking knitting, when it comes to comfort, even if it does involve ripping out.

    I was noticing the neck line in Paks’ mail and it looks a bit too sweaterish to me. But what do I know …

    I’m rather unsure how one cleans chain mail, but if anybody knows how it was done in the old days, I’m pretty sure they read this blog.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 30, 2012 @ 10:34 pm


    Linda: Chain mail isn’t cleaned to make it shiny, but to prevent rust. One way is to shake it (if it’s a small piece, like the coif you wear on your head) in a sack of sand. Oily sand is best, as you get two part of the job for one shaking. Or you put it in a barrel with sand (if it’s a bigger piece) and then roll the barrel around, fish it out of the sand, shake well (or whack with sticks while it’s hanging up on a frame, to knock the sand loose–because wearing sandy chain mail, even with an arming shirt under it is, is not comfortable.) OTOH, rusty chain mail could get you killed, if the links failed when hit by a weapon.

    I have a “real” (modern but properly made reproduction) chain mail coif and the thing that’s startling is the weight. Worn over a cloth coif (to keep the chain mail from digging into the scalp and pulling hair) and under a modern fencing mask, it’s an uncomfortable companion and suggests why so many battlefield skeletons of medieval battles had bone deformations not related to actual trauma but to the stresses of their normal clothing and/or weaponry.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — October 1, 2012 @ 7:35 pm


    I think that weight was a problem with any kind of mail. Which reminds of the slow progress of the knights in Oath of Gold – fast, light horses could not bear the weight of all that armor.

    It was good to hear from Prince Camwyn again. He made a truly impressive shift from Oath of Fealty to Echoes.

    Hmmm. Hills on the Honnorgat in a pattern?

  • Comment by Richard — October 2, 2012 @ 1:58 pm


    Ginny, Tsaian knights have been seen going about Vérella in plate, which I presume must be even heavier.

    Elves love patterns, but only rockfolk can shape hills? Um? Only eight months to wait …

  • Comment by Ginny W. — October 3, 2012 @ 4:10 pm



    I think plate mail is heavier too. It is certainly stiffer.

    I really like the cover art. On first glance, I hadn’t really processed that the man is behind Paks. Or that the little hooded figure is standing in front of a castle or walled city. Only eight and half months to go. Who would have thought it takes longer to get a book to press than it does to grow a baby?

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — October 4, 2012 @ 6:45 am


    Plate mail is a lot heavier than chain.

    Just got thinking this past week that the teaser from the publisher does fit with the ending of OoG if things extrapolate. Mmmmm

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