Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Sacred Cover

This is very, very preliminary. I just got the jpeg for this moments ago, so by no means is this guaranteed to be the finished product, but...

I offer Doubleday's preliminary take on a cover for The Sacred Band:


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Blogger The Real Deal said...

I can only think of one word: Super Excited!

Well, okay, I guess I thought of two words...

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God that looks good.

I follow you on my reader because - IRRC - your wife is a jedi knitter, who my wife follows...

One glance at that cover brought me over. I suspect it will have the same effect on the shelf.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hope this time it will be the other way round and the German edition will get the US cover.


7:53 PM  
Blogger Mary Robinette Kowal said...

Wow, that's gorgeous.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really great to see! I cannot wait to read your next installment. Could I be so bold to ask if you are planning to preview a chapter as well...?

6:02 AM  
Blogger BHer said...

Me likey.

But shouldn't your name be bigger?

9:29 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

My name should always be bigger!

But I'm a realist...

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Jon Snow said...

Hi David ,

im excited abt the new book!

change the fonts,get rid of the gragon (cliche),apart from that the rest of the design is good.

P.S- i loved the frnch covers of the ist 2 books.

imho,frnch fantasy covers beat US/UK covers anyday!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Shawn Crawford said...

Cool David, can't wait for the book! I'm doing a re-read of the first two now.

btw--I was thinking about the title 'Sacred Band' and a particular piece of very good advice I received at Stonecoast concerning a certain Italian musical term and well... have you considered the Carthaginian (and earlier Greek) implications of 'Sacred Band'? On second thought, let me rephrase that, cause I'm sure the author of Pride of Carthage is well aware of the etymological origins of the term and has given it careful thought--Is the title written in stone? Or are there other options on the table?


12:39 PM  
Anonymous Joel Hopkins said...

Wow that looks amazing, can't wait!

2:21 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


You've got me chuckling...

But seriously, of course I remember the Sacred Band from it's Carthaginian meaning. Used it quite a few times in Pride of Carthage. I'm sure that at some subconscious level that's part of where it came from.

But in this case it doesn't mean what it appears to mean. I won't give anything away, except to say that the title has several different meanings, and none of them have anything to do with the classical usage of the sacred band.

Is it a problem that people might think it does? Nah, I don't think so. Honestly, not that many people will be familiar with the Carthaginian meaning of it.

Could I change it now? I'd had to have some very compelling reason to. Doubleday has already ran with it. It's in the catalog. It's going to work for me behind the scenes. It's in a lot of different people's hands right now.

There were other options on the table before, but TSB won out!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Shawn Crawford said...

Hey David,
Don't get me wrong, it's a good title--just thought it was funny after what we'd discussed earlier. And I think you're right, "Sacred Band' isn't ingrained into most people's vocabulary--unless you're a history or wargame geek. Guilty as charged.

BTW--the cover looks in line with the other US ones in the series. I assume it's the same artist? Which characters are on the new cover?--unless it would be a spoiler to tell . . .


2:07 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Love the Cover - but wondering when the book will be released?

11:26 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


I'm not sure who the cover artist is. I'll find out at some point and mention it. As for the people on the cover, it's more of a fusion of a couple of different moments in the book than it is one specific one. I probably shouldn't say much more than that, though.


October 4th - this year.

(I'm beginning to be able to say that with confidence.)

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a US citizen, fantasy novel covers are a point of contention for me. Much like when Japanese RPGs were all the rage in the 90s, I was flustered to see that, here in the US, my precious JRPGs were adorned with imagery on their covers of what I liken to 'rap album posing' - the characters in an assembled pose, flashing their weapons like jewelry against the backdrop of what was usually the very first city in the game. Meanwhile in Japan, where video games were treated more like an art form than entertainment, the covers reflected that sentimentality. I have even gone so far as to replace my US covers with Japanese ones.

Don't judge me :)

US fantasy novel covers are much the same way, though they have been improving. Back when I took that chance on ACACIA, purchasing a first edition hardcover the day it came out, I thought it had a good cover. Having read the book, it has since become one of my favorite covers of all time; as has ACACIA become one of my favorite series' of all time.

But then came book two. While I enjoyed the layout and colors, I despised the central image. David, you recently put the German edition cover up on your site, and I'm in love with it. Red, featured so heavily on the cover of the first book, has stuck in my mind as an important color.

As for the proposed third cover: ZOMG.

Or, to put it another way: do want.

Moving on, the difference between your first and second books, David, is a major problem in today's fantasy market: it happened to The Kingkiller Chronicles, and it happeneded to Brett's The Demon Cycle. The first books have decidedly different cover sttyles than their sequels. I understand that the industry has tto adapt to promote sales, but Jesus Christ, it's a headache to look at my bookshelf rife with first edition hardcovers that look like they came from different mothers. I can be happy, at least, that most of the time these cover style revisions are for the best.

Having said all that, I love this cover for book three, and I want to thank you for giving the world ACACIA.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Erin Underwood said...

It's so pretty. I absolutely love it.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Looks great. Very much in line with the others.

2:27 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Thanks for the comments. Ultimately, I'm glad you're reading the books and that you like the first and last covers!

It's funny that you mention how much you like the German cover, though. Do you know that the US image for The Other Lands is actually the German image used for Book One? The cover with the red sails is the German The Other Lands.

Erin and Kevin - Thanks!

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am about 200 pages into Acacia and am totally hooked. I just ordered book 2 from Amazon, so excited! I am really stoked that we will see th next book in October. Thanks so much for entertaining us so well.

1:24 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


No, thank you for being entertained! Please spread the word if you can; that's what helps me be able to write more (and faster).

10:33 AM  

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