Today, lucky readers, I have not one but TWO covers to launch: Lord of the Changing Winds and The Land of Burning Sands by Rachel Neumeier, Books I & II of the Griffin Mage Trilogy. I am launching them together because they are releasing back to back in May and June 2010, and the final book will be out in December 2010. (We know you guys love it when we do a quick publishing schedule so you can get the whole epic, right? We’re geeks too, we know waiting for book 2 is the worst.)
Anyway, back to the books. The author has a fresh take on griffins, much more raw, and dangerous than the traditional fantasy griffins — and I wanted that to show through in the covers. These griffins are animal creatures first, and I think that’s never been explored before, so I have focused on those details of the griffins, and then just added touches of the story – in the first book you can just see the reflection of Kes in the griffin’s eye, and then in the second book you can see the role the desert will play.
I enjoyed these books a great deal, and they reminded me of Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown/The Blue Sword stories — which is a very good thing in my book. A female heroine pushed out of her comfortable ordinary world and forced to grow up and face a much more exciting, but dangerous larger world beyond her safe small town… I eat that stuff up. Here’s a description of the first book for you:
Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human . . . or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.