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This lovely Monday we have an awesome cover for a book I really enjoyed reading and working on, The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. The fabulous Larry Rostant provided the very atmospheric imagery, and I had obvious fun playing with the type. With both the image and the type, we wanted to clearly evoke renaissance Venice, but portray the strong main character and dark adventure of the story.

The Fallen Blade is the best of both worlds: an alternative historic fiction set in a renaissance Venice at the height of her power, populated by supernatural creatures and backstabbing political intrigue, AND a fast-moving fantasy adventure tale of vampires, werewolves, assassins, and pirates. Jon Courtenay Grimwood does such a fantastic job of describing Venice that you feel a really strong sense of geography and atmosphere. I was just in Venice in January and I was really impressed with how true the historical and geographical details felt, and it makes following the characters and story weaved around this framework all the more immediate. I can’t wait to see where the story is going to go in the next book.

Here’s a description:

In the depths of night, customs officers board a galley in a harbor and overpower its guards.  In the hold they find oil and silver, and a naked boy chained to the bulkhead.  Stunningly beautiful but half-starved, the boy has no name. The officers break the boy’s chains to rescue him, but he escapes…

Venice is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They command the seas, tax the colonies, and, like those in power before them, fear assassins better than their own…

In a side chapel, Marco’s fifteen-year old cousin prays for deliverance from her forced marriage.  It is her bad fortune to be there when Mamluk pirates break in to steal a chalice, but it is the Mamluks’ good luck – they kidnap her…

In the gardens beside the chapel, Atilo, the Duke’s chief assassin, prepares to kill his latest victim. Having cut the man’s throat, he turns back, having heard a noise, and finds a boy crouched over the dying man, drinking blood from the wound. The speed with which the boy dodges a dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo.  And the assassin knows he has to find the boy…

Not to kill him, but because he’s finally found what he thought he would never find. Someone fit to be his apprentice…


  1. Jackie (Literary Escapism)

    April 19, 2010
    at 12:25 pm

    This sounds amazing. Do we really have to wait until Jan. 27, 2011 for it to be published? *grin*

  2. Marty

    April 19, 2010
    at 5:15 pm

    The cover looks awesome and it sounds like an interesting read. Looking forward to it.

    I wanted to help get word out about the book and posted an article about it on my site :o)

  3. ria

    April 20, 2010
    at 4:51 am

    The cover looks good. The blurb sounds even better. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.

  4. Angela (Dark Faerie Tales)

    April 20, 2010
    at 11:42 pm

    WOW! This sounds like an amazing series. I can’t wait to give it a read.

  5. Claire

    April 21, 2010
    at 5:18 am

    I agree with Jackie, we have to wait for Jan 2011? And probably even longer for the UK edition.

  6. Darren Nash

    April 23, 2010
    at 5:07 am

    THe UK edition will be published before the US edition, Claire – Jon is a British author, after all. Orbit UK publishes on 20th January 2011, and I can assure you it’s worth the wait!

  7. Laura

    July 26, 2011
    at 7:14 am

    OMG!! i reconis him,, Brett Levene!?!?!?!?

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