The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart had one of my all-time favorite Orbit covers, and I was thrilled to work with Keith Hayes from the Little Brown Art dept. and the illustrator Istvan Orosz on the design. So when I saw that a new Jesse Bullington book was on this list I was really excited at the challenge — and really curious to see where Bullington would go after his violent, revolting, sensibility-offending debut novel (and I mean that all in a good way!) Well, let’s just say The Enterprise of Death does not disappoint on any count — you’ll either love this book, or you’ll want to burn it at the stake.
Like Brothers Grossbart, the story takes place in a specific historical place and time — this time during the height of the Inquisition and Moorish expulsion from Spain in the late 1400s. Not only are there real-life historical characters in the story, there’s also real-life art that’s critical to the story. That’s actually a challenge for a cover designer. Sometimes when you use fine art on a cover it can give the design a very quiet, even static feel. Luckily for me, I don’t think anyone would call Death and the Maiden by Niklaus Manuel Deustch quiet or static.