Bloodsounder’s Arc Book One

This is the marketing copy Night Shade Books put together, and I’m pretty sold on it, so I’ll recycle here.

Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies–or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself.

Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe . . . and Arki might be next.

Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!

A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER explores the brutal politics of Empire–and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul.

I have to say, perhaps I’m biased, but I think the cover looks fantastic. I’m absolutely thrilled. The art came from J.K Woodward, who did a killer job, and the striking design was put together by Federico Piatti and Victoria Maderna.

I’m guessing most writers have panic attacks (or at least some pretty sharp anxiety) when they see their covers for the first time, because you never know how an artist is going to interpret your vision or characters, or how the designer is going to tie it all together and package it. But J.K., Federico, and Victoria all did stellar work here. The artist completely captured the almost film noir vibe of the book, and the designers came up with a great treatment for the tag line, added a flourish, but still kept it understated.

Update: Night Shade just sent me the dust jacket for the hardcover (see below, in all its kickass glory). I thought the front cover was impressive enough, but now that I’ve seen the whole thing, I’m blown away by how good it is. Everything really came together well–the colors, fonts, style. It’s beautiful and moody and really just flat out stunning.

Scourge_of_the_Betrayer_Dust Jacket

SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER is harsh and profane as anything Richard K. Morgan or Joe Abercrombie serves up. Fortunately, Salyards has the skills—and the humor—to pull it off. Snappy dialogue, political intrigue, shady characters, gripping action sequences, a poor guy that has no idea what he’s gotten himself into… Yeah, there a lot to like about this debut.”

—DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM, author of The Acacia Trilogy

Bloodsounder's Arc Trilogy