Today is the day, dear Reader! Today I get to reveal to you the gorgeous, beautiful cover for Yorien’s Hand. I’m so excited, I just can’t stand making you wait, so I’m going to show you the cover right off the bat, and then tell you more about the story that will be contained inside this absolutely, stunningly gorgeous watercolor painting by Angelina Walker.
I’m just going to let you soak that up for a moment. That’s the whole cover, including the spine and back cover, obviously. Angelina does a great job creating beautiful wrap-around scenes for these book covers, and it actually hurts my heart a little that the back covers sometimes never even get seen (for example, those who only get the e-book versions). However, here on my blog, you get to see the whole thing.
Am I the only one excited here? Dragons! Dragons!
And now for a close-up of the front cover:
Okay, I’m trying to stay a bit professional-sounding here, but Angelina’s painting just takes my breath away, it really does. I’m incredibly thankful that she is willing to bless my books with her talents (I’m not always the easiest person to work with).
Now, you’re probably wanting to know a little bit more about this story, so here’s the back cover blurb:
The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.
From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.
Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.
And, just to whet your appetite, I’m going to include the prologue. And it’s completely new. If you have read Second Son, you may have noticed and read the Yorien’s Hand teaser I put at the end of that book – well, most of that is still intact, but it is no longer the official prologue. So, here’s something new to read.
Oraeyn sat on the sand and gazed up at the stars. The heat of the day had fled with the Dragon’s Eye, though the air and the sand beneath him still held a certain warmth. A cool breeze wafted pleasantly across his face, whispering promises of adventure and rest in equal strength. The gentle rustle of the waves washing up to meet the shore was steady and calming. On the horizon, the Toreth rose: a large, silver disc that hovered over the water like a magical beacon, beckoning him to chase it. Oraeyn’s head ached, though he had removed his crown before leaving the palace to wander down to the shores of his kingdom.
His kingdom. Ayollan. It all still felt surreal. The oaths he had sworn that morning before many of his countrymen weighed heavily upon him, wrapping him in their solemnity and the responsibility for which he was now solely accountable. It was the weight of those oaths he now felt, not the remembered insignificant pressure of the crown he was as yet unaccustomed to wearing.
It had been nearly a year since King Arnaud had announced his intent to abdicate the throne and proclaimed Oraeyn as his chosen successor. In that time, Oraeyn had gone from an orphaned squire, toiling towards knighthood in relative obscurity, to a direct descendant of one of the greatest kings Aom-igh had ever known. Since learning all this, Oraeyn had shadowed King Arnaud constantly: learning how to run a kingdom, how to interact with the members of his staff, who his greatest supporters would be, and who might try to cause trouble. The work had been grueling, but satisfying.
There were moments when Oraeyn was not sure he believed any of it. But the proof was hanging at his side. The Fang Blade, a weapon from an ancient era, passed down to him as though King Llian himself had reached through time and bequeathed him the sword personally. Though the weapon could be wielded by any who grasped its hilt, it had been magically protected for centuries in its hiding place against falling into the wrong hands. The wizard Scelwhyn had placed the sword deep in the heart of the Mountains of Dusk and woven an enchantment around it that could only be broken by one of Llian’s direct descendants.
Oraeyn’s hand rested lightly on the hilt of the sword. He had found it by accident. He could have lived his entire life and never gone close enough to its resting place to hear the call. It was unfathomable how such a small event could change the course of his life forever. And now, today, he was king. It was a position he never would have sought, a responsibility he never desired to shoulder.
Thankfully, he had excellent mentors. Arnaud, former king of Aom-igh, had become like a father to him. And then there was Brant. Former King’s Warrior and champion of Aom-igh, he was the man Oraeyn looked up to the most. Three years ago, in the same journey that had brought Oraeyn to claim the Fang Blade, he had also met Brant. He and the Princess Kamarie had been sent to find the man and request his aid in the coming invasion from the Dark Country: Llycaelon.
At the end of that encounter, it had been revealed that Brant was originally from Llycaelon. Moreover, he had been a prince there. Though the throne had been offered to him, Brant had declined to rule, instead making certain that the crown passed to his young nephew, Jemson. Jemson’s youth was a concern to many of his people. At twenty-three years, he was the same age as Oraeyn, but people in Llycaelon aged differently than people in the rest of the world, and so Jemson was considered in many ways to still be a child. Because of this, Brant’s time was divided between both countries as he traveled back and forth acting as counselor to both young kings, and liaison for the newly formed and fragile alliance between these two great nations.
Heaving a sigh, Oraeyn lay down in the sand and stared up at the stars. It had been a long, long day, and more long days stretched out before him without end. He only hoped he was up to the challenge.
❖ ❖ ❖
Far away, deep beneath the earth in his dark prison, an ancient power shuddered. For centuries had he lain in wait, biding his time, conserving his strength. At long last, his patience had paid off; there were cracks in his prison once more. He would be more careful this time, reserve some of his power. But he would have to be wary. His enemy was vigilant.
Stretching out through one of the fractures in his prison, he sought a new host. He had done this before, many times. Subtly, quietly, he offered his power to the mere mortal, promising greatness he did not intend to ever bestow.
He felt a jolt of triumph as he wove his own power into his new host’s being. This time, it would be different. This time, he would find a way to break free from his cell, and then he would never be chained again. He would be king, lord, and master, as he was always meant to be, and not even his ancient enemy could stop him from achieving his goal. Not this time.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the people helping out with this cover reveal today. I’ve included links to those sharing on other blogs, please make sure you check out their posts! I gave them some other small snippets from various places in the book if you want even more of a sneak peek at what this story may contain!
Please swing by their sites, and don’t be shy! Leave them a comment!
I’d also like to thank my awesome web-designer, who got the site all spruced up and fancy in time to help celebrate the cover reveal. Isn’t everything so pretty? Feel free to poke around a bit, but don’t worry, things are still generally the same.
Of course, I know what you’re all wondering. “When will this book be available?”
I wish I had a firm, definite answer for you. I don’t. But I will tell you that my GOAL is to release Yorien’s Hand by mid-November. Life has a way of happening, however, so please understand that this is not a promise. I DO promise that I will be working as hard as I can to hit that deadline. I am excited about this installment of The Minstrel’s Song, and I cannot wait to share it with you all. I am just about finished with my current edit, but there is still a lot of work ahead.
Ooh, I almost forgot! Yorien’s Hand is up on Goodreads, so please make sure you go add it to your “Want to Read” shelf!
And finally, please feel free to share any of the following images anywhere you please – but I would ask that you would include a link either to my blog or to the book’s Goodreads page. Thank you so much!
I hope you are as excited as I am, dear Reader!