“We must have Blood, you know.”

Okay, so I’ve been blithely posting about squirrels and exoplanets as if there were nothing on my mind except my hair (not much of a burden these days). But truly all this while I’ve been seething inside with unshed news, and now it can be told.

The page for Blood of Ambrose is up at the Pyr site, along with the final cover art by Dominic Harman, who has done stunning art for the Temeraire books, among others. (The page text says that the cover is not final, which is technically true, as there are some design issues which may be tweaked, but that’s the cover image.) It’s in the nature of things that I would think this image is mind-blowingly cool: I especially like the murder of crows, the three moons, the Lankhmar-like cityscape of Ontil, and Morlock’s threatening stance.

Fans of the thrice-greatest Chuck Lukacs should not despair: I don’t think I’m spilling any secrets when I say that he’s contributing some typically great interior art.

As far as the text goes, the patient, persistent and insightful proofreader saved me from uncounted crimes and confusions, including chronic and persistent Capitalitis. (“The Fat Cat Lay On The Mat” is not really more impressive than “The fat cat lay on the mat”–it just thinks it is.) I did resplit a couple of the infinitives she unsplit for me, because I am starting to feel that the split infinitive is not so much a right as an obligation. But reading the novel again, with my eyes hovering right over the text (focusing on actual yes-this-is-really-happening-no-fooling publication), was an interesting experience, giving me a lot to think about (on a sentence level, even a word-by-word level) as I write new stuff.

Now, though, I think I have to get up from the keyboard and run around just to bring this buzz down to near-safe levels.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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33 Responses to “We must have Blood, you know.”

  1. paulskemp says:

    That is a fine cover. Congrats!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looks fantastic, James. Can’t imagine the giddiness you must be feeling.

  3. al_zorra says:

    That is a splendid cover. No wonder you’re buzzing. 🙂

    Love, C.

  4. renesears says:

    That is an absolutely stunning cover. Congratulations!

    • JE says:

      Thanks. I didn’t really do anything, but I got to see the art evolve through a couple of stages. It was a blast to be included in the process. (Lou does this with authors at Pyr, but apparently it isn’t normal practice at many houses.)

  5. bondo_ba says:

    That is one massively cool image. Cover art is a bit of a lottery, and you’ve won.


    • JE says:

      Thanks! Yes, watching someone else envision your world is one of the trickiest parts of the letting-go process. But I’ve really been fortunate with artists–between Chuck Lukacs and Dominic Harman I think I’ve been sort of spoiled.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Enge. Beautiful and exciting cover art, and nice blurbs to boot. –Jason T

  7. jordan179 says:

    Okay, so I’ve been blithely posting about squirrels and exoplanets …

    Chee Lan’s people would be squirrel-like sapients living on an exoplanet.

    • JE says:

      I always thought of them as more like cats than squirrels, but they were certainly arboreal. I can’t see Chee Lan running into a bike, but maybe some of the dippier males of the species. Hm…

      [edited for spelling]

  8. burger_eater says:

    Fantastic cover and a great write-up.

    But why does the About the Author section have “Tom Lloyd” there?

  9. That’s a great cover.

  10. What an excellent cover. That’s exactly the sort of art that makes me pick a book up off the shelf and read the first chapter. (What can I say, advertising affects me.)

    • JE says:

      Me too. I almost always judge a book by its cover–which kept me from reading Bujold’s Vorkosigan books for years.

  11. newguydave says:

    I’m as happy for you as a fat kid in a candy store. Sweet cover too.

    • JE says:

      Thanks! I was that kid, too (until I realized I could buy more comic books if I bought less candy).

      • newguydave says:

        Alas, I was a comic collector until I blew my entire paycheck on Conan The Barbarian back issues and my mom freaked out. Speaking of comics, SC Butler is going to be in a panel at NY Comic Con in Feb…

        • JE says:

          Also the new US president is apparently a big fan of the Marvel Conan. So now you’re on the fast-track to power and influence in the halls of Washington! Those comics weren’t an expense, they were an investment.

          It’s been decades since I read a lot of comics (although I’ve been reading some of Alan Moore’s stuff in recent years), but I sometimes wish I had kept all the issues I read in the 60s. I expect I could have financed grad school with my copies of X-Men and Spider-Man.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Very cool, James. I didn’t know (or had forgotten (or don’t know if I had forgotten)) that the story you had on your site was the basis for the novel.

    I hope you can survive seeing your book on the bookstore shelf for the first time. 🙂

    –Jeff Stehman

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, and an excellent blurb by Keyes. Wholehearted agreement (mostly because I like to think of myself as smart).

      –Jeff Stehman

    • JE says:


      Yes, I put it up there as bait, only no one took it.

      I’ll be pretty safe from seeing it in a bookstore around here. No bookstores in the Great Black Swamp (except the student bookstore and a used bookstore). Amazon may be evil-empirish sometimes, but it’s keeping my brain alive…

  13. peadarog says:

    Great cover, James! Your health to enjoy its sickly fruits 😉

    • JE says:

      Thanks! This Harman guy is indeed great–I knew the story was in good hands when I saw all the crows he scattered through the initial pieces.

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