Last year, Rachel Neumeier’s The Mountain of Kept Memory showed us a fascinating magical world and brought a touch of modernity to high fantasy, hiding whorls of complexity in familiar broad brush strokes of the genre. Later this year, she introduces us to a whole new imagined setting in the standalone fantasy Winter of Ice and Iron. It’s available in November from Saga Press, and we’re showing off the cover today.
But first, a bit more about the book, to build anticipation…
“I’ve been a huge fan of Rachel’s writing for years, and it’s been a pleasure to work on this one,” said Navah Wolfe, editor at Saga Press. “Winter of Ice and Iron is sweeping, epic, and gorgeous, packed with intricate worldbuilding and fantastic characters. Kehera is an amazing heroine, and Innisth…oh, Innisth stole my heart.”
Here’s the official summary:
In this gorgeous, dark fantasy in the spirit of Jacqueline Carey and Guy Gavriel Kay, a princess and a duke must protect the people of their nations when a terrible threat leaves everyone in danger.
With the Mad King of Emmer in the north and the vicious King of Pohorir in the east, Kehara Raehema knows her country is in a vulnerable position. She never expected to give up everything she loves to save her people, but when the Mad King’s fury leaves her land in danger, she has no choice but to try any stratagem that might buy time for her people to prepare for war—no matter the personal cost.
Hundreds of miles away, the pitiless Wolf Duke of Pohorir, Innisth Eanete, dreams of breaking his people and his province free of the king he despises. But he has no way to make that happen—until chance unexpectedly leaves Kehara on his doorstep and at his mercy.
Yet in a land where immanent spirits inhabit the earth, political disaster is not the greatest peril one can face. Now, as the year rushes toward the dangerous midwinter, Kehera and Innisth find themselves unwilling allies, and their joined strength is all that stands between the peoples of the Four Kingdoms and utter catastrophe.
As for the cover, created by veteran artist Marc Simonetti: well, the author is pretty happy with it.
“The stark grandeur of this cover, along with its suggestions of nearly-hidden lyricism, does a beautiful job of conveying the tone of the story within,” Neumeier said. “I especially love the light shining forth from behind the central mountain, which immediately suggests that this story, while grim in parts, is far from grimdark.”
Here’s the cover, along with a peek at the full wraparound artwork, which might currently be my desktop background..