February 20, 2016
Hello readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas!
Love the cover? So do we! We have Rhiannon on the blog today talking about this gorgeous cover!
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Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.
Kingdom of Ashes Cover Love
When my editor asked me if I had any ideas for the Kingdom of Ashes cover, I only had one request — I wanted Aurora to be standing up.
I’ve ranted about the fetishization of dead girls on covers on my website before, but I thought it fit for A Wicked Thing. I’ve always seen that cover as the “sacrificial altar” cover, which reflects the story of the first book; she’s trapped, manipulated, and expected to abandon all of her own personality and desires for the sake of everyone else. But to contrast with that, Aurora on the cover of Kingdom of Ashes needed to feel powerful. Not in a fighting a monster/wielding a sword sort of way, because that’s not Aurora’s character, but a calm and assertive sort of power. And for that, she needed to be standing.
The cover only went through two iterations, that I saw, and the only difference was Aurora herself. Here’ss a snippet of the original version:
And here is the matching snippet of the final cover:
I felt that Aurora looked a little too static in the original. Her elbow was limper, and her expression less certain. She looked like she’d just found herself on the staircase in the first version, with no idea how she got there. In the newer version, I think she looks far more decisive. Like she’s about to stride up the stairs.
I just love the details on the cover too. The flowers carved in the wood. The floor peeking through the rubble. These are the ruins of Vanhelm, a kingdom that’s been almost completely destroyed by dragons. So there’s a lick of fire chasing up the stairs, and another blaze of something barely visible through the gaps in the patterned wood door! There’s even a tiny spark of fire at the bottom of her dress, like Aurora herself is about to ignite. And perhaps she is, since Aurora’s connection to the dragons is a huge part of the novel.
Oh, and as a fantasy braid obsessive, Aurora’s hair is awesome. It’s a fishbone plait twisted over her shoulder, and although there’s no way it would stay in place if she had to run for her life (it probably wouldn’t stay in place for her walking up the stairs, to be honest), this is a fantasy world where you can wear a strapless red dress while climbing through rubble, so let’s handwave it as another one of her magical powers. No matter how impractical it is, the red of the dress really pops, and her overall look is one of feminine power and determination. She’s going to adventure her way through a ruined kingdom, and she is going to look fabulous as she does it.
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