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The Starlight of Shadows – A Yurvanian Novel

Author: Nicole Lieger


Amalai’s life is steeped in the enchanting sensuality of this breathing earth. And one day the rustling leaves lead her to a mysterious stranger, to a song of fay . . .

But then a youth is found dead in the forest. Is a demon threatening the town? Already the soldiers start marching, foreboding a return of warlords and violence. Their advance must be stopped, and the power of free communities defended! With force? Or with something entirely different?

A young rebel and a misplaced prince, a no-nonsense magician and a shimmering dreamer band together in Amalai’s herbary to save the town. And to face an uncertain truth, one full of fear and love and the beauty of starlight . . .

A temptation for fans of Becky Chambers, Ursula K. Le Guin and Michael Ende.”

A poetic tale of that other world our hearts know is possible.”

My first book cover targeted to an adult audience. This was an incredible project to work on. When Nicole approached me a while ago, I was immediately amazed by the quality of the world-building that she had done with her series. The book series having utopian leanings, solarpunk inspiration and deep political/philosophical themes, it had to be shown with a cover that was focused on landscapes rather than characters. This was quite a challenge, but my enthusiasm in doing landscapes made the project extremely gratifying and enjoyable.

Having to build on top of the world-building that was already there was bound to be tricky, you want the vision of the author to come through as much as possible while making things interesting still. Thankfully, Nicole was very open to my ideas and I was more than happy to send her all of the ideas that I had in my mind.

The architecture in the book is mostly inspired by East Asian architecture with a mix of Art Nouveau and European influences. The tricky part was to find just the right balance for it without being too unrealistic and highly stylized. The house had to showcase a large balcony on the second floor, with an overgrown garden all around. With the whimsical influences present, we settled on a great design that showcase all of the important bits and I’m really proud of the work that we have done!

Final Front Cover
Rough sketch idea
Final sketch with rough color idea.