The Guns of Ivrea
Written by Clifford Beal
Acquisitions editor Jonathan Oliver
Published by Solaris Books
Pirate princeling Nicolo Danamis, mercenary to the King and captain of the largest fleet in Valdur, has made one deal too many, and enemies are now closing in to destroy him.
Citala, fair-haired and grey-skinned, the daughter of the chieftain of the merfolk, finds herself implacably drawn to the affairs of men. She puts events in motion that will end her people’s years of isolation but that could imperil their very existence.
The Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal, published by Solaris Books

A swashbuckling sea-faring fantasy novel! A gritty, thrilling epic that reads like a cross between Patrick O'Brian and George R.R. Martin, bringing together the tang of the sea and the taste of cold steel.

Jacket artwork
Jacket back
After reading the manuscript I came up with a slew of concepts that revolved around the key attributes of the narrative. These included the setting, the characters, the forces at play, the tone of the text, and the flavor of the drama. In order to be faithful to the world the author built, I had to fashion the clothing, develop the look the merpeople, the kinds of ships, and the classic creatures featured in the story, such as the cockatrice.

I was thrilled when I came up with the concept that combined the silhouette of the protagonist carved out of an undersea canyon with merpeople on the ascent. Everyone agreed this was the way to go.

The art director gave me free reign with the image and designing the lettering. The original concept had the undersea silhouette with a type treatment that touched upon the religious thread of the story. I also wanted to include ornamental details like the twin sisters, the ship, and skull. Ultimately though the editors opted to shorten the title, which happens sometimes. It was a surprise to see that Clifford thanked me in the acknowledgements, which was awfully kind of him.
Approved color sketch
Merman study

Merman study

Studies from the story of ships, mermen, and cockatrices
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