And I know you're all busily scrolling past this right now, but I'm going to ramble a bit first anyway because a) it seems less basic than just slapping the cover up here with barely any introduction and letting the art do all the talking and b) it's my blog and I'll ramble if I want to.
This cover illustration (including hand lettering!) was created by a legendary artist, Kate Forrester. You can visit her website and see her brilliant work for yourself (and I highly recommend it, because it's a feast for the eyes) but suffice it to say that she's created covers for some publishing greats. I personally think she's outdone herself this time.
This is the inspiration board I'd put together for any potential artist or designer for the book to look at. That's how I've worked with Delightful Designer over my past four books. I share it here because I think it's interesting - there are so many points of convergence that it is spooky, including the fact that I'd actually pinned a cover created by Kate Forrester long before I ever knew she would be involved - not because, on this occasion, it had anything to do with the cover art. It didn't.
Delightful Designer is currently on maternity leave and the designer Walker had working on The Hand, the Eye & the Heart (hi, Genius Designer! We haven't spoken, but you're awesome!) came up with the concept and decided on an artist without any input from me whatsoever. And all I can say is: good call. Honestly, I don't think it could have worked out any better.
So now, without any further ado... THE COVERRRRR!!
I mentioned in the teaser post that every detail in the cover is not only informed by the aesthetics of the cultures on which the book itself draws, but also by specific details of the story and characters. All the animals (mythical and real) are significant in the story. The flowers you see - peonies and magnolias - are each mentioned in the story. Above all, the style and composition and colours all remind me very much of a glorious kesi tapestry, and since this kind of weaving is an artform which is very important to the main character of the book, that means a lot to me.
I think it's honestly stunning. And so right for this book. I'm also told there's a chance that the finished version maaaay have foil, so my fingers are crossed for that...
Other details about this book which I can now share! It's 448 pages long - the longest book I've ever written. It starts with an epigraph from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. It will also contain a trigger warning (which I'm very grateful to my publisher for letting me include) and a list of resources which I hope might be useful for trans and non-binary folk.
And just to make this as special as possible, now it's GIVEAWAY time. There won't be any ARCs for this book, but I've been promised that there will be early copies and that these should materialise sometime around the new year. So if you'd like to get your hands on one of these early copies, of which there will be limited numbers, as soon as I do? Then RT or share this post and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win The Hand, the Eye and the Heart in all it's (hopefully) foiled glory.
This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and you can increase your odds of being the winner depending on how often you share and RT this post over the next two weeks. Have at it and have fun, muffins!