Hello everyone and welcome to our stop on the cover reveal hype train for Godseye by Bunce & Guhl, the second book in The Dunes of Aelaron series! I am so excited to share this cover with you down below; it is absolutely gorgeous! Before that though, we’ve asked the authors a few questions about the cover, so be sure to stick around.
Down below, you’ll find all of the details about the book, our Q&A with the authors themselves, and the cover reveal proper. Also, don’t forget to check out the full cover reveal “schedule” at the bottom of the post and check out some of the content from our other hosts!
Godseye by Aaron Bunce and Christopher Guhl
Series: The Dunes of Aelaron #2
Intended Age Group: Young Adult
Published: Forthcoming (Est. Nov. 22)
Publisher: Autumn Arch Publishing
My name is Vayo and I am no longer a slave.
I ascended, assuming the mantle of Grae god. I wield elemental power, and with Traba, an enormous storm bird at my side, I set out to finally see my people set free.
And yet, I am not the only one wielding unnatural strength. In his desperation, Cyrus brokered a deal with the darkest of the Undergods. If I am to defeat the King and his newfound power, I must locate the other ascendants. Only with them at my side can we restore balance. To find them, I need a relic lost to both time and sand.
The Godseye is the key. But what it shows me might be the biggest surprise yet.
The All-Seeing Eye • Princess of Persia • Third Eye Blind
The first book in The Dunes of Aelaron series is currently on pre-order and is set to release very soon! So, we’re sharing some links below for Wings of the Storm, releasing on August 29, 2022.
Amazon (Wings of the Storm): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B61X39HS/
Goodreads (Wings of the Storm): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61408398-wings-of-the-storm
Did you have an idea of what you wanted your cover to look like? What direction did you give the artist?
Aaron: We had already completed worldbuilding and the storyline, so we had the basic premise of the story. Early on I was very inspired by dragon rider stories. The White Dragon, by Anne McCaffrey, was one of the first garage sale fantasy books I’d scouted and purchased when I was young, so you could say that one set the standard. With a trilogy in mind, Chris and I figured out what we wanted depicted on all three covers and then scoured the web for comps. With those in hand, we approached our artist and provided him a detailed write-up of what we were looking for. We like to provide him some creative wiggle room, so he digested the concepts for a little bit and then started sketches. It only took a few different sketches before he’d struck gold. Then Chris and I got to sit back and watch the painted versions roll in. It is very rewarding!
Christopher: We knew we wanted a closer, more intimate look of the massive storm-bird, along with our main character, Vayo. We gave our artist different bird references, as well as character descriptions, then let his artistic genius go to work! We really only had to go back and forth a couple of times, because Aaron and I like to nitpick certain details, but the artist delivered each time!
Does the cover reference a particular scene in the book?
Christopher: Not specifically, but it does portray the status of Vayo and her people during the events of Godseye. It does go hand in hand with the overall story arc.
Aaron: Yes and no. The Wings of the Storm cover actually depicts the penultimate moment or the climax of Vayo’s slave to hero arc. For Godseye, the cover is more symbolic. We wanted to capture Traba’s scale and show them side by side. This is important, as it plays on the theme of connectedness. Side by side they are powerful, but when together—as bird and rider, they are almost unstoppable.
What’s your favorite thing about this cover?
Aaron: It’s so hard to pick any one thing, but if I was forced, I would say the color. Traba is a magnificent bird, showcasing some beautiful peacock-like plumage. Our artist, Linggar, really knocked her color out of the park. Also, Aelaron is a world of revolving seasons. Instead of progressing through winter, fall, spring, and summer, the dunes have whole seasons of night and day. Or as the tribes call them, Darka and Suna. Between those two seasons is a transitory period, much like dusk, called Eluna. Godseye takes place during the start of Eluna, so we really wanted to show that beautiful sunset sky!
Christopher: Definitely the dark blue color of the bird’s feathers, with the added bright red crest on her head. And really the whole fantasy-esque look of it, it gives me a modern vibe of older, classic fantasy covers. Plus, I won’t name names, but our side character there is looking really strong and fierce!
SFF cover art routinely blows me away with how beautiful and creative it can be and yours did just that. Can you tell us who created your cover and a little about them?
Aaron: Sure! Our artist is Linggar Bramanty. He lives in Indonesia. I found him on DeviantArt and instantly fell in love with his gallery work, especially his depictions of fantasy monsters. I emailed him to see if he was open to commissions and well, the rest is history. We commissioned the Wings of the Storm cover well before we’d even begun writing the book and loved the final result so much it actually became a huge motivational factor.
Christopher: Yeah, seeing that huge raptor with the storm brewing and lightning cracking really got us moving on the first book! Aaron sent me samples of Linggar’s work (@linggarbramanty on Instagram), and both of us were like, “Yeah, this is the guy.” From the style to his range of fantasy work, and the creatures he’d drawn/painted, he had the package we were looking for.
Why did you decide to go with that particular artist?
Christopher: His work with fantasy creatures and worlds really stood out to me. In this series, we feature several creatures that are reminiscent of your “traditional” fantasy creatures, but are unlike anything we’ve seen in other works of fiction. Linggar had the chops to take our vision and make it digestible on screen.
Aaron: I have worked with many artists over the years. I have learned to match the style of artwork to the story need. For this, understanding what epic and high fantasy fans are looking for, I went looking for an artist who could digitally paint and create fantastic scenes. Linggar proved to be that man!
What do you hope the cover makes people feel?
Aaron: Wings of the Storm is about awe. At least, I hope that is what people feel when they read it. We’ve gone to great pains to build a deep and magical world that is also mysterious and a little bit scary. There are gods, both benevolent and somewhat evil, good people and bad, but as we come to realize, very real and magical creatures. Traba is a storm bird, a massive and elemental force. While the first cover shows her surrounded by chaos, Godseye paints her in a regal pose. In a way, we wanted this cover to instill feelings of hope.
Christopher: It goes back to that classic fantasy feel with a modern vibe. We both are fans of the fantasy genre, with inspiration ranging from Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, back to J. R. R. Tolkein (among dozens of others). This is a fantasy series, but in a fresh, newly crafted world that will pull readers in and give them something they haven’t really seen before. I guess that’s why we do this whole reading thing, right? To be transported to other worlds, put in other people’s boots, and experience everything that they go through and how they grow.
Before we show you the cover for Godseye, I think it’s important to set the stage with what I think is the equally epic cover for the first in the series, Wings of the Storm!
I love the imagery of this powerful looking young woman facing down a fearsome creature in the sky over a sand-swept ruin. It’s so incredibly well done! And, let’s raise our hands for some A+ cover design as well! Too often I see fantastic cover art ruined by sub-par cover design, but that’s not the case here! Everything is executed to perfection and I love the way the upper and lower half of the cover text differs, with the title text taking on an almost smoke-like quality and the lower half looking like it’s been sitting in the desert sand for millenia.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Here is the full cover art with none of that pesky text in the way, followed by the finished cover design as it’ll appear on the book! Bask in its magnificence!
Honestly, I am just blown away by this cover art. I think the thing that strikes me most about this cover is the difference in how the main character is depicted. Where before she was standing in defiance to a monstrous creature in the skies, now she stands with a kind of cool confidence, with an almost visible aura of power surrounding her and the mighty bird she rests her hand on.
Finally, here’s the finished cover of Godseye! I really appreciate the way the artist has matched the cover text that’s on Wings of the Storm. These books are going to look fantastic on my shelf!
Okay! We’ve shown off a few incredible covers and now we’re gonna end today’s post by sharing some info about the authors, Aaron Bunce and Christopher Guhl! As an aside, we will be hosting a full book tour of Wings of the Storm, the first book in The Dunes of Aelaron series in mid-October so be sure to look out for that!
About the Authors
Around every turn, Christopher Guhl expects to be dazzled by something unexpected, amazing, and fantastical. Though still waiting for the day when a wizard shows up on his doorstep, he now creates the worlds he dreams of on his own, plucking them from his mind like seeds and allowing them to grow after proper nourishing.
He fell in love with writing while completing a creative writing emphasis track at the University of Iowa. Then took those skills and wrote his debut novel, NAEVIA-18, a young adult science fiction novel akin to The Giver and Divergent. Next, he moved to fantasy worlds with ABSOLUTE ESSENCE, a fantasy adventure with elemental monsters, strange creatures, and powerful magic. After a novella, DESCENT, set in the world of Naevia-18, Christopher is ready to tackle his next adventure, joining forces with a strange, cloaked man that showed up on his doorstep…
A devoted scribbler and award winning author, Aaron Bunce has been seeking a portal to another world since childhood. Once he finally gave up on finding a magical wardrobe or teleporting phonebooth, he decided to write about new worlds instead.
A graduate of Southern New Hampshire’s English program, Aaron has been a writer, editor, publisher, and audiobook producer. His passion is stories, but more so, characters, as they drive the experience. He started writing in fantasy, bounced to science fiction horror, veered into LitRPG territory, and has touched many other genres in between.
Aaron and Christopher are excited to bring their newest offering to readers this summer, as they launch an all-new fantasy saga—The Dunes of Aelaron. Featuring wind-swept dunes, dark, meddlesome gods, and massive stormbirds, the electric first offering, Wings of the Storm, will blow readers away.
That bird is incredible. Great job on the covers! This series sounds great!