Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #4: The Charmed Sphere, by Catherine Asaro

This wonderful book meme/blog hop
is hosted by

Stephanie @

The purpose of this feature is to display
a beautiful book cover,
with information, if available,
about the cover illustrator,
photographer, and/or designer.

For all the participation rules just click

This week, I'm showing some
cover love to:

Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Luna Books
(with Harlequin Books)
July 1, 2005
(first published 2004)
Genre: Fantasy

This is an incredibly beautiful cover!  There is tremendous energy in this composition, as the swiftly sweeping lines of the woman's robe echo the flowing lines of the tree.   Yet, this is gracefully controlled energy; power doesn't have to be brutal in order to be effective.  This is female power, born of the earth, in tune with the forces of nature. 

This illustration is full of light, and there's a floating feeling to it.  The woman's head is surrounded by a nimbus of light, since she is the focal point of the magic.  All the power radiates from her.

On the other side of the tree, a lone horseman has paused, apparently to gaze, mystified, at the light above the woman's head.  She is unaware of him as yet, so concentrated is she on her magic.

I love the soft, pastel colors -- the various shades of green, the gentle blue of the sky...everything about this cover just drew me in when I first saw it!  Of course, I bought the book right away!

I assume the lettering was also done by the artist.  It beautifully complements the glowing illustration!  The letters in the author's name are raised, so they really stand out.

I was able to find the artist pretty quickly, too, which pleased me immensely!  Her name is Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.  She works in watercolors and acrylics.

Here's some biographical information about her, from her website:

Artist's Self Portrait

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law has been painting fantastic otherworlds from early childhood, though her art career did not begin until 1998 when she graduated from a program of Computer Science. After three years of programming for a software company by day and rushing home to paint into the midnight hours, she left the world of typed logic and numbers, for painted worlds of dreams and the fae.

Her illustrations have been for various game and publishing clients, including Wizards of the Coast, HarperCollins, LUNA Books, Tachyon Books, Alderac Entertainment, and Green Ronin. She has authored and illustrated Dreamscapes (2008, North Light Books) and a followup Dreamscapes: Myth & Magic (2010, North Light Books), a series on watercolor technique for fantasy. Her work also regularly appears in Realms of Fantasy Magazine.

Ms. Pui-Mun Law has a blog, as well.  You can visit her at:


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this cover. It is the first I have seen it. Love the talent in the illustration. That self portrait is incredible as well. This artist has quite an impressive list of clients. Great post!

  2. Hi, Steph!

    You're very welcome! Yes, this artist is extremely talented! I was so happy to be able to locate her right away, too, just by Googling her! Up to now, it hasn't been very easy for me to find cover artists. Incredibly, she's not credited in the book itself! I looked all over my copy, and couldn't find her name anywhere! So I just typed "cover artist for 'The Charmed Sphere'" in the Google address bar, and her name came right up!

    I'm now following her blog, and have posted a comment about this post. I sure hope she responds!

    Thanks again for the super nice comment!! Have a GREAT weekend!! : )

  3. I can't say I have seen this before. Thanks for sharing it! I have to go check it out. [:
    You can check out my Shelf Candy here.
    Dreaming In The Pages Enter My Giveaway

  4. Hey, Shawna!

    I guess we must have been leaving comments on each other's blogs at the same time! Lol. I have published two comments on your Shelf Candy post, which I LOVE!! The book you've featured is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and I've already placed it on my TBR bookshelf at Goodreads!!

    Thanks for commenting!! Have a COOL weekend!! : )

  5. Thanks for the feature! And regarding the lettering, no I did not design that. That was the work of the talented graphic designers that Harlequin hires.

  6. Hi, Stephanie!!

    You're very welcome for the feature!! I LOVE your work!!! This cover is just STUNNING, as are all of your other illustrations!!

    Thanks for commenting back!! Have a GREAT weekend!! : )

  7. Oh my goodness! That is a gorgeous cover but your written description of it definitely competes for the glory! :) I hope you are a writer too because you'd be good at it.
    Annie @ CandleLitLibrary

  8. Gosh, Annie, thank you!! It's so nice for one's writing to be appreciated like this!! Well, I'd like to write a novel, but somehow haven't gotten around to doing so...Thanks again for the confidence boost!!

    Heading over to your blog!! Have a nice Sunday!! : )

  9. what a talented artist! I love this cover and I agree with your opinions on the way it looks. I love the lines and it is powerful but not in a violent in your face way.
    This is the first I have sen of this cover and I think its a great Shelf Candy Pick!

  10. Hi, Cambria!

    Yes, she IS indeed a very talented artist! I have visited both her website and blog, and I must say, the more I see of her work, the more I like it!! So now I want to buy as much of her stuff as I can! Of course, I can't actually do that. I would like to get the two books mentioned in my post above, though, and try my own hand at depicting faeries, mermaids, and dragons!

    I'm glad you agree that Pui-Mun Law depicts power gracefully. I'm also glad you like my pick!! There are two more books in this series, with the same cover artist. I'll be featuting them both in future Shelf Candy posts.

    Thanks for the nice comment!! Enjoy your Sunday!! : )

  11. I've never seen this cover before! It's very busy! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I would prefer to say that it's marvelously detailed, and is obviously the work of a very talented artist.

    Thanks for the comment.

  13. Oh this is a gorgeous cover! I love it. Thanks for sharing. =)

    And thanks for stopping by my blog too.

    Megan @ Between the Lines

  14. Hi, Megan! Yes, it IS gorgeous!! Glad you like it! You're welcome for the share, as well as for my visit. And thanks for commenting back, too!! : )


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