Sunday, April 8, 2018

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 247: Those Above, by Daniel Polansky

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Those Above
(The Empty Throne, Book 1)
Daniel Polansky
Hardcover, 400  pages
Hodder & Stoughton
February 26, 2015
Epic Fantasy

My Thoughts About This Cover

This STUNNING cover has a definite King Arthur vibe to it, so of course I love it! I immediately thought of The Lady of the Lake, who gives Arthur his sword, Excalibur, in one of the versions of the legends.

What sets this fabulous sword apart from others, though, is that the hilt is composed of eagles. One eagle, in the upside down position, forms the main part, its wings outstretched, while the top of this hilt shows two eagles' heads, looking in opposite directions. These design elements, along with the circular design on the hilt (which is also, and very cleverly, the letter "O" in the title) simultaneously give this sword a Roman feel, as well. Of course, the classic font used for the title contributes to this.

There's additionally a subtle Irish feel here, as the design in the middle of the letter "O" is obviously of Celtic origin.

The sword blade doubles as a Doric column, which serves to reinforce the Roman feeling. Such columns were a feature of ancient Greek architecture, and were later adopted by the Romans.

The bubbles and ripples formed by the sword's entrance into the water form a very nice contrast with the golden glow, and golden shower of sparks, in the upper part of the cover. 

In short, this is a visually powerful and immensely appealing image!

I am SO happy to report the name of the BRILLIANT cover artist! It's Rhett Podersoo. He is a London-based digital artist who is also a designer and photographer. He uses the name "Machine Room Design". He has not only created book covers, but art for bands and record labels, as well. 

Podersoo's clients include authors and publishers, such as Whitley Strieber, Hodder & Stoughton, Daniel Polansky, and Penguin Books. As for the bands and record labels, he has done work for Metal Blade Records, Peaceville Records, Dawn of Ashes, Paradise In Exile, Coronor Records, and Falling Skies, among many others.

Mr. Podersoo was shortlisted for the Ravenheart Award, which is given for the year's best fantasy book cover, in 2014, 2016, and 2017.   

Online Links
Hodderscape Cover Reveal
Elvenking Cover Album

What do you think of 
this week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. I like this cover. But I do find it s bit busy. The bubbles and the sparks seem to distract from the other elements. I think that the entire effect would be stronger had they been toned down.,

    Have a great Sunday Maria!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      I think this is a STUNNING cover! And I do love the bubbles and sparks, lol. I actually think they add to the whole effect. Well, everyone has different artistic tastes. :)

      I have definitely NEVER seen a sword like this one before! Eagles on the hilt, and a blade that resembles a Doric column. I really need to get this book!!

      Hope you're having a great Sunday, as well! It's raining down here right now. Perfect reading weather!! :) :)

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

  2. Oh I'm with you... I think the cover is absolutely fabulous and I love all the bubbles, sparks, rain, etc. The business with swords and knives being featured is rather overused, so seeing an artist nail the whole concept so brilliantly is a real treat:)). Thank you for sharing - I haven't read this one, yet!

    1. Hi, Sara!

      I'm glad you agree about the sparkles and bubbles! I do think they add to this cover's appeal. :)

      Yes, the swords-on-covers thing is indeed overdone, but, as you have stated, it's a real treat when an artist comes up with a new creative angle on it!

      You're very welcome for the sharing! I need to read this one, too! Thanks for the comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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