the Author

Cast in Ruin: Cover

Posted in Books, Elantra, Luna, Miscellaneous.

I’ve received permis­sion to post this. It’s a cover proof, which means it’s open to some minor revi­sion; there might be some small details that change between this and the final. But I thought people might like to take a look at it.

(ETA: The artist respon­sible for the cover is Shane Reben­schied)

Cast in Ruin is an October 2011 title.

Cover proof

74 Responses to Cast in Ruin: Cover

  1. w-b says:

    I soooooo can not wait for the this to come out… counting down the days :)

  2. Cynthia Emery says:

    NICE!! possibly the best cover yet for Cast, although admit­tedly, I tend to think that with every new one. possibly that flush of eager­ness, one step closer to getting it in my hands! thanks!

  3. claudia wilcox says:

    I only wish it would be complete and released prior to October…

  4. Sora says:

    Ooooh, that is just gorgeous!! Looking forward to it!

  5. Shannon says:

    Yay. So excited!!! Do you get to pick the models used? How many have there been?

  6. Theresa says:

    Woo hoo. Just one comment…shouldn’t she have a tattoo of night­shade on her face?

  7. @Shannon

    I don’t have any say in the models chosen — that would be between the art director and the artist, I think. And I’m not a terribly artistic person. I can dissect a cover for marketability when pressed, because I did do the buying for our store before my oldest was born, but oddly enough, that’s easier and not so much about the art itself.

    I would hate to be respon­sible for my own cover art because, unlike many multi-talented creators, I have the artistic sensi­bility of a dead snail, and I accept this limitation.


    I don’t think there’s been a facial tattoo on any of the covers, now that you mention it. I really like this cover, though!

  8. Fyreink says:

    I really like the cover!!! The model sorta resem­bles Mila Kunis.

  9. Yve says:

    FINALLY! Kaylin gets a sword! And this model is almost exactly how I pictured Kaylin!

  10. Genna Warner says:

    Love the cover and I can’t wait to read it. I am hoping for an earlier than October release now. :)

  11. Rasmusb says:

    Very nice! I cannot wait to read the book!

  12. Heather says:

    Darn it, October is so far away!!! I love this series! :)

  13. Teri Cholar says:

    Do we find out what came out of the baby/egg in this book? (I like the cover, but I thought her bracelet/armband was gold?) Looking forward to the book, Teri C.

  14. Tanja says:

    The model has a bit of a pout, IMO, but the cover overall seems ok. Or at least it has a similar back­ground and consis­tent design that goes with the rest of the series. Not my favorite, though.

  15. Lyssabits says:

    For all that between the sword and the bracer Kaylin is looking a little Conan the Barbarian.. I actu­ally think this might be my favorite cover. It’s rather arresting. Though this one, like all the others, have never shown Night­shade’s mark on her face and I always find that vaguely disap­pointing. But mostly I don’t get that upset about how covers don’t match the text, coz unless you’re Janny Wurts and painting your own covers.. they almost always get some­thing wrong. ;)

    It does make me wonder though.. Kaylin’s had longish hair on all the covers, and while I assume that’s just artistic license.. did I misread it when I got the impres­sion she lost pretty much all her hair in Cast in Secret? I’ve never been completely sure about how much of her hair was damaged, aside from the eyebrows.

  16. Estara says:

    Of course this is an auto-buy, but.… you know… my first impres­sion was “Why is Fergie cosplaying as a pouting Kaylin?” ^^

  17. Heather says:

    Love the cover!!!! When do you think we will get and excerpt. Hee Hee

  18. MaryW says:

    I like the cover and found the blurb to be of interest. This is one of my favorite series.

  19. Carol Duffy says:

    I really like the cover as well. And I, too, have been wondering where Night­shade’s mark is in the cover art (mostly because I’ve been curious about what it looks like). Michelle, did you have a partic­ular look in mind on that score? I’ve always assumed it was a simple drawing — almost pen and ink — albeit small. But I suppose it could have been more like a tattoo, multi-colored and filled in.

    That last, by the way, is an obser­va­tion, and by no means a complaint :)


  20. I cannot wait for this either. And the cover is SO AMAZING. I am swooning. Flailing. Happy. :)

  21. Auraya says:

    Not my favorite cover, but it’s a nice addi­tion. I’m more inter­ested in the back cover at the moment. Kind of intrigued by the dragons in the sky. The plural has possibillities.

  22. EllenO says:

    Oh I really like the cover. Seeing a cover means the book release date is getting closer. I will have some­thing to roam the book­stores (more so that I do know) looking for.

    I really am looking forward to this next addi­tion to the series.


  23. Tracey P. says:

    Wow, this is defi­nitely my favourite cover so far. She looks down right menacing, like someone got her out of bed before 9 am.

    Just one ques­tion though. Is the pricing on the back a mock up? The Cana­dian dollar is doing so well that US/Canada price gap seems extreme.

  24. Paloma Doveny says:

    The cover is great and in keeping with the previous series covers but my favorite covers are the ones that are paint­ings or draw­ings. They leave more to the imag­i­na­tion. When photographs are used as the basis, it is hard for them to not look like a B movie or cheesy. So my faves are still The House War covers.

  25. Paloma Doveny says:

    On looking closer the cover is really quite extra­or­di­nary! But I still vote for the ones that don’t make me think of ingenues in battle. She’s so clean with such perfect skin. I guess that means I like the more two dimen­sional unreal, styl­ized covers that really do look like paint­ings or gift card art.

  26. Mari says:

    Excel­lent cover. I read novels a lot and the cover is what entices me to pick up a book and read the back descrip­tion. The Chron­i­cles of Elantra series always excells at cover art that is descrip­tive as well as myste­rious. This one continues the pattern flaw­lessly. I have been waiting for this book for what seems like an eter­nity to release and finally the release date has been announced. Whoo-Hoo!

  27. Kat says:

    Ooh, a sword?? Is that just sort of metaphor­ical or does this mean she’s getting some kind of uber weapon?

  28. […] Chron­i­cles of Elantra series titled Cast in Ruin. Art Directed by the ever-awesome Kath­leen Oudit. You can see this cover with type on the author’s Web site here. […]

  29. DG says:

    I admit, I barely pay atten­tion to cover art because it usually disap­points me. So, I didn’t notice she was missing the mark on her cheek this whole time! I also never think the text on the back ever really does the book justice. There is so much more to your series than “yet another fantasy chick with a sword”. Regard­less, I’m really looking forward to this one. More dragons and *crosses fingers* hope­fully more Night­shade! Woo!

    Self-proclaimed Pres­i­dent of Team Nightshade

  30. natasha says:

    oh i hope there is more Nightshade!!!!!!!
    i think this model is the one most like how i pictured Kaylin.
    October is such a long ways away i dont know if i can make it.….

  31. Theresa says:

    I also hope for more Nightshade.

    As for the tattoo…I think this the first cover with a close up of her face, so I wasn’t too worried about it not showing up. But this cover clearly shows her features.

  32. Liz says:

    AWESOME!!!!! I am super excited, can’t wait!!

  33. Hilda says:

    I really, really hated this past winter (Tonight expecting snow in the D.C. metro area), and here I am wishing for October. Can the book be expe­dited? The covers are just right because they make my imag­i­na­tion run ahead. The prural “dragons” is very sugges­tive. Will we finally figure out how the dragons can sustain an empire with only about 6 or 7 dragons? Maybe 8 with the skeleton in the Library.
    The big sword is very inter­esting. I’m still wondering what happened with the sword that the Lord of the Green gave Kaylin when she saved him from the Black Lagoon. He told her that it was not her chosen weapon,
    “but you are not yet master of the weapon that is”. So is this the same sword and now her chosen weapon? Will Night­shade teach her how to use it, just like Meliannos? I’m on team Night­shade and really would like to see them having more time together. Like Kaylin going back to the heart of the Castle following the message Night­shade left in her mirror (Did he forget he threat­ened to kill her? He needs some classes on romantic behavior). I have to say, however, (and this is a spoiler for those who haven’t read Chaos yet; stop here) that Night­shade does not need lessons on kissing.
    Michelle, I have read way over a thou­sand books in my life, and that scene, that first kiss stands among the top five in any liter­a­ture contest. It is “The Kiss”. My hair stood on end, and at my age too.

  34. Nova says:

    Yes! I’m so excited, can’t wait to read this. I hope there are more expla­na­tions of the past, but more mysteries will be fine too. I’ve been checking on Amazon on a weekly basis, waiting for them to post this book so I can pre-order. Yay!

  35. DG says:

    @ Nova

    Amazon already has the prelim­i­nary page up:


    I wouldn’t pay much atten­tion to the price or anything else until it gets closer to October though. However, you can still put it on your wish list or pre-order.

    @ Hilda

    **Big Blaring Spoiler Alert…Seriously**

    That was some kiss and it totally came out of nowhere. The inter­esting thing is that Kaylin felt some­thing too, and if it weren’t for Barren I think they would have gone waaay past kissin’!

    I also find it inter­esting that every time she goes to the castle there is some­thing different about the cages outside. The cages she doesn’t like. When she first went there they were merely empty, and they stayed empty. When she went there the last time they weren’t there at all. I think he’s always dropped some subtle hints her way, but that last time he dropped one bomb­shell of a hint. It will be inter­esting to see if she goes back to the castle will­ingly after that, or if he does some­thing to force her to come back.

    Self-Proclaimed Pres­i­dent of Team Nightshade

  36. DeDe says:

    I love that cover. I’m not usually a fan of cover art, but that one appeals to me. Re: the sword…I had to giggle — my first thought was ‘Kaylin’s got Night­shades weapon?!’ LOL — Can’t wait to see what comes in October.

  37. DG says:

    Reposting because it doesn’t seem like this blog is moder­ated, so my other post ended up in limbo!

    @ Nova

    Amazon already has the prelim­i­nary page up. If you search for the book name you’ll find it (sorry, I can’t post a link without the comments gobbling it up. :).

    I wouldn’t pay much atten­tion to the price or anything else until it gets closer to October though. However, you can still put it on your wish list or pre-order.

    @ Hilda

    **Big Blaring Spoiler Alert…Seriously**

    That was some kiss and it totally came out of nowhere. The inter­esting thing is that Kaylin felt some­thing too, and if it weren’t for Barren I think they would have gone waaay past kissin’!

    I also find it inter­esting that every time she goes to the castle there is some­thing different about the cages outside. The cages she doesn’t like. When she first went there they were merely empty, and they stayed empty. When she went there the last time they weren’t there at all. I think he’s always dropped some subtle hints her way, but that last time he dropped one bomb­shell of a hint. It will be inter­esting to see if she goes back to the castle will­ingly after that, or if he does some­thing to force her to come back.

    Self-Proclaimed Pres­i­dent of Team Nightshade

  38. natasha says:

    do you know when the sample chapter will be put up? July? August?

  39. Steffu says:

    I am so excited for this book to come out…

    There are some series that just make the whole year brighter, and defi­nitely CAST is one of the very best of them. I like the purple cover!!

    Defi­nitely a part of Team Nightshade.…
    …I can’t believe I admitted that…

  40. Hilda says:

    Third time I start this message and hit the wrong button, and … “Poof” diss­ap­pear. Sorry, I would like to know, if possible, whether Cast in Ruins takes place in the Ruins in the Fief of Night­shade that are so dangerous. In “Shadow”, when Kaylin returned so sick from her first visit to the Castle, Marcus was fright­ened and prohib­ited her to go to those ruins because they are so very dangerous. Are they the same as the Ruins of the new book? I had wondered what happened to them. If they are the same, then one of those ques­tions that I keep in mind while reading the Cast books, will be ansewed.

  41. Christina says:

    I really like the cover. I think that it really goes well with the rest of the series covers, which is nice. I hate it when the art changes in the middle of a series. I, like many on here, am wondering about Night­shade’s mark. I always picture it as a small black tattoo. I like the design of the sword, because it looks heavy enough that it takes work to hold it but not heavy enough/big enough/unbalanced enough that she looks like she shouldn’t be able to hold it up with some effort.

    I’m curious where you’ll take us with this one and can’t wait to see. I devour these books the day they come out in stores. Kaylin is one of my favorite characters.

  42. Wicked lovely cover!!!!!!

  43. Theresa says:

    I am so excited for the release of this book. I tried to get my hubby to agree to name our baby Kaylin but it turns out we’re having a boy.

    Anyway, I got my friend hooked on this series. She loves them

  44. KayLeigh says:

    Very Xena Warrior Princess, still love it.

  45. licia Whitehead says:

    SO very Excited for this book to come out — love, love, LOVE this very inter­esting and different series!! — devoured the first books far too fast!
    Above all — Thank you!

  46. Genna Warner says:

    I pre-ordered it. :) Can’t wait, can’t wait.

  47. Jenny Soriano says:

    I am so~ excited, I’m giddy. I just love this series, so many mysteries to figure out and such diverse and devel­oped char­ac­ters… So one of my fav series. I have no doubt Cast in Ruins will be enthralling.

  48. Jenny Soriano says:

    One more thing: if you haven’t read Cast in Moon­light (the prequel), you should.

  49. Mabg says:

    I, too, like the cover, but (along with the no Night­shade mark) it’s always both­ered me that the runes on the Cast covers look rather Norse (all lines and angles), while you always describe them in your text as having curves. I find it disturbing when there’s a discrep­ancy between text and cover, and it seems impor­tant to me that the shape of the runes be shown correctly because how you describe them makes their appear­ance so inte­gral to how Kaylin uses & under­stands them. Can’t wait until the book is out!

  50. Laura says:

    I have to admit that this is my favorite cover for this series yet, which is a little inter­esting for me. Like several of the others here, I prefer abstract images or free­hand-styled art for book covers. They tend to attract my atten­tion more as well as leave more room for my imag­i­na­tion. I love this one because it manages to mirror my internal image of Kaylin so much — she is very young and very deter­mined. Kudos to the artist!

  51. Amber O says:

    I LOVE it!!!!! I can’t wait to read this next one! I am offi­cially addicted to this series and have now managed to get my entire family addicted as well!!

  52. Wendy says:

    Team Severn, here. October seems abysmally far away. Could the egg be a new dragon? The covers don’t reflect the content of the books accu­rately so, while inter­esting, they do not generate the same excite­ment as the simple knowl­edge of the due date of the next book. For that I can hardly wait! Although the sword is inter­esting. There are other dragon-killing swords besides Meliannos. Maybe this is another one? Who taught Severn to use his chain?

  53. Aliza says:

    Omg! I’m so excited about the newest Cast series, I’m marking the days on my calender until the Big Day, when I can once again visit the world of Elantra. I love it dearly, and I love a lot of the char­ac­ters in it, and I wish for a happy ever­after for all my favorite char­ac­ters. Please Michelle, no sad endings, no tragedies, not here! And, is there any chance at all that we can have an excerpt, even a mini excerpt, by July? Pretty please? God Bless.

  54. silentmum says:

    My ques­tion is.…which cheek is Night­shades mark on?? I have looked through all the books and it only mentions… she lifted her hand to her cheek — he raised his hand to her cheek…and the covers don’t show it.… very curious

  55. Genna Warner says:

    If I remember correctly it is the right cheek. It was stated when she woke the Lord of the West March. Or at least that is what I gath­ered from it.

  56. Reader says:

    The cover art is very nice and I’m so excited to read the next book. But I don’t under­stand why everyone wants Kaylin to fall for Night­shade?? He is such a pompous jerk and only cares about himself and power. I think she should have punched him after he kissed her. Severn is the best man for her and he just proved his love in the last book. I think they should take it up a notch in the next one.… and maybe have Severn teach Night­shade a lesson.

  57. silentmum says:

    I think the egg will be an human oddity but one that is meant to live in the Elemental Garden and replace Evanton — it seems that Grethan may not be up to the task.

  58. DG says:

    If Severn tries to take on Night­shade one-on-one he’s gunna lose. They already estab­lished in the 1st book that 2 humans trying to take on 1 barrani would be a major feat. I don’t think you want to mess with an outcaste barrani lord, who wields a dragon-killing sword, that has no qualms threat­ening the other barrani lords to war just because they breathed on Kaylin in the wrong way…Just Sayin’.

    I don’t think “everyone” wants Kaylin to fall for Night­shade, just some of us. Why? Because he’s actu­ally inter­esting, smart, powerful…and yeah a completely pompous egoma­niac, but at least he has some­thing to back up that ego. I find Severn to be rather dull and 2‑dimensional, quite frankly, an idiot­i­cally obvious choice as a love interest. Hell, I’d take the Lord of the West March over Severn. At least that wouldn’t be so mind-numb­ingly uninteresting.

    Self-Proclaimed Pres­i­dent of Team Nightshade

  59. Genna Warner says:

    I have to say I agree mostly with DG. If someone better shows up in the future books, then I might change my mind about Night­shade. But right now I would perfer to see Kaylin with Night­shade. Severn is just the boring safe choice.

  60. Christina says:

    I’d go for Severn myself. My problem with Night­shade, is yes, he’s inter­esting but I feel that there’s a lot we don’t know about Severn that we’ll be finding out. Like his time as an assassin, for example. Or where he learned how to use his chain? Or where he went for years when they weren’t together? Kaylin sure did some dark stuff before figuring out what she really needed/wanted. You can’t tell me Severn, who says all of nothing about his past, isn’t hiding a ton of things or that there’s no inter­esting, powerful, connected stuff in his past. Plus, he’s patient, unfail­ingly kind to her, and calls her on things to her face. Besides that, he isn’t the object of fear for 95% of the people out there.

    Night­shade is a great char­acter, a fun char­acter, but not who I would choose for her to fall in love with. I think that with Night­shade it’s infat­u­a­tion with someone who she used to fear as all powerful lord of life or death. Kaylin has trust issues and I don’t think she can fully trust him. She can trust Severn. Of course, I tend to think of the char­ac­ters in terms of real life and who I think a char­acter should be with if the books were real. But that’s just my two cents.

  61. natasha says:

    we might not even get a chance to see who she would end up with
    has anyone noticed that in the area of men she is very much a child
    when she meets a guy or sees one walking by she never notices that they are cute and she has to have meet/seen someone who was phys­i­cally pleasing at least once
    her world cant be made up of unat­trac­tive people
    she also panics when she is in a romantic situation

    although i am very much a TEAM NIGHTSHADE
    he also changed (even if its only a little) sense he has meet her

  62. Jlea says:

    I think Kaylin has matured over the books, and that will extend into the rela­tion­ship side of things. Most of the time when she has ‘grown up’ its because she has been forced too due to a partic­ular situ­a­tion, and the kiss and possibly the ‘what is it you love about me?’ thing will be what will forces her to look at the rela­tion­ship side of things seriously.

    On a side note, DG i love u “I don’t think you want to mess with an outcaste barrani lord, who wields a dragon-killing sword, that has no qualms threat­ening the other barrani lords to war just because they breathed on Kaylin in the wrong way…Just Sayin’”
    Go Team Nightshade!

  63. Auraya says:

    My greatest problem with Severn is she thinks of him as a brother. He obvi­ously doesn’t feel that way, but she’s quite blind. I agree with Natasha in that sense, she doesn’t seem attracted to anyone. But Night­shade makes her nervous. Wether it is a good nervous remains to be seen, but at least she now knows that he is interested.

    I don’t think of Severn as 2‑dimensional, but for his past we’ll prob­ably have to wait for Cast in Peril. That book was supposed to be about the Shadow Wolves, if I remember correctly.

  64. Genna Warner says:

    Yes, Kalyin has matured over the course of the books. I keep trying to figure out a time line on how much time has elapsed since the first book, but it feel to me like it has only been 6 months or so. Since there is no real calendar and refer­ences of only a few scant weeks have passed refer­ences in the text, it it hard to tell. If we say that there only have been 6 months or so of passage from the first to the sixth book, then the growth we have seen in Kaylin is pretty good but I don’t feel enough time has passed for her to change enough over come what has been done to her — mentally and phys­i­cally (all though I have my doubt about what Baron may or may not have done to her). And truth­fully at this point I can’t see Kaylin in a relationship.

    @Auraya, I remember seeing a post by Michelle stating that Cast in Peril was going to be a wolf/barrani book. I am hopping that this is the book that Kaylin goes to the West March in.

  65. chris mcgee says:

    I agree! She has a lot of emotional bagage from her child­hood and seems to avoid dealing with it untill she is forced to in order to over come the chal­lenge at hand. Kicking and fighting all the way. I do not think she sees Severn as a brother but as a rock or foun­da­tion that she can reach out from and rely on as she believes she can’t any one else. They will get together I think and work together but their rela­tion­ship will always be one of compan­ion­ship and under­standing, never abandon like so many others­books make out love. Theirs is a love that would last, not a tepes­tuous fire to burn out. Do you think that she and night­shade are a topic because she is not truely mortal due to the “chosen “status. There have been many allu­sions to the fact that she is not what she thinks she is and some clear signs from conver­sa­tions with the” immortal” and “first ones” that she may just be arround longer than she thinks. Night shade is not worried about “Severn because he knows he has time to wait it out.?. Love the books and the char­ac­ters. Re-read them several times a year. Cant wait for the next book and any that follow.

  66. Jahaliel says:

    Just gotta say I’m amused at how this went from a discus­sion of the cover to a discus­sion of Kaylin’s love life (or lack of it)…
    My favourite cover remains that of Court­light because it was that cover which intrigued me enough to pick up the book and thus got me hooked on one of my top three fantasy series of all time. This one is really neat I like the sword.
    I’m of the opinion that she’ll end up with whoever she’s meant to, but I’ve always been a fan of Night­shade as a char­acter (not implying that I want him and her to be together). Counting down the days til it comes out

  67. stacey Lynds says:

    I am so excited to see there is another book in this series!!! Can’t wait untill it is relased!!

  68. Babs says:

    I like this cover. It would be so easy for the cover designer to go the Patricia Briggs/Mercy Thomson route with this series. I looked at the books and put the back over and over liter­ally for years because I misjudged the content based on the half dressed woman on the cover.

  69. Tabitha Henson says:


  70. Gener­ally, when a book is an October title, it means it’s released in September. :) Amazon says Sept. 20th.

  71. Kari Konoko says:

    As far as who she ends up with I find it amusing to contem­plate the fact there has been hints that Tiamaris thinks of her as part of his hoard, which means me and several friends have fun laughing at the idea of Tiamaris and Night­shade fighting over her while Severn lets her choose herself. I feeel that Severn woudl let her choose and accept it no matter what, the others are more likely to force the issue. I’m not partic­ular about who she ends up with but it’s fun to guess at.

    Aside from that I absolutely love this cover the most out of them all, errors and tattoos missing and all.

    Aside from the tattoo on her face, what has always bugged me and i wonder if I am misun­der­standing, is that the tattoos on her arms and legs say fore-arms and thighs, and her back…and she always has tattoos on her upper arms, it drives me nuts but admit­tedly i could be misun­der­standing, but I’ve never though of them as being on her upper arms at all.

    And my first thought at the sword was that it was Mellianos, or one of the other dragon killers, which tickles me pink. If not I’m sure it will be just as interesting…considering it made the cover.

  72. Kari Konoko says:

    i figured he was talking about her magic…as her chosen weapon, and as she had no daggers she could use teh sword for a while…

  73. Kari Konoko says:

    and yes, best kiss ever…i have some fan art of it because i couldn’t get it out of my head, might end up being a mini series, i’m not quite done though

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