the Author

Cover: Cast in Conflict

Posted in Cast, Elantra, covers, Shane Rebenschied.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had the full cover for the upcoming Cast in Conflict. I didn’t forget the cover — I did forget that I work at the store on Saturday (it’s curb-side only, but the books don’t get to the curb on their own yet).

But it’s not too late. Here’s the full cover :). (I tend to post the full cover because often the front cover is out in the world before I get copies I can share, so everyone will have seen that already.)

I like it. It’s a very different type treat­ment, and I’m curious to know whether or not people will see and iden­tify it as a Cast novel. The artist is Shane Reben­schied, and the art director, Kath­leen Oudit.

Kath­leen lives in Toronto, as I do, so our various shut­downs, stay-at-home, etc., are of course perfectly synched. She’s been working from home since the start of our covid-19 changes, because it’s not consid­ered safe to work in offices or spaces that are tightly packed with people. My editor has also been working from home the entire time. One of the things that has been limited by neces­sity are new photo-shoots, because those involve people in enclosed spaces. Kath­leen has a not small work­load, and she — like most of the creatives I know — has been stretched a lot thinner by covid-19.

I feel like I just barely managed to get the book written in brain-fog and anxiety, and I’m grateful this year in partic­ular for the work she’s done on this cover.

26 Responses to Cover: Cast in Conflict

  1. E_ says:

    Oh that is lovely! Very different feel but retains the runes. The use of color and the color choices certainly reflect the back cover blurb. I think I am going to need to schedule some inter­rupted time for me and this one.

  2. E_ says:

    Ooh what a striking cover! Certainly has a different feel but retains the runes. The colors and how they accent certain things really feeds the atmos­phere in the back cover blurb. Looking forward to some quiet undis­turbed reading time!

  3. Merie Roberts says:

    Very colorful cover. Your CAST series is popular, and I have read each and every one of them. But I so miss the style you wrote under, when you gave us the Sun Sword series. I know it was a very deep and time consuming style but, so elegant. I do hope that some­times in the future you honor us with such a style again. Thankyou for your work. Please take care of your­self. Merie

  4. Wendy S says:

    Shane’s work is excel­lent as always. I have already pre-ordered the book. I am so excited.

  5. Lesa says:

    I am so looking forward to the book. I have been reading the other books in the series. I can barely wait for the book to come out!!!

  6. Andrea D Smith says:

    I’m not going to lie, I did a double take on this cover. It didn’t scream Cast book when Cast in Conflict started being suggested for pre-order. Others mentioned looking for the runes, while I look for the city of Elantra and our main char­ac­ters prox­imity to it. 

    This cover is stun­ning but ominous. It speaks of isola­tion, going into battle alone and the destruc­tive after­math. It’s resonating with me, at this time, after a year of isola­tion and small battles.
    PS- I do hope Kaylin uses the sword.

  7. Beth says:

    Love it. I think the covers keep getting better and better.

  8. Maureen Panzera says:

    I own and have read every one of your books written under Michelle Sagara and Michelle West. My most favorite series is the Cast one and I am espe­cially happy that there is no end in sight for this one.… please please please. The covers, the stories are all wonderful but this cover is the most striking one yet. I 

    Thank you Michelle for giving us some­thing to look forward too. The only complaint I have is it takes you longer to write them than it does for us to read them so we are always left with baited breath for the next one to come out. LOL.

  9. Sherrie Salinger says:

    I like it far more than the other covers and I really liked those. It shows Kaylin has evolved and grown. Oh and I pre ordered the book Friday. So looking forward to it!

  10. The Temple of Heaven stock photo manip is still on the spine, so it defi­nitely says Cast novel to me. Person­ally I like this style, Kaylin has come a long way!

  11. Tchula Ripton says:

    I really like the cover. It gives that feel of the “between” spaces, like when Kaylin trav­eled to the West March. I wonder, is that Ravellon in the distance on the back cover? It reminds me a little bit of Sam and Frodo trav­eling through Mordor on the way to Mt. Doom. ;-P

  12. Nelda D Jardon says:

    I love the Chron­i­cles of Elantra series. I’ve followed Kaylin since the begin­ning and have always look forward to finding her again. I will always recog­nize her no matter how you portray her in Arts. I like how the upcoming cover reveal her as a grown up Kaylin. Thank you for contin­uing this saga. Looking forward to staying late into night to the next day to finish reading.

  13. Anjali says:

    This feels like a winter book to me from the cover and Kaylins clothes. A bit darker than other books as the cover imagery reminds me of Mordor.
    Iv read these series so often that most of the char­ac­ters feel like friends. The char­acter devel­op­ment is superb.

  14. Rachel says:

    This cover is prob­ably my favorite of the series so far. I’m just over halfway through an e‑galley of the book and so far, so great! I love getting insight into new portions of Elantra, espe­cially the fiefs and their captains (not to mention the Library).

  15. Joyce Ronquillo says:

    I love the cover. It looks like conflict and turmoil; but, it doesn’t look like Kaylin. The hair flying free, the cloak, the sword; none of those are Kaylin. I realize the cover Kaylins do not look like her either, really, since they all have their hair loose and runes exposed but this figure looks more Barrani to me. It is, nonethe­less, a fantastic cover.

  16. Shirin says:

    Dark. Exciting.
    I like that she is turned away. I’ve always liked the way Kaylin’s been portrayed before, but I prefer to keep some for my own imagination. 

    Previous covers have followed Kaylins devel­op­ment. Her strength, confi­dence and of course age, so do this. Thumbs up!

  17. Sivi says:

    I like the cover, it does look a bit different, I couldn’t find the runes the first time as it’s opened it up and zoomed in. But seems to fit emotion­ally with the back cover blurb

  18. Kate says:

    Excerpt avail­able via harle­quin mira website link below.


  19. Kate says:

    Sorry, the above excerpt is for Cast in Wisdom, not Cast in Conflict.

    The Cast in Conflict excerpt link is giving a ‘500:internal server error’ message.


  20. Tyronne Lorne Hodgins says:

    Complete depar­ture from previous covers. Striking, beau­tiful, ominous. I gotta admit — I love the cover. If I was not familiar with this series, I would pick up the book to check it out so kudos to Shane and Kath­leen. The whole layout, front and back, really is stunning!

  21. Hanneke says:

    The lettering, the Elantra skyline on the back and the spine clearly link it into the series. Kaylin alone on the front fits with the previous style of covers too, but having her skin all covered so the runes aren’t visible fits a lot better with how she’s described in the books than with the previous covers — not a bad thing!
    Having her hair come out of its bun is not unusual either, but her being this far from her city is. It makes me wonder about where she’s going, and why.

    The oozing lava fissures remind me of the recent Fall­grads­f­jall (sp?) erup­tion on Iceland — there are a lot of great pictures of that on the internet, very different from the usual explo­sive erup­tions from Etna or Hawaii or other such voocanic moun­tains. This is a slow oozing spread of very old magma from long cracks in the surface, much calmer but very impres­sive nevertheless.

    Some of the photos show people getting quite near the ongoing erup­tion, which is slow and predictable enough that people can get away from it, even when they are close. That made it more believ­able for me, that Kaylin and her friends could be fighting around such molten-rock patches when they are fighting the black dragon — I used to think that was ‘poetic license’, that being that close to such heat would be enough to burn anyone very badly; but appar­ently it really is surviv­able at surpris­ingly small distances!
    I still think the tourists that get that close are taking foolish risks, though I can under­stand the volca­nol­o­gists doing so to get fresh samples.

  22. Taylor says:

    I actu­ally did not notice the type differ­ences until you mentioned it, and even then, I had to look up the previous covers. For me, I always iden­tify a Cast novel by the similar pattern for the titles and the same model, as well as the use of the runes and similar build­ings in the back­ground. Anyway, I always love seeing the full cover and can’t wait till it comes out!

  23. Sharon Brodbeck says:

    Cool cover. Slightly different but still recog­niz­able. Kaylin looks quite sepa­rated from the city at this point. We can hope that Hope is with her at this point.

  24. Mary Allen says:

    I just got my notice from Barnes and Noble that I can Order Cast In Conflict. I buy from Barnes and Noble because it is so nice to go into a book store. In the last few years almost all the local book stores in my area have closed. I have been buying both the e‑book and the book itself in the Cast series. I like the new cover and am really looking forward to reading Cast in Conflict.

  25. Taylor says:

    @kate I usually keep an eye on Rakuten kobo because they usually are the first to have an excerpt, and it is up!!!! I am actu­ally very proud of my self-restraint. I typed this before my desperate soul ran to read it. Anyway, it is under the “Preview Now” tab.

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