To those of you who read and fell in love with Vic James's stunning debut, Gilded Cage, which was released in ebook in December - we're so sorry about the agonising wait until Tarnished City! And to those of you who have not yet read and fallen in love with Gilded Cage - it's out in beautiful paperback TOMORROW! What are you waiting for?
Meanwhile, Pan Macmillan and Tor.com are delighted to reveal the cover for Tarnished City! Check out the fabulous UK (left) and US (right) covers below, and read on to see Vic James' thoughts.
"I'm asked all the time if I prefer my US or UK covers, and I’m so happy to reply that I couldn’t pick between them. The British ones by Jo Thompson have a sparse, truly iconic boldness that makes them stand out in even the most crowded bookstore. The US ones by David Stevenson combine eye-catching metallics with elegant detailing, to capture the alluring menace of the world of the series. It’s so exciting to see the progression of their ideas in the covers for Gilded Cage's sequel, Tarnished City.
Just as Gilded Cage's designs both used gold, you’ll see that the two for Tarnished City use copper. For the lettering of the US version, Dave even customised a colour from the verdigris of oxidised copper on ancient artefacts!
Each title in the series carries a simple, but clear symbolism. The ‘gilded cage' of Book One is Kyneston, the great estate of the powerful Jardine family, outwardly glittering and magnificent, but concealing horrors. It refers also to the alternate Britain of the series. A country that is affluent, rich in history and tradition - and yet harbours rank inequality and injustice. The ’tarnished city' of Book Two is, of course, London - the city where my parents were born, and which I have called home for a decade.
Now, a thing ‘tarnished' has lost its lustre, been besmirched. I can’t get too spoilery, when Book One is only just releasing, but Tarnished City is a book of compromise and cruelty. Luke and Abi are forced to question just how far they’ll go to right their society's wrongs. All our major characters will make choices that define them - and not all will choose rightly. And darkness falls on the great city of London itself.
But among the darkness, are glimmering of light: new friendships, new alliances, new loves. Even, perhaps, the promise of new worlds. That’s why Book Three is called Bright Ruin. I’m already wondering what magic Dave and Jo will work for its covers!"