As many of you already know, I commissioned the fabulous (and Hugo-nominated) artist Julie Dillon to do the illustrations for the illustrated short story The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (a coda to the Spiritwalker Trilogy). [Both print and pdf formats available.]
I also commissioned two color illustrations, both of which are now available for purchase at Julie Dillon’s INPRNT store.
“(a) sweep of color washed through the smoky sea . . . Night swept down. Lights like fireflies twinkled against a black sky. The sea surged, lifting like cloth raised from beneath by a hand. A bright shape emerged, smoke spilling off it in currents.
The dragon loomed over us. Its head was crested as with a filigree that reminded me of a troll’s crest, if a troll’s crest spanned half the sky. Silver eyes spun like wheels. It was not bird or lizard, not was it a fish. Most of its body remained beneath the smoke. Ripples revealed a dreadful expanse of wings as wide as fields, shimmering pale gold like ripe wheat under a harsh sun. When its mouth gape, I knew it could swallow us in one gulp.
We had come to a place we ought not to be.”
A gust of wind rattled the branches. A drum rhythm paced through the woods. On its beat I heard a woman’s voice call out a verse, answered by a chorus of women singing the response.
A column of soldiers marched into view, although they were almost dancing, so proud and mighty were they, and every single one a woman.
Four drummers led them while a fifth struck a bell, the drummers prancing and stepping on their way with every bit of flash and grin that any young man could muster. Their shakos were as jaunty as my own. All wore uniform jackets of dark green cloth piped with silver braid. Some wore trousers, while others preferred petticoat-less skirts tailored for striding. Most wore stout marching sandals laced along the length of calf, brown legs and black legs and white legs flashing beneath skirts tied up to the knee. Four lancers walked in the first rank, tasseled spears held high, while the rest carried rifles and swords. A banner streamed on the wind. It depicted an antlered woman drawing a bow.
You can read a little more about each illustration:
“Rising from the Sea of Smoke” at A Dribble of Ink
Amazons at the Orbit Books web site
I love both of these. I may have to make both of them mine… 🙂
I’m so glad you commissioned her to do Spiritwalker art, for these, as well as the Secret Journal.
These are both fantastic. The dragon is truly awesome, and the Amazons are just perfect. ALL THE ADJECTIVES.
The only possible response here is: I KNOW, RIGHT?
The Amazons are fabulous, and Julie was great when I made her add the “heraldric” images to the banners: they each mean something within the book.
The lion is for Camjiata (Lion of War). The antlered archer is for the Amazons. and the red banner (hard to see but it is a horse facing both directions) is from an actual piece found at the archeological site of Numantia (Celto-Iberian, the ones who fought the Romans).
As it happens … me, too!