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Monday, March 1, 2021

Exclusive Cover Reveal: HEAVY LIES THE CROWN by Ben Galley + Giveaway (guest post by Ben Galley)


I promised Mihir I would be on my best behaviour if he let me talk about the cover for Heavy Lies The Crown. In writing and everything. Specifically, I swore I wouldn’t push any propaganda. Well, I’m sorry, Mihir. But that’s not just who I am.

*surreptitiously puts on elaborate dragon hat*

I’m a man obsessed with dragons. I’d wager I’ve watched Dragonheart more times than most. I have dragon tattoos. I once kept a rock for three years because I thought it was a dragon egg. (I was also six), and I’ll die on a hill for the theory that dragons actually existed. And yet, peculiarly, it’s taken me 14 books to put a damn dragon on one of my book covers.

I’ve had plenty of excuses. My debut Emaneska Series is positively stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey with dragons. I’ve been writing about dragons and their fiery tendencies since I first read about jealous Smaug. But there is a downside of such enamouring winged reptiles, and that is the fact I have also become a dragon snob. I’m that guy lingering in corners at parties, muttering to nobody in particular about how the dragons from Game of Thrones are actually wyverns, and that dragons have four legs and a pair of wings, but ANYWAY. In any case, that makes me very particular when it comes to depicting dragons.

And so, instead of annoying designers with very specific requests (I should say “more” designers), or trying to get the specific view of an Emaneska dragon out of my head and into a coherent brief, I made the possibly dubious choice to have a go at the cover myself.

It was far from easy or swift. Not that I expected it to be, but I now have even more respect for professional artists and designers for the incredible skill they have and the effort they put in. I spent about three weeks going back and forth between ideas, scrapping everything over and over, trying to learn how to draw something digitally and remotely professionally. I’m especially lucky that the branding for Scalussen is a black silhouette with paint effects. At long last, out of the near-million sketches, shapes, and drafts, I cobbled together the shape that fit my mental image. I liken my process to to the old adage about monkeys, typewriters, Shakespeare, and enough time.

It’s hard to show off a cover I’ve personally made without feeling like I’m… showing off. So instead, I’ll gesture wildly at the image below with a big smile and explain a little more about what the cover represents.

Heavy Lies The Crown is the book two in my newest series: The Scalussen Chronicles. Scalussen and the precursor quadrilogy, The Emaneska Series, are epic norse fantasy, set in the brutal world of Emaneska. It’s a land where magic runs rife, a cruel empire of lies rules, and where badass protagonist Mithrid fights for her revenge.

The inspiration for the cover concept comes from my efforts to depict a dragon as more than a fearsome beast, but something calm and calculating, fearsome only when necessary or their civilised nature forgotten. Hence the calm of the accompanying human. Dragons and their riders are also more critical to the plot of Heavy Lies The Crown than ever before in any Emaneska books.

Without spoilers, this book deals with the fallout from the colossal war in book one, The Forever King, and is a classic band-of-questionable-characters-on-a-quest story with dark twists. I’m releasing it chapter by chapter on Patreon at the moment and the book is due for release this summer. You can pick up the first in the series here.

Overall, I am enormously proud of this new cover. You could call it a happy accident, but I’m going to own it. I would call it this snob’s ideal dragon, at least in the world of Emaneska. Let me know what you think.

*removes dragon hat. flees building*

Plus Ben was super cool to be giving away one signed paperback edition & three e-copies of The Forever King!!!

To enter, please send an email to "" with your Name, Mailing Address, and the subject: King.

Giveaway has ENDED and is open to participants WORLDWIDE for the e-books & Europe/Canada/Mexico/UK/USA for the signed paperback! Thank you for entering and Good Luck!

1) Open To Anyone WORLDWIDE for the e-books & Europe/Canada/Mexico/UK/USA for the signed paperback
2) Only One Entry Per Household (Multiple Entries Will Be Disqualified)
3) Must Enter Valid Email Address, Mailing Address + Name
4) No Purchase Necessary
5) Giveaway HAS ENDED
6) Winner Will Be Randomly Selected and Notified By Email
7) Personal Information Will Only Be Used In Mailing Out the Prizes To the Winner



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