Exclusive Cover Reveal: Blades of The Old Empire by Anna Kashina (Angry Robot)


Shadowhawk takes a look at the cover for the upcoming debut novel by author Anna Kashina, published by Angry Robot Books.

“Another fantastic cover from Angry Robot that takes its place alongside the other great covers that the publisher has put out over the last two years. Artist Alejandro Colucci has definitely delivered on this one.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields

By now its absolutely not a secret that Angry Robot’s editors have solicited some truly fantastic covers in the last two years. One needs only look at the covers for Adam Christopher’s various novels, or Anne Lyle’s Night’s Masque series or Chris F. Holm’s The Collector trilogy to see proof of this. With a new year just around the corner, its time to see yet another cover for a book to be released next year. We’ve already had some great covers for next year’s releases, and joining them is Anna Kashina’s debut novel Blades of The Old Empire, the first novel in The Majat Code series.

Typical covers for these kinds of books show the heroines in revealing poses that accentuate their feminine proportions. This is a prevailing theme in covers for the urban fantasy genre, not so much for epic/heroic fantasy. But with this cover, artist Alejandro Colucci blends the two together quite well. The greenish-blue hues go extremely well with the purple-blue palette of the protagonist’s cloak. And Kara herself is in a strong confident pose that seems to herald her about to go take her blades to someone. Can’t argue with that, not at all.


Kara is a mercenary – a Diamond warrior, the best of the best, and a member of the notorious Majat Guild. When her tenure as protector to Prince Kythar comes to an end, custom dictates he accompany her back to her Guild to negotiate her continued protection.

But when they arrive they discover that the Prince’s sworn enemy, the Kaddim, have already paid the Guild to engage her services – to capture and hand over Kythar, himself.

A warrior brought up to respect both duty and honour, what happens when her sworn duty proves dishonourable?

Publisher’s Link

Here are Anna Kashina’s own thoughts on the cover:

I love the cover of “The Blades of the Old Empire”, which relays so well the essence of the story. It captures every important element of the book: an attractive and dangerous woman, highly proficient with multiple weapons, and driven to the edge; a medieval setting with a touch of exotic eastern elements; fast action; and, a promise of romance.

While I originally imagined of this character being more feminine and less muscular, when I saw this cover, it immediately resonated with me. Yes, she can be feminine, and very attractive, but she is also an elite warrior, the best of the best, and this cover relays it so much better than my original mental picture.

For an author, seeing the cover of your own book is a very special moment that could go wrong in so many ways. I was thrilled when I saw this image for the first time. I hope the readers will be equally thrilled with the book!

So, what do you think of the cover?

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.


  • Paul Weimer

    This looks interesting Abhinav!

    • Abhinav Jain

      Yes it does!