The cover for The Runes of the Earth is an illustration. The subsequent books have similar character centric covers. There was a change somewhere along the line from one type to the other. There seems to be four or five categories of fantasy cover. Iconography of some sort. Like a detailed medallion. Think the Game of Thrones books. There is a collage of fantasy-esque graphics of varying degrees of detail. There are characters covers that harken to Dungeon and Dragon stories. A group of heroes on an impossible quest. Usually, these look cartoonish to me. There are illustrations that show the world. People, if there are any in the picture small, are dwarfed by the world around them. Think John Gwynne book covers.
I talked with two other artists before I landed on Jeff Brown for my cover for Ruinwaster’s Bane. The other artists would have had me doing one of the other categories. But the idea of having a window into the world I created blows me away every time I look at it.
I’ve read the Runes of the Earth twice. Both times I stall after the midpoint. When I pick up and finish the book it seems like a separate book to me. I haven’t deconstructed why it has me set the book down there, but I suspect it gets too slow. It does pick up and it does segue nicely into Fatal Revenant.