The author says:
Trial by Fire is the first of three contemporary fantasy novels, also known as the Road Trilogy. In a world of swords, steam and sorcery, powerful individuals known as adventurers roam the lands. Some of these have become stone-hearted mercenaries, holding nothing more sacred than the gold in their pockets. Some adventurers have taken a darker path, sowing pain, strife and discord for their own nefarious ends. Amidst these are the adventurers of heroic renown, giving their all to make their world a better place. This is the story of one of the greatest adventurers ever to walk the Road.
With the soil atop his father’s grave still fresh, Virgil Irons now stands alone, preparing to step out on the Road. Intending to be an adventurer like his father – the famous and revered fist-fighter Rufus Irons – he must deal with the pressures of his lineage, the expectations of his peers, and somehow carve out a life for himself. Virgil is a deadly foe, but it will take more than a quick fist to survive on the Road. First he must hone his skills at the secretive Duskshield Academy, a training ground for adventurers, under the expert tutelage of those who have walked the Road and lived to tell the tale. Virgil and his companions, Monty and Ari, are hurled into a dangerous world that they are not ready for, and that none of them fully understand. Fear and mistrust are rife and the three young initiates will need every ounce of training – and each other – if they are to survive.
The story should hopefully appeal to anyone who loves JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, as well as the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and is also inspired by D&D and traditional fantasy, with a gritty edge. I’d like to think it’d appeal to those in the young adult category and upwards, though writing for an audience is something I’m yet to master – I kinda just write what I want to write. Thanks in advance for the critiques!
You’ve got a good, strong fantasy-appropriate color scheme. A lot of people don’t understand how important that is, but color is the FIRST thing people will see — before text, before any specifics in the images.
Now, after we get past the colors, I see a couple of problems (or, if you prefer, “opportunities”).
First: As colorful as the flame texture to the title is, it’s still hard to read because of lack of contrast. Look at the thumbnail: The byline is more easily read, despite being at a smaller character size.
Second: The bracers are… well, bracers. They’re just kind of there. Even if bracers figure in the story prominently, they’re just a thing on the cover. They don’t tell the reader anything except “yup, medieval stuff.” They’re nice and all, but…
Anyone think otherwise?