Blackdog Cover Art

Raymond Swanland’s (gorgeous) cover art for Blackdog is now up on, (and and and … etc.) and you can pre-order the book online or at your neighbourhood independent bookstore.

The blurb hasn’t trickled out to all the bookstores yet, but here’s my version:

Blackdog, by K.V. Johansen
Pyr, September 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781616145217
$19.50 Cdn. / $17.00 US
Cover illustration © Raymond Swanland

Long ago, in the days of the first kings in the north, there were seven devils…

In a land where gods walk on the hills and goddesses rise from river, lake, and spring, the caravan-guard Holla-Sayan, escaping a bloodily-conquered lakeside town, stops to help an abandoned child and a dying dog. The girl, though, is the incarnation of Attalissa, goddess of Lissavakail, and the dog a shape-changing guardian spirit whose origins have been forgotten. Possessed and nearly driven mad by the Blackdog, Holla-Sayan flees to the desert road, taking the powerless avatar with him.

And long ago, after the days of the first kings in the north, the seven devils, who had deceived and possessed seven of the greatest wizards of the world, were defeated and bound with the help of the Old Great Gods…

Moth was once Ulfhild the King’s Sword, wizard and warrior of the north. And she was once Vartu Kingsbane, one of the seven devils of legend. Moth cares little for the fate of a minor goddess of the earth like Attalissa, but at the command of the Old Great Gods she is hunting down her former comrades, though how her enemies have compelled her obedience is a mystery even to her lover, the bear-demon Mikki.

And perhaps some of the devils are free in the world, and perhaps some are working to free themselves still.

Necromancy, treachery, massacres and rebellions, gods dead or lost or mad, follow hard on the devils’ heels. But it is Attalissa herself who may be the Blackdog’s — and Holla-Sayan’s — doom.

About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at
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4 Responses to Blackdog Cover Art

  1. M. Howalt says:

    Congratulations! Lovely cover. It seems to fit the story really well. 🙂

  2. KV Johansen says:

    I was just looking at your lovely dog photos on Flickr: your Bella could be Ivan the Wicked’s twin. The photo of her as a pup, once she had lost her fluffiness, is shockingly like — I’d think it was him if I found it among my own pictures. I don’t have many pictures of him up here, but there’s one in the “about”, a bit Photoshopped (semi-artistic experiment), and one in the pumpkin slurry recipe post – “You ate what?” – that’s a nice one.

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