Pawns, knights and kings…

I’m in a bit of a dilemma about the cover of the next book. The title as everyone knows, is Gisborne: Book of Kings.

This doesn’t necessarily refer to monarchs though. The trilogy’s titles have tended to be built around the awful manipulation of people’s hearts and souls in the Middle Ages and so we began with Pawns, moved across the board with Knights and will have the denoument with Kings.


Thus the cover could indicate a king, an emperor or even a duke. It could be Richard Lionheart, Phillip of France, Leopold of Austria – even Emperor Henry Hohenstauffen. Or none of them…

The over-riding factor is that in order to bind the three novels of the trilogy together the subjects of the covers must all be taken from paintings by Rogier van der Weyden.

Yes, I am aware that this august painter lived in the fifteenth century, but faces in twelfth century paintings are invariably maudlin, gothic and elongated. My brief to my cover designer has been that I want ‘interesting’ faces.

This is what we have found…




The problem is: which one? Any ideas?