This is the illustration by Todd Lockwood that will be used on the cover of the second novel by Bradley P. Beaulieu, The Straits of Galahesh. The book is the follow-up to The Winds of Khalakovo, part of The Lays of Anuskaya series.
I'm a big fan of Todd and I like the background of this illustration and I wasn't sure about Nikandr's face... but taking into account what I'm currently reading in Winds of Khalakovo, that's a nice fit.
Here's a glimpse of what the author had to say :
I actually get a bit of vertigo if I stare at Nikandr for too long. He’s got such a great sense of motion to him. And there are wonderful details all around. The ship, the wheeling birds, the perch with its branch system, the walrus tusk bandolier. I love that Todd chose to portray one of the two men on the perch as hunkered over, like he’d been punched in the throat. And that’s because, well, he’d just been punched in the throat by Nikandr. One of my favorite parts, oddly enough, is how Nikandr’s right boot is almost photo-realistic and how it’s sharp against the slightly out-of-focus background. The ship is great with it’s windborne (as opposed to waterborne) hull. The billowing sails. The masts and shrouds and lines. I could go on and on. I love it. As far as I’m concerned, this is wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what Night Shade does with the cover design.