The World of Guien

Traditional + Digital

The first time my friend and author, Andrew Aston, told me about the novel he was working on, I knew he was into something really special. He shown me a map he drew himself to keep track of the events and locations on his world and it really captured my mind. I’m not a cartographer but I offered Andrew to redraw the map as I thought it should look.

In retrospect I should have worked on a bigger format. To be able to create all the details I wanted on an A3 I had to use some magnify glasses – talking about feeling old!

Originally I wanted to create a full-colour map. But due to time restrictions and other commitments I had to leave it as line art. Though I made it look weathered and frayed. I will come back to it – we are not finished!

Map of Guien

Graphite on Daler-Rowney 200g (A3) + Digital

Inspired by words

I love grimdark fantasy books. But I am a fussy reader and well-crafted worlds with a rich background and interesting characters are really hard to find.

I have never been so pleasantly surprised with a book since the first time I read Abercrombie. Andrew’s universe is rich and detailed. Mallory’s opening story quickly trapped me, I got immersed in a world that was painted with masterful strokes right in front of my eyes, slowly unveiling a picture that kept me mesmerized.

I had many conversations with Andrew about Guien over the past few years, which prompted me to do a number of sketches. We recently decided it would be a good idea to team up and finally put some images to his words.

I’ll keep updating this post with sneak peeks of what we are working on!

The Hobgoblin's Herald new cover

From initial rough concept to the final illustration.

Famous Skylines

Factions & Bestiary

Concepts & Sketches

Alright already, what the novel is about?

The first book on the series is called The Hobgoblin’s Herald. I’m not one to talk much about the plot of a book because I don’t like spoilers myself. Suffice to say that the story is not black and white and revolves around 4 main characters, their lives intertwined somehow as part of a bigger event. Here is the premise from book 1:

There are monsters in the forests of Katahia, and not all of them are human… When a poacher’s daughter saves one of their chieftains, she is drawn into the twisted world of the dreaded hobgoblins, where life is cheap and pity is weakness. Together, the girl and the malignant beasts must cross a realm on the cusp of dynastic civil war, in search of a land where they might thrive, or else be eradicated in the coming conflict. As the road before her grows ever darker and her allies ever stranger, Mallory must choose which side she owes loyalty, and what she is willing to do in order to survive.

Update: As from July 2020, I have read the 2nd book and I totally loved it too. I’ve been told there are going to be 4 books in total. Can’t wait!

Where can I buy it?

You can find the book either on Smashwords or Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US)