I will admit that Rachel sharing cover space with someone (to be named tomorrow) is one of the things that makes this my favorite cover to date. The way the magic is depicted, showing Rachel taking control of it, is another. But it’s Rachel’s face that made me say “Holy Cow!” when I first saw it. You can see her confidence, and it’s not a mean, bitchy confidence that Hollywood seems to be stuck on as the only way a woman can be confident or in control in a sf/fantasy film. It’s not even an “I’ve got power” confidence. It’s a confidence that comes from knowing who she is, what she can do, and where she is in her life. The little bit of “dare you” in her eyes doesn’t hurt, either.
Like the magic, Rachel’s face has been changing on the covers over the series’ span. I grant you that some of it is industry based, and when The Good, The Bad, and The Undead came out, body parts were all the rage. I was tickled when full feminine forms finally began to show up, but the need to see her had begun to become important, and for a while there was a back and forth where we tried to get a full face and had to compromise. Black Magic Sanction would have been Rachel’s debut, but she was misted out when big book buyers said they’d buy more if her face remained hidden.
But eventually, mostly due to an evolving market, we were allowed to show Rachel’s face, (A Perfect Blood) and ultimately, that smile.
Last piece is tomorrow. I can’t wait!
P.S. About the hair. Curly haired women will rarely be shown on covers as most people view curly haired women as not being kick-ass. Besides, when Rachel is out, she usually has her hair in a hard-to-grab French braid so she doesn’t get her head slammed into the wall, floor, whatever.