When I was reviewing Tony Debajo’s book In The Shadow of Ruin earlier this year I came across some amazing artwork on his website. I think you’ll agree they are really something special and deserve a showcase!
About the Author
Tony Debajo was born in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Shortly after, his parents moved to London, England, where he lived until he was six years old, then the family relocated to Nigeria. He lived there for 11 years before coming back to England. Tony studied Civil Engineering at the University of East London.
Tony’s inspiration for his novel comes from his time spent in Nigeria, where he became fascinated with the culture of his heritage.
His passion for reading was built on tales of ancient civilisations. He was enthralled by their way of life, beliefs, and cultures. He devoured any books he could lay his hands on about the Roman empire, the Mongol empire, ancient Greece, Nordic civilisations, but most of all the mythology associated with these people.
He soon realised that his country of origin was equally rich with traditions, tales of ancient gods and acts of heroism and decided to tap into that world.
Garnering tales and folklore remembered as a child, some of which would have been passed down through generations and typically told around fires, he began writing his debut novel, In the Shadow of Ruin, which grew as he wrote and will now be a series called The Fractured Kingdom. Tony hopes to bring to life his characters and set them free into the world.
About the Illustrator
Théa Magerand: https://ikaruna.artstation.com/
I’m a professional concept artist and book illustrator – I bring to life epic characters, dark creatures, horror monsters and fantasy worlds. Cyberpunk and videogames nerd who spends too much time reading awesome horror novels. Master monster maker.
I use a variety of techniques in the creation of the book covers I am commissioned, or characters, from freehand drawing, to blending 3D base models with photobashing and mixing it all up.
Over to you, Tony:
Most of my fans wouldn’t necessarily know this about me, but I am very artistic. I’ve always had a passion for art, mainly drawing, which I am (or was, as I’ve not picked up a pencil in years) very good at doing. When I decided to become an author, it was always one of my dreams to develop my characters visually.
I’ve always had an idea of what they would look like, and when I came across a very talented illustrator on Reedsy, my characters were brought to life. I spent some time searching for an illustrator that would be the right fit for my vision, and I was immediately captured by the work of Théa Magerand.
It was challenging to start with going through every minute detail of the individual characters (I can be very particular when it comes to art), but once we had the first one done, the rest came easy. I’ve so far developed seven characters and commissioned a further two, and plan to commission a few more (there are quite a few characters in my book, all of whom are equally as important as the main antagonist and protagonist).
So here they are:
King Jide – King of the southern realm
He is the main protagonist of the novel. He is a noble lord loved by all his subjects and allies and even respected by his enemies. However, in his desperation to secure his kingdom and preserve his heritage from an invading army lead by his half-brother, he seeks guidance from men of the underworld, which goes against everything he stands for and offends the gods.
Prince Olise – The banished prince
Olise is the main antagonist. He has returned from exile and seeks to claim the throne as his own. He is an arrogant prince who believes he has no equal in the realm. He believes that he is more deserving of all the power and love of the kingdom. He is a great warrior in his own right, but he is also protected by his mother’s witchcraft.
Ekaete – The witch
Ekaete is the mother of Olise. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this character. She is rumoured to belong to a cult of witches known as the circle of seven. It is thought that she played a hand in the many atrocities and sorrows that have befallen the realm.
Enitan – The boy prince
Enitan is the third son of King Jide. He is a boy of twelve who is very playful, mischievous, and full of adventure. But there is a darker side to him. He has been touched by a god, and not any god but the most feared and wrathful god of the Yoruba people, Shango.
Dimeji – Blood-guard to Prince Olise
All the males in the royal family are assigned a blood guard at birth. These blood guards serve as a protector and companion all of their life. Dimeji is Olise’s blood guard. A menacing figure, he is one of the most feared men in all the realm, not only for the skill of his right hand but his silence. He never speaks with his words but only with the blade at his side
Shango – God of thunder
Shango is one of the gods of the Yoruba tribe. He is often depicted as a bolt of lightning in human form and is considered to be the most feared of all the gods for his fiery temper and known to shoot flaming arrows from his hands when angered.
Yemoja – Goddess of the rivers
Another deity of the Yoruba tribe and goddess of the river. She is known to be a protector of women, and exceptional men, but she is mostly known to be a healer.
In the Shadow of Ruin
King Jide Adelani has ruled the lands of the Yoruba in West Africa for many peaceful years, but now his kingdom is in turmoil and the cold grasp of death’s embrace is closing in around everything he holds dear.
Jide spent years garnering the respect and loyalty of the tribes in the hopes of uniting them into one cohesive empire when his half-brother, Prince Olise, returns from banishment to claim the throne as his own.
The offspring of a union between the late King Adeosi and the evil enchantress Ekaete, the bitter Olise has devoted the last decade to one purpose; to seize the throne and rule the kingdom. If he fails, he risks his name being erased from the history of the tribes.
With the support of his mother, a powerful witch whose name is whispered in fear across the lands of the tribes, the outcast Olise now seems unstoppable in achieving his goal.
Facing overwhelming military might and dark forces that he cannot comprehend, Jide must either choose to ignore the warnings of the gods, and seek help from those who also practice dark arts; or risk losing his kingdom.