Illustration Showcase – In The Shadow of Ruin by Tony Debajo

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.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

About the Illustrator

Théa Magerand:

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.

My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | goodreads

Related Posts

Illustration Showcase – The Song of Kamaria by T. A. Bruno

Today I am excited to be sharing with you the artwork from T. A. Bruno’s Sci-Fi series The Song of Kamaria. The next installment, On the Winds of Quasars will be released on e-book on 9/20/2021 – so be sure to keep an eye open for that!!

About the Author

T. A. BRUNO grew up in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry. Since then, he has brought stories to life for over a decade as a previsualization artist. At home, he is a proud father of two boys and a husband to a wonderful wife.
To learn more, visit:

About the Cover Designer

Daniel Schmelling is a talented artist and cosplayer. I met him through, and I was blown away by his previous covers and his Artstation page. Daniel is always great to work with and never lets me down. He’s become a friend that I can rely on to create the faces for my books. He also does some fantastic horror-themed cosplay! Check out his artstation for more! (

“Hello, my name is Daniel, as you probably guessed and I am a freelance digital artist and designer for 7 years now, dedicated to environments, landscapes and scenery art, including space art, for different kinds of media such as for websites, books and more. Besides, I also provide photo editing and graphic design.
Very early on in my career, I had a kind of fascination with landscapes, space and environments. There are so many different kinds of characters in landscapes, from the good natured, like vibrant with water flowing, the sun shining between tree crowns, to the darker elements, like thunderstorms, deep gorges and volcanic skies. 
My approach to new projects is very explorative, abstract, rough and open minded. Usually my work-flow at the beginning of projects is putting down thumbnail ideas on the canvas in Photoshop. Once the ideas are nailed down, I refine and add the intricate details, always keeping the clients needs and feedback in mind.”

About the Illustrator

Jason Hall has been a great friend of mine ever since we worked together years back. I was always a fan of his artwork, and I was thrilled when he agreed to illustrate my trilogy. It’s been great collaborating with him, and he always finds new ways to bring the world of Kamaria to life. I can’t wait to see what he does for book 3! You can see more of Jason’s art on his webpage:

Book Covers

Daniel Schmelling created both of these gorgeous covers, with one more slated for the trilogy’s end. We wanted to place the reader on Kamaria as quickly as possible, and the cover is the best way to achieve that. In the Orbit of Sirens has a cover that invokes wonder and just a little bit of dread as you can see the shadow of the Siren on the back peering out at the heros on the front cover. On the Winds of Quasars goes straight for the danger, including a monstrous bird swooping down on our protagonists. Each gives an epic scale that I think Daniel did an excellent job capturing.

Book Descriptions

In The Orbit of Sirens


When starship mechanic, Denton Castus, is caught in the destructive path of a devastating war, he abandons his home and seeks refuge on a distant planet. However, this new safe haven has undiscovered threats of its own. Eliana Veston, a scout preparing the planet for the refugees, struggles with a deadly pandemic that is killing off colonists. The hunt for a cure unleashes a new threat to humanity—the Sirens—mysterious beings with incredible powers and a deep hatred for invaders.

Amazon | goodreads | My Review

On The Winds of Quasars

Coming Soon…9/20/2021!!

The thrilling sequel to In the Orbit of Sirens


In the aftermath of the brutal slaying of a sacred auk’nai deity, Cade and Nella Castus are taken from their home and brought deep into the wilderness. They must make their way back to civilization, traversing dangerous landscapes as they are pursued relentlessly by their captor—a winged abomination.

As Denton and Eliana search for their missing children, they uncover something that will change all life on Kamaria forever.

Amazon preorder

In The Orbit of Sirens Illustrations

The Lelantos, the Castus family’s unique spacecraft.
The illustrations of spaceships are a combined effort of both Jason Hall and myself. I had initially created all the ships as 3D models and had Jason go over them with his excellent linework. 

A Rushcycle, the hovering motorcycles found in the Song of Kamaria world.

A Matador-class starfighter. Named a matador for the way they dodge Undriel battlecraft in combat.

The Siren, a mysterious being with incredible powers and a deep hatred for invaders.

On the Winds of Quasars Illustrations:

A daunoren staff. 

The monster.

Cade and Nella.

The upgraded Rogers. Readers may recognize the base of this ship from the first novel. 26 years pass between Sirens and Quasars, and in that time, the Rogers gets an upgrade. 

Part Art:

Jason Hall created these unique illustrated pieces to transition between parts in each of the novels.  Each of these is shown without the Part Heading, and descriptions are kept vague to avoid spoilers. 

Kamaria from orbit.

Colassal Timbermen parade.

Siren possession.


This is the concept art of a sketch we didn’t end up going with, but I still think it’s cool. It’s unfinished due to us going in a different direction, but I love how dynamic it is.

Related Posts

Illustration Showcase – The Return of the Dragonriders trilogy by Raina Nightingale

Map of Aneri

The Return of the Dragonriders Trilogy, of which DragonBirth is the first, takes place on the continent of Aneri in the world of Areaer. DragonBirth primarily takes place in the Greater Aravin Mountains around Treas.

Barnes and Noble | Amazon  | Goodreads

The Rider’s Passage

The Rider’s Passage is a tunnel or tunnels through the Greater Aravin Mountains, one of only two ways to pass from one side to the other, though it is a hard way to travel, as there is not much food to find. It is lit by glowing rocks.

“The floor at her feet, and as best as she could tell the rest of the walls and roof, was a pale green rock with very distinct and delineated strata. Throughout it were set somethings that glowed and sparkled. She could see those nearest to her well enough to tell that they were many-faceted and the light was a little mottled and variated. They came in almost every color imaginable, pure and bright. Never before had she seen such color, so pure, clear, and not merely bright, but actually glowing its own tones.”

Silmavalien and Minth; when Minth hatches in her room

Silmavalien’s eyes fell on the dragon and she loved him. The beat of her heart harmonized with his. The rhythm of her breath merged with that of his. Their whole bodies vibrated with the same force and energy as they stared into one another’s very different eyes, the one having dark brown irises and black pupils, the other a dim, pale minty glow. They were so different and yet they were so close and the differences served not to separate them but to draw them closer together. It was wonderful, impossible, totally new.

Noren and Elninya

Elninya hatches at the end of DragonBirth.

“Noren felt that he would burst with the unbearable energy of the love and joy of the wondrous unity he could not now live without, now that he had known it. “Elninya … Elninya … Elninya …” he murmured.”

The Volcano of Ellen Island

In DragonSword, the obsidian dragon Onyxalis must swim through the Volcano of Ellen Island and emerge again to receive the power he needs to be the Obsidian Guardian.

When they looked above their heads, they saw the volcano spouting, like a much bigger lava-spout, far above their heads and against the gray and cloudy sky. It dissolved in red droplets, beautiful but scary. “What if one of those falls on us?” asked Silmavalien.

“It won’t,” said Oaeiae. She stood now with her back to them, watching the volcano. “I told you, I will make sure of that.”

Images and sensations from Onyxalis reached them. The sun-like brilliance in the hot depths of the lava. The strength of the lava surging up and flowing out of the pressure underneath. The essence entering into his body. He was still searching through the thick brightness for the Dragon-sword.

Firutrilia, the Healer of the Ellenari

Firutrilia is an Ellen, a being with a relationship to time and space incomprehensible to mortals. She is the Healer and herbs are also part of her domain. Noren and Silmavalien meet her in DragonSword, when she helps them heal wounded dragons they have rescued.

When they reached the dragons, who looked dead already, the Ellena whom Silmavalien had not seen before turned towards her. She glimpsed a black robe under the cape. She wore a black mask through which glinted white eyes that reminded Silmavalien of Lisila. Silmavalien was taken aback to see that she covered her face with a mask.

“Call me Firutrilia,” she said, holding out her hands with a mass of green in them. “Take these and place them in the dragons’ wounds.”

When Silmavalien did so she was surprised to find that just a touch of the herb completely staunched the flow of blood.

Perhaps they would all live.

About the Author/Illustrator

Raina Nightingale has been writing high fantasy since she could read enough words to write stories with the words she could read. She loves dragons and magic and beautiful worlds, complete with mountains, storms, stars, forests, and volcanoes! She also loves compelling and realistic characters. DragonBirth is her first novel in her High Fantasy setting of Areaer.

Twitter | Website

Related Posts