I hesitate a bit with this post because I’m not sure if it would constitute spoilers for book 2, so I think I’ll just show the images with a little bit of commentary, not the usual chunks of history and legend and such.
The pink patch in the lower right is the Accursed Thornland of Haaraka:
But wait, there’s more!
I enjoyed picking pictures for this, probably because it’s the most fantastical of the lands — a very unusual place. So I picked a lot of them.
You may notice a color theme. I call the Haaraka chapters ‘that section where I say red and blood a lot’. When I write this place, I feel a bit like the Queen of Hearts. PAINT THE ROSES RED.
The architecture is a lot of white plaster, a lot of pillars, a lot of drapey cloth — or else huts seemingly woven of thorns, for which I couldn’t find good pictures.
Really, there’s not a lot of this architecture, since most of the landscape is trackless wilderness. Or very lightly tracked.
The people are a bit difficult to put together with internet images. They’re supposed to have a pale-complexion red-eyelid ‘sickly’ coloration but not actually look sick, which is hard to get either from pics of actual sick people or from the model-type photos you otherwise see. I think the third one from the left, at the top of the following composite, is the closest to the general Haarakash ‘look’, but still not quite. Hair also is supposed to be dark with a ‘bloody’ tint, like highlights….again, difficult to find a good depictor.
Full-on red hair is also a possibility, but not a natural red like the Corvish. Most of these are more a burgundy shade. Ignore the blonde girl.
The weather is temperate at worst, so this is how the people typically dress:
Short tops/vests, sarongs and sandals for everyone! Except the scholarly and hub-dwelling types, who dress a bit more like the lady on the lower left, except without the headscarf.
Next, accessories! Because half the fun of these composites is the accessorizing.
Wood, seed and fabric. A little bit of stone, a little bit of bone, but no metal — not among the non-mages.
I do want to mention one thing about an object that appears in the Haarakash section — an apple (actually two apples, but whatever). I’m originally from New England, and as a kid I remember reading or hearing a folktale about apples with bloody centers, which obviously stuck with me because I put them in Haaraka (though not with the same backstory, just as a detail). I have a couple other creepy little pieces of the east coast still hiding in my writing, despite having been out here in the desert for more than half my life.
As a wrap-up, I present you with this sculpture of an eyeball in a rose by this guy, which you might notice is similar to the eye-in-rose on the Book 2 cover but which I found much later and probably don’t have enough money to buy. Alas.