Check Out the Cover for THE SERPENT CALLED MERCY, a Fantasy Book Full of Deadly Adventure and Battle-Tested Friendships

At Nerdist, we love a battle-tested friendship. What could be better than deep connections forged in the midst of harrowing danger? There’s nothing like an epic adventure to bring people together. And that’s why we’re thrilled to exclusively reveal the cover of DAW Books’ The Serpent Called Mercy, a Malaysian Chinese-inspired fantasy by debut author Roanne Lau. The underlying, steadfast friendship between the protagonists of The Serpent Called Mercy creates the beating heart of this story. But, in addition to resonant interpersonal dynamics, the fantasy-adventure book also promises no shortage of heart-pounding battles and mysterious (and ferocious) sun-cursed beasts. And we feel like we can see all of this well-represented in The Serpent Called Mercy‘s cover.

You can take a look at it below.

Exclusive Cover Reveal for The Serpent Called Mercy

The Serpent Called Mercy by Roanne Lau exclusive cover reveal
Daw Books

Okay, isn’t this cover art stunning? We are stunned. The Serpent Called Mercy‘s gorgeous cover is by Rowynn Ellis (they/them) and art directed by Katie Anderson. We absolutely hope we’ll be seeing all these monsters in the story. But both literally and symbolically, we’re obsessed with them already. The elemental energy, the dynamic action, the little hint of adorable friendship in the corner—we feel it all in this cover. The ferociousness, fury, and little brushes of gentleness all come together perfectly to help us understand what awaits readers in The Serpent Called Mercy.

(But seriously, get that little guy his own streaming show, stat. We would follow him until the ends of the earth.)

The Serpent Called Mercy by Roanne Lau exclusive cover reveal corner
Daw Books

Likely, this cover will only become more beautiful as fans grow to learn more about its true meaning as they read the book. But we’re honestly thinking of buying a second copy of The Serpent Called Mercy just so we can display this piece in our house.

More About The Serpent Called Mercy

Just in case The Serpent Called Mercy‘s swoon-worthy cover reveal isn’t yet enough to sway you, here’s a little bit more about the book. A release shares that “Fans of the tense, dynamic action and battle-tested friendships like The Witcher and Squid Game will love The Serpent Called Mercy, where a debt-ridden slumdog joins an illegal monster-fighting arena for some fast coin but quickly learns the most dangerous beasts are outside the ring.” Basically, this book strives to answer the question, “What if an epic fantasy with already high stakes met even higher stakes and added heart-wrenching friendship on top?” It sounds guaranteed to have us both sobbing and at the edge of our seats. And we could ask for little more from a book than that. We also just have to say that the home of this novel adaptation should definitely be Netflix. An even fuller synopsis of the book can be found at the end of this article.

Of additional interest to some, Roanne Lau’s novel will feature asexual and neurodivergent representation, which we definitely support and applaud. Both asexuality and neurodivergence deserve more representation in media, and books that feature representative characters should be championed.

Pre-Order The Serpent Called Mercy by Roanne Lau Today

The Serpent Called Mercy releases on December 3rd, 2024. You can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and You can also follow Lau on Twitter,  @roannelau, and Instagram, @roannelau, for more updates on the story.

The Serpent Called Mercy‘s Full Synopsis

The Serpent Called Mercy by Roanne Lau exclusive cover reveal
Daw Books

Here is the full synopsis of The Serpent Called Mercy by Roanne Lau:

Lythlet and her only friend Desil are shackled to a life of debt and poverty that she fears they will never escape. Desperate for money, they sign up as conquessors: arena combatants who fight sun-cursed beasts in the seedy underworld of the city.

Match-master Dothilos is initially enamored of Desil’s brawling reputation, but after seeing Lythlet lead the pair to triumph with her quick cunning, he takes her under his wing, scorning Desil. Ambition takes root in Lythlet’s heart as a life of fame and wealth unfolds in her imagination.

But Lythlet isn’t the only one out for coin and glory, and she soon finds herself playing an entirely different game—a game of politics and deception. As the cost of her ambition grows, she will have to decide if sacrificing her honor, and only friendship, is worth the chance to shape her own fortune.

A whirlwind of blood-pounding battles as characters grapple with their choices in the face of wealth and financial security, The Serpent Called Mercy’s heart is the underlying, steadfast friendship between its protagonists.

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