The coolest looking book cover we've seen in ages: Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless

This book cover draws your eye, with its curving dark lines and its stark red-black-and-off-white color scheme. To illustrate the cover of Catherynne M. Valente's retelling of the legend of Koschei the Deathless, Beth White used actual black paper cut-outs.

Here's the synopsis of Valente's Deathless, which comes out in March from Tor Books:

Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what giants or wicked witches are to European fairy tales: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on for generations through and storybooks and verbal lore. But Koschei has never looked quite as he does through the eyes of Catherynne M. Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to our recent past, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history.

Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever peasant girl, to Koschei's beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told,Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of mythology and revolution, of love and death, that will bring Russian myth to life in a stunning new incarnation.

Beth White's portfolio is full of similarly beautiful storybook art. You can view alternate versions of the cover, and read more about the process of creating it, over at the link. [Tor.com via Literary Musings]