Varra, the Enchantress of Venus


Great power in a petite format. The wicked silver fairy of Venus.

Just like in the post dedicated to Berild, this time we bring you Varra, heroine of second volume of the Illustrated Stark: Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett. Just like the first and the third book, illustrations and cover art are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Varra definitely struck an impression with the duality of elfish beauty corrupted by an inner evil that can crush you if you stand in her way -unless you’re Stark, of course. And yet, honest in her daring boldness and ambition.

As for all other characters, we received a description of Varra, who is a Lhari, and we added to her personality aided by reading from the volume as well.
This is from the wonderful information from the pre-production document we got from Cirsova:

The Lhari are described as having “alabaster skin, …eyes that were all colors and none, like the dawn sky, …hair that was pure warm silver”

Very much like an evil elf princess. She’s described as wearing a short red tunic and a leather falconry glove on her left hand (and a falcon to go with it). (…) Stark at one point calls her “witch with the silver curls”, (…) “lovely, like the red fruit of the swamp tree that bears death in its pungent sweetness”.

Her irresistible wickedness is like a red beacon warning you of danger, and yet, there you are, walking right towards it. Lured by the charming hazard dressed in red.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara is right here and Ciara’s Lines

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★

A Shout-Out for Illustrated Stark


We’re so happy! The third volume is going to be out on June 28th!
We hope you enjoy our cover art and illustrations, published by Cirsova Publishing!


We recently got a shout-out on Cora Buhlert’s blog for our new edition of Leigh Brackett’s Stark:

Interestingly, the most recent editions by Cirsova Publishing of all companies, are the first to actually portray Eric John Stark as Leigh Brackett described him, namely as a black man.

In her post, Cora talks about how the Golden Age of Science Fiction was more diverse than it’s generally given credit for as she takes a look at the 2019 and the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards nominees (the latter of which includes a couple Brackett stories!).

One of the focuses of our own pulp review series at Castalia House (rerunning here through the end of the year) was to illustrate that the pulps were not what people have thought they were by showing what they actually were. And few if any of the nearly 150 stories we reviewed were anything like…

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Reminder: Leigh Brackett’s Enchantress of Venus Out This Friday (5/31/2019) — Cirsova


Leigh Brackett’s Enchantress of Venus is out this Friday!

It’s this Friday already! Don’t miss Volume two of the Illustrated Stark we proudly illustrated for Cirsova Publishing!

Dark Secrets of an Inhuman Race Lie Hidden Beneath the Seas of Venus! Eric John Stark travels the shores of Venus’ gaseous red seas seeking the whereabouts of a missing comrade. Pursuing this mystery puts him in the hands of the Lhari, a cruel and power-hungry family that rules over the pirate enclave of Shuruun! […]

via Reminder: Leigh Brackett’s Enchantress of Venus Out This Friday (5/31/2019) — Cirsova

Surprise post! Berild, the Queen of the Martian Catacombs


A striking beauty in the hot desert land of Mars.

Being as careful as we can in order to shield you from any spoilers, today’s bonus post is to introduce Berild, heroine of the just published first volume of the Illustrated Stark: Queen of the Martian Catacombs by Leigh Brackett. Illustrations and cover art are by yours truly,  StarTwo, and published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Berild was an instant crush, the sultriness countered with the weight of secrets made the perfect recipe for the classic femme fatale role, when you know there might be poison on those full red lips but before you know it, you’re already leaning in for a kiss.

We were provided with the descriptions and had ourselves a read of the volume as well, in order to grasp the feel of the characters and environments. Here’s part of the text we received from Cirsova:

(…) described as having smoke-grey eyes, silver-white skin and ‘hair…like a dark flame’. She is beautiful and proud, with a confident determination in all situations.”

And here is a description of  not only Berild’s looks but also her resolution in Leigh Brackett’s own words, from an excerpt of the book:

“Yet all through those blazing days and frosty nights, tortured with thirst and weary to exhaustion, Berild was magnificent. Her white skin was darkened by the sun and her hair became a wild red mane, but she smiled and set her feet resolutely by his, and Stark thought she was the most beautiful creaturehe had ever seen.”

Long luscious hair speaks perfectly for a femme fatalle, allied to red lips and contrasting with pale skin . Of course it helps if the long hair comes with staff to maintain it,  but we digress.

You can find Varra, the Enchantress of Venus of Volume 2 right ►here◄

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Give a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Queen of the Martian Catacombs at Amazon (kindle and paperback)
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★


It’s out of the bag! The Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary!




We’re also Team Stark! Though it might be tricky to go out for drinks (we really think Stark is blinking “help” in morse code…)

Hello everyone!

From the title of this post it’s safe for you to assume that we’re absolutely thrilled and celebrations have commenced here at our studio.

It was back in 2017 that we were approached by P. Alexander, editor of Cirsova: a Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction publication.
What was in store for us was what illustrators’ dreams are made of: to re-imagine in our art style the adventures of the iconic pulp fiction/light novel hero: Eric John Stark.
Stark, also known as N’Chaka, is the creation of beloved Leigh Brackett, none other than the Queen of Space Opera herself and a screenwriter as well that worked on the Star Wars sequel “The Empire Strikes back”.

And we had absolutely no idea of this and that was a good thing because while reading the selected character descriptions (thank you Alexander!) and the books, we fell in love with the lore and the stories for what they were and not for them being part of Brackett’s legacy.

The books are out for pre-order and each time one gets released, look forward for a special blog post here on Starlitden with unpublished artwork from us!

This was a work of love and dedication and we are extremely happy to see it out and we would like to invite you to check out these links for further information:

The Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition:


Cirsova Publishing releases

★Keep having a wonderful week and like always, stay inspired!★