Layla appears again in Book II as a sort of villain/antihero, Red Layla. Much Wire-Fu ensues.
I'm glad you liked the story. A lot of people found this one too prologue-y. WHich it is, but I had hoped it would be enjoyable enough in its own right as well.
Anywho. The young lady on the cover, in back-cover copy-ese, is:
"Zamia Badawi: Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the Lion-Shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man’s title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father’s killer. Until she meets Raseed."
Thanks for listening!