Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wheel Of Time Ebook Covers

I've mentioned before that I'm quite the avid reader. Well, one of my all time favorite series is The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordon/Brandon Sanderson. Book 13, Towers Of Midnight came out last week and I'm finding I just don't have enough time to read as much as I want. My nights are spent immersed in the book and my days at work consist of me thinking about what I've already read, emailing my best friend to see how far he is in it and looking up fan art to use as my facebook profile picture.
Doing that today lead me to find some really wicked fan art covers, which I discovered were being used as the ebook covers, each by a different artist!

As announced, Tor is releasing the Wheel of Time ebooks—one a month, starting today. Each book will feature new cover art by a different artist while utilizing a continuing design template to unify the series. Why? Mainly because we thought it would be fun. I suppose there should have been a better corporate reason to start-out with but, really, it just came about as a conversation over coffee about cool stuff we could do on the site. The original idea was to simply commission twelve Wheel of Time paintings as a kind of “WoT of the Month Club.” As the ebook program evolved it became a natural fit to slide the idea over there.

Right away the idea was to hire different artists, with very different styles, and have them address the source material in their own voice. I wanted to pick illustrators that were known to fantasy fans and others we do not typically think of as genre artists—giving us fourteen new interpretations of Robert Jordan’s world. - Tor website

I would've much rather these been the covers for all of them, then the originals (Not to mention all the really terrible inconsistencies with them). So what I'm going to do is show you the real cover and then the ebook cover. Prepare to be shocked. Also, prepare your self for spoilers if you haven't read the book yet.

The Eye Of The World

I never actually minded this cover. It was probably the nicest out of all of them. It shows the gang leaving the Two Rivers and heading to Tarren Ferry.

The new cover, by David Grove, is probably my least favorite of them. It shows Rand sitting on Bayle Domon's ship. It's not a very excited moment in the book, although the art is still lovely.

The Great Hunt

I was quite surprised that Kekai Kotaki chose to use the same scene from the original cover as the choice for the new cover. Sure, Rand getting the horn back is a big deal, but I would've done the battle in the sky at the end, if it were me and I could, you know, draw.

The Dragon Reborn

The original cover depicts the main goal for this book, Rand taking Callendor. I always found this cover to be a bit of an eye sore, but it was a great scene so I guess I can let it slide.

The new one, by Donato Giancola, I guess depicts Rand's choices about wanting to stay the young sheep-herder or taking on the mantle of the Dragon Reborn. It's a much nicer picture, but still not very exciting.

The Shadow Rising

How boring of a cover can you get? I don't even think I can pinpoint in the book where this is, but who cares, they're making breakfast! Of all great things that happen in this book, they chose them making breakfast for the cover.

Now this is what I like to see! I think that Sam Weber did a fantastic job.Here's what he had to say about his choice of scenes:

Mat is not just the glib and irreverent scoundrel he would like us to believe him to be. Destined to lead an army of dead heroes at the last battle with the memories of history’s greatest generals entwined with his own, Jordan’s homage to Odin, complete with Ravens and spear, is deadly and capable, as much a warrior as he is rogue. I wanted to portray this Mat, freshly cut from the tree of life, with his Ashandarei balanced over one shoulder, formidable despite his wounds.

It sends shivers down my spine just looking at it.

The Fires Of Heaven 

 This cover is suppose to show Rand's invasion of Caemlyn, but really, it just looks like they're out for a Sunday stroll. This was suppose to be the climax of the book, but after what had just happened, this scene always gets forgotten in my mind.

 This is more like it! Dan Dos Santos shows us what we really want to see, the fight between Moiraine
and Lanfear. What an epic chapter! I love the agelessness that he managed to give her face and her gown is amazing!

Lord Of Chaos

I laugh ever time I see this cover. Instead of depicting the Aes Sedai swearing an oath of fealty to Rand, it looks like a really cheesy romance novel. Because of this, it makes it hard to take it on the bus with you. I've gotten some weird looks over it before.

Although this cover, by Greg Manchess, is the same battle of Dumai’s Wells this one depicts the slaughter of the Aiel by the Asha’man in their first real display of power.

This is only a fraction of the picture though. click on it to get the full view. It's worth it.

A Crown Of Swords

This book has always been pretty forgettable to me. I never remember what happens and I find that I don't really care. Ok, so Rand follows Sammael to Shadar Logoth where they chase each other around before Sammael gets eaten by Mashadar.

Now, this on the other hand, is one of my favorite moments from this book. Mélanie Delon chose to use Lan rescuing Nynaeve, thus reuniting them finally after so long. Sigh... I'm such a girl sometimes.

The Path of Daggers

This is probably my least favorite book in the series. Like A Crown of Swords, I always forget what happens in it. I look at the cover to remind myself, but the scene on the cover is so boring. They're just marching off to battle, a battle that goes on for way too long, as far as I'm concerned.

Then I actually remember what the book was about. Julie Bell remembers. How could I forget about the Bowl of Winds? Despite that whole thing going on way too long as well, the chapter where they actually use the bowl is pretty cool. Plus, I love the way that Elayne, Aviendha, and Nynaeve look in this piciture.

Winter's Heart

This is one of my favorite books and covers. This was the first WOT book that I actually owned and in hard cover no less! The picture isn't very exciting, just Perrin hunting for Faile, but it was a nice change to see someone other than Rand on the cover, since Eye Of The World.

It's funny that I would then like the cover with Rand on it better! Scott M. Fischer understands that this moment is a pinnacle in WOT history;

The cleansing of saidin is one of the most iconic moments in The Wheel of Time. For 3,000 years nothing has been more feared than a man 
who can channel. The taint upon saidin led not only to the devastation of an entire Age, but very nearly at times to the extinction of humankind itself. To say that Rand’s action here is significant is a gross understatement. By removing the taint, he is allowing an entire 
future generation of male channelers an opportunity to exist. He's giving the world some hope. Perhaps he's even giving himself a fighting chance to survive long enough to make it to the Last Battle, where, if he fails, it may not matter one way or the other in the end.

The only thing I would've added to this picture was Nynaeve sitting behind him. I do love the depiction of the Choedan Kal though.

Crossroads of Twilight

I waited a long time for this book and it really wasn't that good, which was a shame. Basically it's an entire book about what was happening elsewhere while Rand and Nynaeve cleaned the source. This picture is from when Matt and the Band of the Red Hand break off from Van Luca's circus.

This is a great picture by Greg Ruth of Perrin throwing away his axe and thus fulfilling the prophecy that the Wolf King would carry a hammer. I love how cold and still this picture looks. You can really feel Perrin's inner torment as he leave the axe that he's become so accustom to using behind him.

Knife Of Dreams

When I first get a new WOT book, I can't wait to discover the point in the book that explains the cover art. In Knife of Dream, that came in the prologue. It wasn't very exciting either. Perrin's army manges to sneak Galina out of the Shaido camp and question her; she, of course, is not very helpful.

This picture, by Michael Komarck, is nearer to the end of the book and is one of my all time favorite scenes. Rand steps in to protect Min from Semirhage and thus loses his hand!

The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm marked the first book after Robert Jordan's death. Besides the profound sadness that I felt at his passing, I was also worried about what would become of my favorite book series. I remember feeling apprehension when I picked it up, not know if Brandon Sanderson could carry on. Luckily, the book was amazing and brought a new light to all the characters. I never found that this cover did the book any justice. I mean, Rand is just randomly cursing the Dark One for a bubble of Evil. Not a very pinnacle point.

Now Todd Lockwood did a much better job of capturing the tone and pace of this book. Ewgene fighting the Seanchen in the White Tower was a thrilling and pinnacle point to the book.

Since I don't have an ebook, I'll have to make due with the old covers, but I'll always think fondly of these new ones.


  1. The new covers for books 1 and 3 hurt me so much, if because the books are so great and the new art does no justice to anything the books represent. Oh well, I guess they can't all be winners!

    Book 8 looks very, uh, sexual to me. Also: why does one character look like Phoenix?

    But book 5 is clearly the best piece of Wheel of Time art ever created! 11 and 12 are amazing too!

    Thanks for posting these! :)

  2. I have to disagree on Crossroads of Twilight, for me Mat traveling with Tuan was a highlight. Though the new cover is better, it is a key point for Perin.

    Also for book 1 that is a key scene it's confimation that Rand can channel.

    for me the best is a toss up between 4 and 5 but all are better (the 1&2 just barely)

    @ericavery: re book8 they ARE channeling hard :)

  3. Great picture for the cover of Fires of Heaven, but that's not agelessness. That is a picture of Lanfear; Moiraine didn't handle that angreal during the fight.

    1. As was pointed out, if you're going to determine identity by an object, and not by the obvious color blue all over our favorite member of the Blue Ajah (and the fact that her body size is more appropriate to a Cairhienin than tall Lanfear), you shouldn't ignore the famous and much-mentioned blue stone worn in its customary spot on Moiraine's forehead, or her GREAT SERPENT RING.

      Just saying.

      Yes, the angreal shouldn't be in her possession, but in the history of WoT covers, that is a tiny error.

  4. That may be true, but Moraine always wore the jewel on her forehead and was always wearing blue. Lanfear tended to wear white, but it's totally worth going back to check out.

    Thanks for your inspiring comment