The Wheel of Time E-Book Covers (image-heavy post)

A few days ago I posted a copy of Michael Komarck’s e-book cover for Robert Jordan’s Knife of Dreams. The other covers are worth taking a look at, too. Even the worst ones are better than the covers done for the print books, in my opinion. Which one is your favorite?

Edit: Since my original post, I’ve added the e-book covers for The Gathering Storm, The Towers of Midnight, and New Spring down at the bottom. Thanks to commenter Calamari and Reddit reader Morth for helping with the descriptions the covers.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the books yet, be aware that the descriptions of each picture contain some pretty big spoilers. Please comment if you have more details or corrections. I will gladly fix them.

 

The Eye of the World e-book cover

by David Grove

Rand sailing on the river. The tower in the background is probably the Tower of Ghenjei.

 

The Great Hunt e-book cover

by Kekai Kotaki

Rand with the Horn of Valere. Selene/Lanfear is on left, and Loial is on the right. In the foreground are trollocs. This scene takes place after they came out of the portals, backtracking to catch the trollocs and steal the horn. However, it’s inaccurate because they didn’t open the case containing the horn until safe away from the trollocs. It’s the same scene as the original printed cover by Darrel K. Sweet, and it still doesn’t make much sense.

 

The Dragon Reborn e-book cover

by Donato Giancola

Rand sitting on the Dragon banner, trying to decide between his humanity (the flute) and the way he thinks he must be (the sword). The artist intentionally chose a scene not explicitly in the book.

 

The Shadow Rising e-book cover

by Sam Weber

Mat coming out of Rhuidean. This is an abstract scene that’s not explicitly in the book. Mat is carrying the ashanderei given to him by the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. The two ravens are probably representative of the ravens engraved on the ashanderei. In the background is the Avendesora from which Mat hung.

 

The Fires of Heaven e-book cover

by Dan Dos Santos

Moiraine, based on the color of the cloak, the bracelet, and the diadem. The papers are flying around, burning, because Lanfear blew up a wagon holding papers in a fight scene near the end of the book. The bracelet is an angreal, almost strong enough to be sa’angreal. However, Moiraine never used it in this scene—Lanfear did.

 

Lord of Chaos e-book cover

by Greg Manchess

The battle at Dumai’s wells, with the Asha’man (right) destroying Shaido with the One Power. If you look closely at the left-hand side of the wraparound image, you can see Loial (green coat) and Perrin (brown shirt and axe) hacking away. It’s more visible on the larger version posted on Tor.com.

 

A Crown of Swords e-book cover

by Mélanie Delon

Lan rescuing Nynaeve from the water. This is where Nynaeve finally overcomes her block to the One Power.

 

Path of Daggers e-book cover

by Julie Bell

Aviendha, Elayne, and Nynaeve using the Bowl of Winds to fix the weather. There has been some discussion of who is who in the cover, due to some inaccuracies in the painting. Red-haired Aviendha is on the left but should have shorter hair, and some commenters feel she shouldn’t be wearing such a fancy dress. Golden-haired Elayne is in the center, but her hair ought to be more curly and perhaps with a slightly more reddish tinge. She obtained a ter’angreal dagger in this book, shown hanging at her belt. Her dress looks a bit plain for Elayne. On the right is Nynaeve with the long, dark braid.

 

 Winter’s Heart e-book cover

by Scott M. Fischer

Rand using the male access key (sa’angreal or ter’angreal?) to cleanse the male half of the True Source.

 

Crossroads of Twilight e-book cover

by Greg Ruth

Perrin leaving behind the axe before the battle at Malen. Not sure it was actually snowing in the scene.

 

Knife of Dreams e-book cover

by Michael Komarck

Rand (holding the Dragon Scepter), protecting Min behind him. His hand is being destroyed by fire from Semirhage. (This is probably my favorite. If you like it, check out my post on Michael Komarck’s art.)

 

The Gathering Storm e-book cover

by Todd Lockwood

The Gathering Storm E-book Cover by Todd Lockwood

Egwene standing in a broken gap high in the White Tower, defending against the attacking Seanchan. Egwene’s wand is a sa’angreal she fetched from the storerooms (the same wand used to heal Mat from the dagger). On the right is a Seanchan warrior riding a to’raken.

 

The Towers of Midnight e-book cover

by Raymond Swanland

Towers of Midnight E-book Cover by Raymond Swanland

Perrin forging his new hammer, with Neald channeling the One Power to make it a power-forged weapon. I think the wolf in the top right corner is supposed to represent either Perrin becoming one with his wolf-self (as this scene is a big turning point in his understanding of himself and what he wants), or an image of Hopper that Perrin attaches to the hammer. In the book it’s described as simply ornamentation.

 

New Spring e-book cover

by Jason Chan

New Spring E-book Cover by Jason Chan

Lan and Moiraine.

 

My favorites are Knife of Dreams, The Shadow Rising, and The Fires of Heaven—in that order. Path of Daggers, Winter’s Heart, and Crossroads of Twilight are all a bit too cartoony or comic-booky for my taste. What do you think? Are they better than the original covers?

Note 1: If you liked this post, you might like some of my other posts, like this one about people copying Jordan or these three posts reviewing Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series.

Note 2: You might want to check out this post on Tor.com discussing Darrel K. Sweet’s death and showing all of his original Wheel of Time covers for the printed books.

Please take a moment, look around, and leave a comment!

21 comments so far

  1. Miranda Mann | Monday, 16 August 2010, 7:22 pm |

    These covers are SO MUCH COOLER than the ones on the actual books. I hope someday these make it to print. I like the Lord of Chaos one, but I just loved that book, plus Asha’man and Aiel are my two fav groups, and there they are! Fires of Heaven is a very nice painting, and Mat is very cool on Shadow Rising. I actually like the Crossroads of Twilight cover, but that book drove me insane. And man, that Path of Daggers cover is very very cheesy. But it’s still better than any of the printed book covers!

  2. Ben | Sunday, 22 August 2010, 9:57 am |

    I like the concept of the Lord of Chaos and Crossroads of Twilight covers, but the execution isn’t really my thing. Like I said, they look too much like the cover of a comic book rather than a novel.

    By the way, any comments on what scenes are supposed to be represented by these covers? There are a few I can’t identify.

    The Eye of the World—Rand sailing on the river. (But is that the White Tower in the background? That wouldn’t make sense.)

    The Great Hunt—Mat blowing the Horn of Valere.

    The Dragon Reborn—?

    The Shadow Rising—Mat coming out of Rhuidean (right?).

    The Fires of Heaven—Is that supposed to be Moiraine? Is that the book where she disappears?

    Lord of Chaos—The battle of Dumai’s Wells.

    A Crown of Swords—Is that supposed to be Nynaeve and Lan in the water? I can’t remember which book that was in.

    Path of Daggers—Using the bowl of winds. (Which characters were they? Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha, if I remember correctly.)

    Winter’s Heart—?

    Crossroads of Twilight—Obviously Perrin leaving his axe behind, although I don’t remember this scene specifically.

    Knife of Dreams—?

  3. riotimus | Sunday, 22 August 2010, 3:38 pm |

    As a long-time comics fan I don’t have the same art issues you do. A lot of these are really cool. Some of them leave me wanting. The two I don’t care for are Eye of the World (I wouldn’t pick a book with that cover off of the shelf unless three or four trusted friends recommended it) and Crown of Swords (looks like a mermaid story, just don’t dig it). I love looking at different artists perspectives of different stories and characters.

    Eye of the World – It definetly looks more like the White Tower than this, but wasn’t there a funny white bridge in the town where they docked on the river boat? That’s the only other option I can think of.

    Dragon Reborn – If I had to speculate, which obviously I don’t – but I will anyways – I would say that is towards the beginning of the novel when they are in hiding up in the mountains and Rand is hanging out trying to decide what to do without being anybody’s puppet.

    I’m pretty sure Morraine did disappear in Fires of Heaven.

    Winter’s Heart – Isn’t that Rand clowning around with the (t)(s)angreal (it’s been too long and I don’t care to look up the correct magical device) but it is the one where the little statue connects him to the giant statue of which there is a man and a woman version. I think it is what he and Nynaeve end up cleansing the power with.

    R.

  4. Ben | Monday, 23 August 2010, 8:47 am |

    Riotimus, don’t get me wrong. I love comic books, too. But that style doesn’t work for me as the cover of a novel.

    Ah, I think you’re right about Dragon Reborn and Winter’s Heart. They are pretty generic scenes.

  5. Lu | Sunday, 5 September 2010, 8:49 am |

    I thought there was a tall metal tower (one there was no way in or out of/foxes and snakes referece maybe) that first appeared in that book. I would guess he’s passing that, not the white tower.

    Moirane grabbed the bracelet away from lanfear, im sure what saved her, before entering the doorway – so i am pretty sure that is her, holding onto the lifesaving bracelet!

    Knife of dreams – he looses his hand to balefire, i think.

    on winters heart, i thought it was rand cleasing the source, then the guy in the middle with the ball was the guy holding one of the mindboxes, sending in those he controls to try and stop rand.

  6. Ben | Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 10:18 am |

    Lu-

    I think you’re right about that tower in the Eye of the World! That’s how Mat knew where it was in The Gathering Storm, because he and Rand had seen it clear back in book one.

    I had forgotten about the bracelet, but I was pretty sure it was Moiraine because of the tiara, not to mention the dark hair and blue cloak and dress. What about those burning pages, though?

    It was Knife of Dreams when he lost his hand, wasn’t it? That’s probably the scene.

    I had totally forgotten about those mindboxes—in fact, I still can’t remember then. Geez, I guess I need to reread the whole series again. I’m not sure I have the heart to do that, though.

  7. Cauthon | Saturday, 18 September 2010, 2:47 am |

    Mat’s one is the best. He looks like someone out of the movie Desperado!

  8. Cauthon | Saturday, 18 September 2010, 2:49 am |

    In Path of Daggers there appears to be a mistake. Doesn’t Aviendha have red hair? If so that would make her the girl on the left and the blonde girl Elayne. But it is the blonde girl who has a knife on her belt. Surely they’ve made a mistake here …

  9. Calamari | Saturday, 18 September 2010, 7:42 pm |

    I recently reread the ENTIRE series, so here we go:

    The Tower in the Eye of the World cover is definitely the one, either at Whitebridge or right before it. There was kinda a big deal about it at the time, and that’s where Thom, Neal, and Mat are gonna go to free Moiraine.

    The Great Hunt shows Loial (right), Rand with the Horn of Valere (middle), and Selene/Lanfear (woman on left). The rest are Trollocs. This is either in through one of the Portal Gates or right around the time they start messing with them.

    The third is The Dragon Reborn, trying to decide between his humanity (the flute) and the way he thinks he must be (the sword). The artist intentionally chose a scene not explicitly in the book.

    I’m pretty sure the fourth shows Mat in an abstract scene. That Avandelora (spelling?), and the ashanderei, and obviously the ravens (Prince of Ravens, etc.). It’s got to be after he hangs, if the scene is in the book at all.

    The Fires of Heaven definitely shows Moiraine. The color of the cloak, the bracelet, and the diadem all give it away. The papers are flying around, burning, because Lanfear blew up a wagon (obviously holding papers) to show fury. It’s in that fight scene at the end-ish.

    The next one obviously shows Dumai’s Wells, but no one seems to have notice that on (what would be) the back of the book, now the left side of the smaller painting, you can see Loial and Perrin hackin’ away.

    Again, on Crown of Swords, you nailed it. Nynaeve and Lan, not drowning. (My personal least favorite, even after The Eye of the World.)

    The Path of Daggers shows Aviendha, Elayne, and Nynaeve, in that order. I’m pretty sure it’s that order, because I’m also pretty sure that, somewhere along the line, Elayne picked up a big ol’ dagger to just have at hand. Plus, I’m 99% sure Aviendha’s taller than Elayne.

    After that, we definitely see Rand and the sa’angreal. It might technically be the ter’angreal, but it’s definitely NOT the Forsaken (Sammael, maybe? Moridin?) sending people in the cor’savra. The “fool boxes” didn’t send Forsaken places, they sent Aiel places.

    Again, nailed on the head, Perrin leaving behind the axe. Not entirely sure it was snowing in the actual scene, but it works. Oh, and it’s at the end-ish of the book. Before the battle at Malen, but for sure in the second half, third third.

    And lastly, we have Knife of Dreams. It shows Rand (holding the Dragon Scepter), protecting Min (pretty woman behind him, with the ringlets). His hand is being destroyed by fire (regular fire, not bale fire; balefire is a beam “brighter than sunlight”, fire is just fire) from Semihrage. She might at this point still be Anath, but either way, she’s a big bad Forsaken.

    My favorites, all the way through, in order: Winter’s Heart, Knife of Dreams, Lord of Chaos, Path of Daggers, Crossroads of Twilight, The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, The Great Hunt, The Gathering Storm (not here), The Dragon Reborn, The Eye of the World, The Crown of Swords.

    My order may be strange, because some are more like movie posters (Knife of Dreams), some are individual shots (The Shadow Rising), and some are group shots (Lord of Chaos). I just went with which ones I would pick up off the shelf of a Blockbuster or a library without actually knowing them.

    For more information on THESE covers, here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/10/wheel-of-time-on-torcom#ebooks .

    For other cool pictures, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSWW8JzG8lw .

  10. Ben | Monday, 20 September 2010, 10:45 am |

    Cauthon-

    Thanks for stopping by. Your observations have made me really curious now. So I stopped by Encyclopedia WoT and looked up some things. You’re right about Aviendha—she does have red hair—but it’s supposed to be short. As of The Fires of Heaven it was only just past her shoulders. So it looks like they may have gotten her hair too long. That makes the blonde girl int he middle Elaine for sure, but they’ve also gotten her hair a bit wrong. It’s supposed to be reddish-gold and curly, if Encyclopedia WoT can be believed. About the dagger—Encyclopedia WoT tells me that Elayne found a ter’angreal dagger in that book, so it could be that dagger she’s wearing.

    So, I guess they do have it right, with just a few minor details wrong—Aviendha’s hair should be shorter, and Elayne’s curlier.

  11. Ben | Thursday, 23 September 2010, 7:51 am |

    Calamari-

    Your post got caught in my spam filter, which is why I ended up duplicating some of your info (Elayne and the dagger, etc.). But thanks for stopping by and giving us definitive answers! I was hoping to catch somebody who had read them all more recently. I’ll have to do more posts on WoT. I got more comments on this one post than the past 10 combined! Plus comments from new people is always a good thing. (Are you a lurker or did you just stumble onto me?)

    Your favorites are interesting. You show an obvious preference for the covers that I associate with “comic book”-like art, so you’re more in Riotimus’s camp. I almost always prefer smoother, more life-like art, such as the covers for Knife of Dreams, Fires of Heaven, and Shadow Rising. Not sure if my terms make sense. I’m not an artist or even a big art lover. But I know what I like.

    Thanks again for taking the time to enlighten us!

  12. Calamari | Friday, 22 October 2010, 8:56 am |

    No problem. I kinda like showing off, so this was a good way for me to go. I think I’m just passing through, I was looking for those pictures to show a friend and GoogleImages brought up this site. I came back again later and wrote that book.
    As far as liking the comic book covers, I guess that fits. I really like the realistic ones, particularly Knife of Dreams, but something needs to be happening, so Crown of Swords loses points. And the more magical it looks, the better. Thus, Winter’s Heart wins.

  13. Sam | Tuesday, 19 April 2011, 7:00 pm |

    I must say, the cover for Shadow Rising is the coolest. Mat walking away with memories of other people,an awesome spear, and a prophecy about him is pretty amazing. But shouldn’t he have his hat? Or does he get it after Rhuidean?

  14. Ben | Wednesday, 20 April 2011, 7:08 am |

    That’s definitely an awesome cover, and a great, iconic moment from the series. It looks like you just barely missed my update—I added the new covers from The Gathering Storm and The Towers of Midnight. I think the Towers of Midnight is my new favorite!

  15. Crives | Saturday, 11 June 2011, 6:38 am |

    Calamari, I agree with everything you say, except the Path of Daggers cover part. I’d say the order is Elayne, Aviendha, Nynaeve. There must be some mistake with the hair, but other than that, Aviendha would never wear such a fancy dress (the green one looks way too lady-like for Aviendha) and the other way around, Elayne woudn’t willingly wear something as simple as the grey dress the second figure is wearing. Plus the belt on the second woman reminds me of that belt Rand gives Aviendha, or at least I think I remember something about a beld and some gift exchange that pisses Aviendha off. And also, if one of them is going to be depicted as carrying a dagger or any weapon, most likely Aviendha.

    About the hair, yes, Elayne’s is golden and Aviendha’s got some redish, but I guess the artist couldnt be that accurate, which is a big fail, but oh well.

  16. Crives | Saturday, 11 June 2011, 6:40 am |

    And I just noticed, the first woman’s eyes are blue, Aviendha’s are green so yeah, I think that’s Elayne.

  17. Ben | Saturday, 11 June 2011, 3:02 pm |

    Crives, thanks for your input. I’m not sure about the eye color, though. I actually thought the eyes of the woman on the left were green. But maybe it’s the influence of the surrounding colors that are throwing me off. Either way, there’s definitely something off. It shouldn’t be that difficult to tell which is which, and the editors shouldn’t have allowed such ambiguity onto the cover.

  18. Anonymous | Monday, 22 August 2011, 10:37 pm |

    These are the best interpretations I have seen. The detailing is immaculate. Great work.

  19. Ben | Tuesday, 23 August 2011, 8:46 am |

    I agree! If you like the artists’ work, I encourage you to take the time to click on the links and visit their respective websites. There is a lot more great work to find there.

  20. jocke | Tuesday, 20 May 2014, 3:47 am |

    Lan looks like a hobo in the last pictire ;)

  21. Ricky | Thursday, 17 July 2014, 12:30 pm |

    I like these covers. I’m actually OK with the original book covers. I love the background illustrations, like in the ones for The Fires of Heaven and The Eye of the World. However I hated how Rand seemed to look different on each cover and to a lesser degree Mat and Perrin. Oh well. These e-book covers are pretty cool though. I especially enjoyed the “updated” version of The Great Hunt (my favorite out of the series) and it’s great that the humans actually look more human. Too bad I refuse to read an e-book.

Leave a reply