Wheel of Time Cover Art for the US Hardback Editions

Some time ago, I posted the cover art for the ebook editions of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. For the sake of comparison, here is the art for the US hardback editions. All of these covers were done by Darrell K. Sweet except for the last book, A Memory of Light, which was done by Michael Whelan.

Click each image to see a larger version.

 

Prequel — New Spring cover art

00 New Spring by Darrell K Sweet

 

1. The Eye of the World — outside cover art

02 Eye of the World outside by Darrell K Sweet

 

The Eye of the World — inside front cover art

01 The Eye of the World inside

 

2. The Great Hunt cover art

02 The Great Hung by Darrell K Sweet

 

3. The Dragon Reborn cover art

03 The Dragon Reborn by Darrell K Sweet

 

4. The Shadow Rising cover art

04 The Shadow Rising by Darrell K Sweet

 

5. The Fires of Heaven cover art

05 The Fires of Heaven

 

6. Lord of Chaos cover art

06 Lord of Chaos by Darrell K Sweet

 

7. A Crown of Swords cover art

07 A Crown of Swords

 

8. Path of Daggers cover art

08 Path of Daggers by Darrell K Sweet

 

9. Winter’s Heart cover art

09 Winter's Heart by Darrell K Sweet

 

10. Crossroads of Twilight cover art

10 Crossroads of Twilight by Darrell K Sweet

 

11. Knife of Dreams cover art

11 Knife of Dreams cover by Darrell K Sweet

 

12. The Gathering Storm cover art

12 The Gathering Storm cover by Darrell K Sweet

 

13. The Towers of Midnight cover art

13 The Towers of Midnight cover by Darrell K Sweet

 

14. A Memory of Light — Darrell K. Sweet unfinished concept art

Mr. Sweet passed away before finishing the cover.

14 A Memory of Light cover by Darrell K Sweet

 

A Memory of Light cover art — Michael Whelan

14 A Memory of Light cover by Michael Whelan

8 comments so far

  1. Ing | Friday, 1 March 2013, 1:37 pm |

    Not fond of any of these. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why, but I don’t like the style.

    They all feel kind of static, and the proportions in a few of them are really weird. Like what’s up with that Trogdor-style bicep on the Crown of Swords cover? And why is Moiraine so midget-sized on the Eye of the World?

    I dunno. I can’t draw to save my life, and I don’t really know what makes good cover art either, so I’m in no position to judge. All I know is they don’t do anything for me.

  2. Ben | Sunday, 3 March 2013, 8:14 pm |

    I think the worst thing about these covers is the badly proportioned human figures. A lot of these people look practically deformed. I’m also not font of some of the cheesy medieval trappings like the ornamental cloth harnesses on the horses. The use of color is great sometimes, but other times seems awfully gaudy. Anyway, I’m kind of like you, Ing. I’m not well versed in art for book covers or otherwise, but I do know that there are lots of elements of these covers that turn me off. I like the Michael Whelan cover much better, though.

    Sweet does have his supporters. Some people point out that his art for these covers revitalized cover art for the fantasy genre at a time when it was pretty awful. If you look at Sweet’s web page, you’ll note that he’s actually quite good at landscapes and does some really great wildlife. I don’t know why he didn’t seem able to translate that into his fantasy paintings.

  3. Hamza | Tuesday, 26 March 2013, 6:46 am |

    These covers…..are terrible. They don’t give a good first impression when picking up these books for the first time.

    Honestly, the best one in the lot is the Path of Daggers cover :\

  4. Ben | Tuesday, 26 March 2013, 7:36 am |

    Hamza, I agree. The cover for Path of Daggers is the best by far. I also like the covers for The Eye of the World and The Dragon Reborn to a lesser extent.

  5. J | Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 10:10 am |

    Sweet died? That’s… terrible? I’ll miss his carefully researched depictions of characters and people from the books his art covered.

  6. Brian Staveley | Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 6:55 am |

    An interesting compilation of all the images. The thing that strikes me, as I flip through these, is how much better the earlier covers were. The vision seems fuller, the characters more carefully drawn, and the settings more engaging. Anyone else feel that way?

  7. Ben | Thursday, 6 June 2013, 9:25 pm |

    J, your sarcasm has been noted. And I agree.

    Brian, I do notice that the characters seem more carefully drawn in the earlier covers, although they have never been particularly well formed.

  8. A Memory of Robert Jordan | Dreams of Literary Grandeur | Monday, 12 August 2013, 4:59 pm |

    [...] (Note: all links to book titles include complete plot synopses, including major spoilers.  My remembrances also contain some spoilers.  On a side note, if you want to look at the cover art for each book in the series, go here.) [...]

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