When I received the manuscript from Tor I was somewhat dismayed. 1400 pages! I felt that it would be tough sledding to work my way through such a massive fantasy epic.
As it turned out, though, I was soon hooked and lost in the world Mr. Sanderson so skillfully realized. It helped that the writing had a rich cinematic quality that brought images of scenes, characters and creatures to my mind as if I were immersed in a Myst-style virtual reality adventure, or watching a movie.
That was fun to read, but it made my work for the cover art very difficult indeed. How can one successfully distill enough of this novel to possibly do justice to the book with one picture? It was a steep challenge.
I’m an enourmous, slavering, hopeless Michael Whelan fan. I love the way he embraces scope. I love the way he uses colour. The cover for The Way of Kings is classic Whelan. I’m also charmed b is how involved he gets in the cover process, reading the novel before setting to work on the cover. Great detail, down to the forbidding storm cloud swallowing the sunlight, in reference to the overall title of the series, The Stormlight Archives.
Mr. Whelan’s been missed and it’s nice to back, if only for a one shot deal.