• The Evil Hat/Nat April 23, 2010 at 10:55 am

    On the upside, my eyes haven’t yet been burned away. On the downside, I’m sure that’ll happen when the COVER NOT FINAL’s taken away. Something to look forward to, I guess.

  • neth April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

    even though it is better than TGS, it’s still a pretty awful cover. Of course, pretty much all of the WOT covers are awful. It’s unfortunate that there is the need to stick with Sweet as the illustrator (though I suppose it’s good that all my books will match).

    I really look forward to them re-releasing the books with actual good cover art.

  • aidan April 23, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I’m glad they stuck with Sweet, despite the cumulative decline in quality. I’m also convinced they’ll be releasing all the books again with the ebook artwork, and likely a more bookstore friendly layout/typhography, once all the volumes are out in paperback. There’s no way they poured that much money into top-flight artists just for the ebooks.

  • neth April 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Well, Sweet is now in his mid-80s and simply is way past his prime in terms of art. But I understand why they need to stick with him in spite of the decline in quality – and I get the sense that the folks at Tor recognize this decline just as much as we do, though for obvious reasons they don’t comment on it in public. I suppose I’m even happy they have stuck with Sweet since my books will match on the shelf and there is a certain brand recognition that can’t be denied.

    I suspect that the ebook covers will also be the next covers – it’ll be interesting to see if they do hardback, mass market paperback, tradepaperback or all three for the new editions. I imagine it’ll just be mass markte.

  • aidan April 23, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I tried that line of reasoning (age) on Westeros, and was promptly told I was wrong by a few people. Still, it’s the only thing that really explains the sudden decline of quality/detail on the cover for TGS (from shit to how-the-fuck-did-this-get-approved-by-the-marketing-department?).

    I could see Trade Paperbacks and MMPB being a popular choice for the series. Given the length of some of the volumes, the logistics of a Hardcover re-release would be a little much.

  • neth April 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

    The age factor is huge. I’ve had a very frank conversation with someone very close to the WOT franchise. It was clear that they recognize the decline in quality, aren’t very happy with it, but are trapped and will ride it out until the conclusion of the series. Though in talking specifically about the cover for TGS this was also said: “that’s not the scene I would have chosen”.

  • aidan April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Well, get on over the ToM thread on Westeros! I need your wisdom on my side.

  • Peter Ahlstrom April 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

    The final cover may not use that art at all (though it will be Sweet). There was more than one concept painting.

  • aidan April 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Any idea when we might see a final cover, Peter?

    That image certainly looks to be a more developed painting than the leaked version of The Gathering Storm.

  • neth April 23, 2010 at 11:57 am


    are all the concept paintings of the same scene? I would guess that they are.


    I got your back.

  • Peter Ahlstrom April 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I do not know when the cover will be revealed, though I’ve heard rumblings.

    I’m not at Jordancon, but I know an earlier version of that advertisement contained the firm release date for the book.

  • Joe Sherry April 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Oh, no no. Hold off on the hope. You can’t see any of the people. The Gathering Storm cover would be just fine without the people in it.

  • Adam Whitehead April 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    What I meant on Westeros is that the age factor is not an automatic reason for assuming why the cover art is not that great. Lots of people considerably older than Sweet are active, sharp and continue to work well at their chosen profession. My 91-year-old grandfather flies regularly to Australia and enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits, only recently (and very reluctantly) having to give up tennis due to back problems. On the flipside you have people considerably younger than Sweet who are extremely frail and prone to illness who have had to give up their careers.

    So whilst Sweet’s decline may be age-related, it’s also possible that he’s just gotten bored with producing art for the series. And the age argument has a rather big strike against it in that the art for a lot of the 20 other books he’s illustrated for this series and its spin-offs years ago sucked donkey balls as well. In fact, of the series I’d say that only Books 3 and 8 are decent. 1 is iconic and sort of works in its own way but the proportions are off, whilst 2, 4-6, 9, 11, 12 and PROPHECIES OF THE DRAGON are all rubbish. NEW SPRING, 7, 10 and the RPG cover are all mediocre-to-acceptable.

  • joeheron April 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you all. I knew people out there hated the covers as much as i do, but on every WOT forum and the Tor website no one mentions how horrid they are. i felt insulted once when a tor article mention the best way to market for WOT fans to other tor books was to use Sweet as an illustrator. i mean really?

    i can understand the legal bind to using Sweet, but with 3 more books, why not cut the loses? anyway, i boycott buying these books till they have actual new covers. till then, hello my local library.

  • […] week, we saw a version of the cover with a juicy black bar slapped across it; not exactly the most effective measuring stick for the […]