Saturday, 24 April 2010


Hot on the heels of the early draft of the American cover, we have the UK cover as shown in the latest Orbit catalogue (thanks to Jussi at Westeros for the reference).

Hmm. Dull, to be honest. Crossroads of Twlight and Knife of Dreams' UK hardcovers had similar art with just a different colour (red and jade-green), whilst The Gathering Storm had the same layout but a threatening use of clouds in the background. And you'd think they could change the cover quote for the first time in eight or nine books, just for variety's sake. Still, this could also be a mock-up and might not represent the final version (though I suspect it will).

Brandon Sanderson also read out the first paragraph from the book at JordanCon:

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose around the misty peaks of Imfaral. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning."

Interesting, as this is the first time that the 'wind' has risen on another continent, in this case around the city-fortress of Imfaral in the far north of the Seanchan continent, near the Lesser Blight. Imfaral is the second city of the Seanchan Empire (although only the sixth most populous) and the base of operations for Luthair Paendrag during his invasion of Seanchan's northern landmass before taking Seandar later in his war. Imfaral is the location of the titular Towers of Midnight, a prison complex consisting of thirteen towers where political prisoners are interrogated and executed. It appears that the actual Towers will be referenced in the book, although fans have also speculated that the title acts as a reference to the Tower of Ghenjei and the Black Tower, both of which are expected to figure prominently in the novel. It's also possibly as nod to Tolkien, as Towers of Midnight is the middle volume of its own trilogy, like The Two Towers.

The book is currently expected to be published in November 2010, apparently in both the UK and USA.


Nick said...

Agreed, Adam. But one thing Jordan was always good on, even though they very often flattered to deceive: his titles. Many of them are gorgeous!

Alec said...

You said there was an American cover - can you link to it in the post as I would love to see it.

Secondly, did you know all that off the top of you head or did you look it up somewhere?

I enjoyed tGS and hope ToM will be just as good, if not better. Now to wait till winter...

Anonymous said...

Oh boy...

Jens said...

Up to "Gathering Storm" the covers of every volume had the same cover art. Unadorned and kind of stylish.

TGS broke this pattern if only slightly.

It's up to debate whether one prefers actual art (in the sense of paintings, depicting characters / scenes from the novel) or the approach that was taken for the WoT books. Depending largely on personal taste I'd think.

Call it dull, but it's consistent.

I generally prefer paintings as cover art but there's also always the danger of real bad cover art. Like the notorious "gay cover" gracing one edition of Rothfuss's "Name of the Wind"...

Adam Whitehead said...

The American cover was two posts back.

The UK covers were the same as the US ones up to the hardcover of WINTER'S HEART, by which time Orbit seem to have decided that Sweet's art had gotten just too bad. When WH went to paperback in 2001 they switched to a (heavily LotR-influenced) uniform series of black covers in paperback and different-coloured ones in hardcover.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I prefer actual artwork as well and find this rather dull. And sorry, gave up on Jordan a couple years ago, too.

Jens said...

I saw the uniform-designed editions (and actually bought some volumes) a few years back when I was living in Ireland for some time.

That was after 2001, though, so I'd obviously missed out the editions with "real" cover art. Didn't known about them.
Thanks for this info, Adam.

I kind of appreciate the consistency with the "new" covers since I might complete my collection with them, provided series comes to a satisfying conclusion (and my hopes are high with what I've heard about Sanderson's job).

However, for all the people who started their with the original cover art, the deviation to the ersatz-LotR design must be a sucker!

Brett said...

I'm going to have to disagree, Wert. I love that cover and its simplicity, and the only thing that would make it better would be if the letters and ouriboros on the front were in gold lettering.

It kind of reminds me of the hard-back covers of the Prince of Nothing books (the ones with text scrawl).