Over at Tor.com, Irene Gallo is showing off the cover for Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings as well as the creative process behind it.
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
If you go over to Tor.com (and you definitely should), you can see the evolution of Whelan's cover, complete with rough sketches and early alternate drafts of the cover. I love reading about how cover art comes together and although I feel like something went astray here its still interesting. There is also a reference to a 1400 page manuscript, which Whelan said was dismaying long upon arrival. He did go on to say that he "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 [Whelan] were immersed in a Myst-style virtual reality adventure, or watching a movie."
Regarding the cover itself, it's not my favorite. I know Tor is selling Sanderson as their next Jordan or Goodkind but does his name really need to be that big? It takes away from the detail of the sword and standard which is lost behind the name/title text combo. I actually really like the rough draft a lot [shown below] before the ridiculous looking sword and color were added. I can't really place my finger on what changed beside the sword, it might be how the cliffs/crags changed, but something was lost between the draft and the final version.
So what do you think? Sanderson is quickly reaching the point where he doesn't need a cover to move books, as evidenced by THE GIANT NAME, but good cover art is always appreciated.
And what's with the tentacled onion things anyway?