Friday, March 12, 2010

Brandon Sanderson - Way of Kings [Cover Art]

My first thought upon seeing the cover was that it was pretty uninteresting. I don’t mean bad, of course. It’s fine cover; it’s just not exciting. The BRANDON SANDERSON is huge, which is, I suppose, a necessary step to try and convince fans that they’re getting stuff of the same quality. The problem comes from it being so big that it dominates the whole cover and prevents any thought from entering my head besides BRANDON SANDERSON. Which is quite possibly what the publishers want, I’ll admit.

The art itself doesn’t really do all that much for me either. I’ve seen it compared to Dune in both positive and negative ways, but my issue doesn’t really come from any one comparison. It’s just that everything on the cover seems so familiar. We’ve got a guy with a really, really big sword. Standing far away is another guy with (presumably) another big sword. Are they talking in some form of weapon-based sign language? Are they preparing to fight at an immense distance, using the extreme length of their blades to their best advantage? Whatever it is, it doesn’t exactly make me want to go running to find out.

And then I saw this:

God damn. Suddenly it all fits into place. That thing is beautiful. That gigantic storm is terrifying, and the two guys standing up to it no longer look pedestrian but rather defiant and downright awesome. I suppose that they’d have to spoil it by adding at least some text, so I guess I should just be happy that I have the liberty of spreading flat my dust jacket, when it comes, and admiring the picture as a whole.

Of course, neither cover can really capture the intrigue displayed by the original:

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