A Memory of Light

A Darrell K. Sweet Wheel of Time Tribute, Including A Memory of Light Sketch

As many know, Darrell K. Sweet passed away in December before completing the final cover art for A Memory of Light, the concluding volume in Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. While it will not be the cover to the book, we are, however bittersweet, proud to reveal the color sketch he created in preparation for the painting.

“Darrell Sweet defined an era of fantasy for a generation of readers,” Wheel of Time publisher, Tom Doherty, has stated. “He was one of the early leaders in the field. He made fantasy accessible to a broader range of people.” Darrell worked on many great series but he is arguably most closely identified by his work on The Wheel of Time. Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan’s wife and editor said, “Darrell was a great pleasure to work with, painstaking for accuracy to the text (well, his trollocs, not, and yet wonderful), and what color and energy in his work! There is nobody like him.”

He was an inspiration to a generation of artists as well as readers. Hugo award-winning  Donato Giancola hangs a Sweet painting proudly in his living room, “Darrell’s work became an integral part of my development as a professional artist. I intently studied dozens of his works on the novels I purchased and read, mostly for his wonderful cover illustrations.” Greg Manchess stated, ” I was fascinated by his comfortable, gentle rendering that lent a lovely, believable light to all of his pictures.”

Darrell was one of the first artists I worked with in my carreer. I never imagined the series without him. Neither, I suspect, did Robert Jordan. Sweet believed until the very end that he would regain the strength to finish A Memory of Light. I am grateful that we, at least, have his color sketch to complete the series. Below you will see the art for all fifteen covers for the Wheel of Time, as painted by Darrell K. Sweet.

 

New Spring

New Spring cover by Darrell K Sweet

New Spring cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Eye of the World cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Great Hunt

The Great Hunt cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Great Hunt cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Dragon Reborn

The Dragon Reborn cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Dragon Reborn cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Shadow Rising cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Fires of Heaven

The Fires of Heaven cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Fires of Heaven cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos cover by Darrell K Sweet

Lord of Chaos cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

A Crown of Swords

A Crown of Swords cover by Darrell K Sweet

A Crown of Swords cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Path of Daggers

The Path of Daggers cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Path of Daggers cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

Winter’s Heart

Winter's Heart cover by Darrell K Sweet

Winter's Heart cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

Crossroads of Twilight

Crossroads of Twilight cover by Darrell K Sweet

Crossroads of Twilight cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

Knife of Dreams

Knife of Dreams cover by Darrell K Sweet

Knife of Dreams cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm cover by Darrell K Sweet

The Gathering Storm cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

Towers of Midnight

Towers of Midnight cover by Darrell K Sweet

Towers of Midnight cover by Darrell K Sweet. Click to enlarge

 

And finally, Darrell K. Sweet’s sketch for A Memory of Light

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The scene depicts Min, Aviendha, and Elayne gathered on a battlefield around what is presumably a funeral pyre for Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn. What we recognize as a yin/yang appears in the clouds, possibly signifying a unity that has evaded male and female channelers for over 3000 years.

For all of us at Tor, and countless fans and readers, I would like to say a thank you to Darrell.

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