Apr 20 2012 2:00pm

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

A Memory of Light cover sketch by Darrell K. SweetAs 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


The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Great Hunt

The Great Hunt cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Dragon Reborn

The Dragon Reborn cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Fires of Heaven

The Fires of Heaven cover by Darrell K Sweet


Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos cover by Darrell K Sweet


A Crown of Swords

A Crown of Swords cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Path of Daggers

The Path of Daggers cover by Darrell K Sweet


Winter’s Heart

Winter’s Heart cover by Darrell K Sweet


Crossroads of Twilight

Crossroads of Twilight cover by Darrell K Sweet


Knife of Dreams

Knife of Dreams cover by Darrell K Sweet


The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm cover by Darrell K Sweet


Towers of Midnight

Towers of Midnight cover by Darrell K Sweet


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

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.

Kimani Rogers
1. KiManiak
Thank you, Mr. Sweet. For all of the covers.

I like the concept of A Memory of Light's draft. I am saddened that we were unable to see Mr. Sweet's final version of this work.

I hope this can be included (somehow) in AMoL in color; it seems only fitting, but I don't know how it would be done.

Thanks, for sharing.
2. Tarcalion
Wow, a lot to take in on that AMoL sketch. Love seeing the trio in simple gowns, very ethereal feel to it. DKS was a legend and I will never forget the work he did.
Melissa Shumake
3. cherie_2137
i actually like it. and for just a "sketch" that's some pretty awesome work- i'm a little surprised that it isn't going to be used. when he first passed and we knew he wasn't finished, i envisioned some line drawings. but that is worth keeping the continuity and using (even though i'm really stoked to see what michael whelan comes up with)...
YouDont NeedToKnow
4. necrosage2005
People were saying that there were supposed to be problems with this? I love it! I hope that it at least makes it's way into the book, somehow. It just won't feel like a WoT book without his art in it.
5. chosen
Emotional? Its only emotional to those of us who know its rand up there.
From what I can see this cover would have come out looking as bad as
all the other covers. I know its the "in" thing to act like we all didn't hate his others covers, I for one am sorry he died and my heart goes out to his family, but I am super pleased this will not be the cover.
6. ryamano
When you look at it for some time, you perceive that the motifs of the covers of TPoD, WH and CoT are very similar. One of the ta'veren leading a lot of people somewhere. The ta'veren on the right, the people on the left (back cover). I never noticed that before.
James Hogan
7. Sonofthunder
I got chills seeing that final cover. I also echo the request to have this sketch included in the book, somehow. It is really only fitting.
8. Beardmonger
This sketch actually seems like it would make quite a nice cover
Sanctume Spiritstone
9. Sanctume
Seeing that last image, I think it's a "spoiler" as a problem.

Rand will die?! -- it is clearly depicted in that image. However, I am still unsure at this point having not read the last book IF Rand is really going to die. Sure there are theories / prophecy that Rand may live again. But seeing that image, I am already anticipating how Rand will die.
10. BlackAjah
Wow. I am truly speechless. Major goosebumps accompanied by strong emotions at seeing this beautiful, final cover. Condolensces once again to DKS' family and friends. I would have liked nothing more than to see this grace the final cover, but I will add to the setiment that I hope it makes it onto the book in some fashion. It's a very strong piece of art! I'm sure the Whelan cover will be awesome too, and I really think the DKS cover is more complete than I suspected it would be, but I understand I guess why it can't be used. Bravo, DKS, BRAVO!!!!
11. WoTFan
Thanks, Sweet AND Tor, for ruining the ending of the book. And if that cover is supposed to represent a dream or a possibility of Rand's death and not his actual death, then the cover is eve more horrible.
Sam Mickel
12. Samadai
I love that sketch. What a great concept. It seems to say his death brought the balance of male/female, Saidin/Saidar back to the world. But the ladies aren't bowed in grief, instead they look like they are expecting him to come back any moment. Very great sketch.
13. pwl
Thanks, Sweet AND Tor, for ruining the ending of the book. And if that cover is supposed to represent a dream or a possibility of Rand's death and not his actual death, then the cover is eve more horrible.
Yeah, you can totally make out Rand's face up there.

Come on, people. 20 years ago we knew that Rand's three would be surrounding a funeral pyre. There's no spoiler that there's a human looking body up top. What did you think it would be, a roast pig? Honestly, people nowadays will complain about anything.
j p
14. sps49
Huh. Looks very spoiler-y. Which probably means it doesn't depict the end.

Would the Matterhorn- looking peak be Dragonmount? Shayol Ghul unBlighted? Are they near SG, or the Field of Merrilor, or a hill on or near Tar Valon?

I assume we are looking at Rand's honeys, but it's hard to tell; maybe hair colors would have be refined later.

And obviously a battle has taken place, but is it recent but depicted unbloody for display considerations or is it an old battlefield?

That's all I have for now. I have no idea about the clouds.
A.J. Bobo
15. Daedylus
I really like where this cover was going. I (like many of you) had issues with Sweet's other covers. Particularly his depictions of Rand. But I always loved the detail in the backgrounds and the general composition of the paintings. I'm loving this cover for the sky (and that mountain on the left - that thing caught my attention really quickly) and the battlefield remnants on the ground. It hints at the cost that will have to be paid by the good guys.

Irene, can this be put inside the book? Eye of the World has a second painting in it. I'd love to see this one used the same way.
Matthew Smith
16. Blocksmith1
Thank you Tor for sharing the sketch cover art. Very moving. I also appreciated seeing all the covers in full length as opposed to just the "cover". Give the viewer better perspective.

I actually really liked the sketch for AMOL. After viewing the larger option, it is difficult to tell how recent the battle was...there is evidence of blood but only bits of discernable bodies. Does the scene take place right after or sometime after a major battle? Also, anyone have a clue as to what is just appearing over the hillside on the left bottom of the picture? Cannon? S'Redit? Something else?

Rest in Peace, Mr. Sweet and thank you for all you contributed.
F Shelley
17. FSS
er...min has short hair

and this is a pretty bog spoiler, but makes my loony theory more likely that Nyneave will throw Rand out of Tel Aran Rhoid like Moggy did Birgitte.
F Shelley
18. FSS
oh, and that has to be the weirdest funeral pire I've ever seen...
19. jemron
This really is one of the best Darrell K. Sweet images for the WoT that I've seen. I don't believe it is a spoiler, so much as an abstract image that we've already seen in a viewing or dream. Even if it is a spoiler, RJ himself already spoiled it by putting it in as a prophecy anyway!

This is actually more beautiful than many of his covers to me, in part, I think, because it is an "unfinished sketch" and not a full detail painting. Thanks for sharing this!
Stefan Mitev
20. Bergmaniac
A bit of a shame that Elayne and Min finally appeared on a cover and then the plans had to be changed. They, and the other Supergirls should've had more covers instead of some of the 9-10 Rand covers we got over the years IMo. Oh, well...

BTW, on first look I thought the funeral pyre was a tree. ;)
21. Amelzon
this is spine tinglingly awesome. i do not believe TOR would spoil his work like that for us folks. there is just no way. so stop doubting them. Jordan and Sanderson HAVE and WILL deliver. we all know it. or we would not be hear looking for any hint of what may happen. The last battle is ready.
22. Herb89
Sweet drew great Aiel.
24. Kirvanta
I like the details that are present - it almost looks like the remains of the Dragon banner, stuck in the ground in tatters. One thing I noticed is that there's a wispy cloud thing that looks humanoid in nature, just below and to the left of the funeral pyre/tree. It looks like it's reaching out towards Rand?

Also, the top of the mountain peak, which I assume to be Dragonmount, is red, either in blood or lava.
25. ces
I am not enamoured of the covers. They remind me of why I never read science fiction until I was 40 yearws ago. They all push me away.
26. Darth Touma
hell.. even if not the cover, it would be really cool to see this in the endpapers of the hard cover..
Kimani Rogers
27. KiManiak

I have no problem with folks expressing their opinions regarding the cover artwork.

Having said that, I believe its unfortunate that folks are complaining about something that Harriet, Irene and others shared with us, while under NO obligation to do so.

Is it "spoilery?" I don't know; I haven't read the book to know exactly what it means (or even, when in AMoL we may get to this scene).

Is anyone really shocked that Rand's 3 ladies are around what appears to be a body, when there were a few prophecies that already spelled this out several books (and years) ago?


If so, then I would very politely encourage you to reread the WoT series again (or join us on the reread on this site; we've been discussing that and other prophecies and what they mean for months, if not years), and this time pay attention to Min's viewings, Egwene's Dreaming, various Foretellings, and the 'Finns' statements. You'll find that they tend to predict things that happen (though, not often in the obvious way), including the subject of Mr. Sweet's draft.

Finally, do you really think Harriet, who we continue to learn is very protective of her husband's legacy, would commission artwork that spoils the climax of RJ's final novel?


If so, then I think all that can be said to you is, AMoL comes out next January; read it, and find out for sure.

Once again, I appreciate Harriett, Irene and for sharing this with us. It whets the appetite for AMoL even more.
28. BDM
a SPOILER! warning would have been nice.
29. bnorwood
I agree, this should be the cover for AMoL. Even if it would have to be a special order straight from TOR, I would buy it.
30. Ryanus
KiManiak already covered this, but I feel compelled to state it again.

This is not a spoiler. This is a painting of a prophecy that has been tossed at us by multiple people since around book two or three I believe.

Was Book Seven's cover a spoiler? After all it depicts Rand right during his final battle of the book. How about Book Six, Book Five and book Twelve? Again, all depicting characters during or right before their final activities in those volumes.

Heck I didn't even know Rand would go back to Shadar Logoth during book seven, yet shockingly I didn't take it as a spoiler.

So in closing, yeah, quit complaining, nothing was spoiled, nothing was revealed that we didn't already know if we read the series.
31. BlackAjah
SPOILER warning?!?!? If you are even remotely interested in this article then you've most likely read TEOTW Chapter 15 "Strangers and Friends" where Min has this viewing. Can someone please clarify who makes the prophecy, and in which book, about 3 girls on a boat with he who is dead yet still lives, or something like that? Thanks! ..
Nadine L.
32. travyl
KiManiak @27 thanks.
And of course thanks to tor, Irene and everyone who decided to give this to us, even although we are not at JordanCon.
34. mote
Will TOR or DKS's family ever sell prints of the artwork? I would love to have a print of the first cover...
Chris Long
35. radynski
Yeah, count me in as another person who would rather see Sweet's sketch as the final cover, instead of someone else. Frankly, I think it would be a very fitting end for a series who outlived both its writer and cover artist.
36. Tzwolf
This is no more a spoiler than the covers for The Dragon Reborn or Towers of Midnight. If you didn't know that a scene like this was going to be in the last book then you weren't paying attention. And, by the way, I don't think this is depicting the end of the book - there should be plenty of action that happens afterward.
Tricia Irish
37. Tektonica
Darrell Sweet, Jr. has graciously brought several of the actual cover paintings, including the final color sketch, here to JordanCon 2012. It is a treat to see them in person, and I must say, they look much better without type all over them, wrapped around a tiny book.

Thank you, Tor, Harriet, JCon and Darrell Sweet!
Alice Arneson
38. Wetlandernw
Irene & Tor - Thank you so, so much for sharing this with us! This is the first time I've seen the other covers as just the painting, without all the lettering and spine interfering. I have a much greater appreciation of ALL the covers now, and they are truly gorgeous.

As for the AMoL cover, thank you especially for allowing us to see it. Brandon had said once (well, once that I heard it personally) that he loved this cover, and thought it was the best of the series, so I was really looking forward to seeing it. I appreciate the decision to have Whelan do the final cover, for all the reasons you've already given us, and of course I look forward to seeing it, as his covers are always fantastic. Still, I am profoundly grateful for the chance to see this.

KiManiak said it very well, but I must add my bemusement at the folks complaining of a spoiler. What, it confirms that Min's viewing is for real? Who didn't know that? What it doesn't tell us, just like the viewing, is just why and how they got to this point, what happens next, and all the rest of the story. Can't wait....
Rich Bennett
39. Neuralnet
A huge Thank you to Tor and everyone else involved for posting this last cover art piece.

It is really interesting to see all of the full cover art pieces in one place and look at them together... I admit I have been a huge critic of Sweet through the years, but somehow seeing all of the pieces together and seeing the entire artwork (not just the front covers) has given me a better appreciation for them.

I really like the concept art for the last cover... I dont really understand why they decided not to use it... And I dont see how it can be a spoiler when it was painted before the book was written... it is just a prophecy. Maybe this is the real reason it cant be used... too inaccurate. As RJ used to say RAFO!
40. wcarter4
Wow, say what you will about his people, no one does landscape and architecture for cover art like Mr. Sweet did.
I love the colors and background for the AMoL concept art. I don't think it would have worked on a book the dimensions just wouldn't traslate from landscape (for lack of a better term) to portrait. Still I would love to have a print of this one day.
Tess Laird
41. thewindrose
Thanks for sharing TOR and Team Jordan! I agree with the suggestion of including this inside the book somehow.

I also have to say that this 'scene' has been mentioned in book several times through out the series in a number of ways - dreams and prophecy come to mind. Could you imagine the back lash if this didn't get covered in aMoL somehow? It is like the cover of ToM - we knew Mat was going, and who he was going with, or the cover of tDR - Rand gets Callandor. Ah well, back to reading about all the fun everyone is having at JCon - (I will be there next year mantra going on in the back of my head.)

42. Tenesmus
I think most of the WOT cover art is pretty awesome; once you mentally remove the people out of the picture.

For instance, look at A Crown of Swords, if you mentally remove Rand from the picture, the rest is just incredible.

Serioulsy, look at every one of the covers and then imagine there weren't people in the picture, then look again. Amazing work.
Margot Virzana
43. LuvURphleb
Its not a SPOILER!
Otherwise every cover could be construed as a spoiler. Seriously? TOR wouldnt just spring the ending of such a huge series on us like this.
Think you complainers out there: TDR, rand gets a sword well thats the ending of the book.
I mean i always believed , and still do despite being let down many times, that cover art should depict some scene from the book. It should be a scene that the artist feels is pivotal and important to that artist, to draw the audience in. I mean ive never been a big fan of Sweets WOT work however EotW is awesome and this one looks good too. I didnt know that was a pyre but the background is amazing.
STOP COMPLAINING about pointless issues.
Its not a spoiler.
(venting done)
Irene Gallo
44. Irene
I envy those at JordanCon right now. Darrell's soon has brought many of the paintings there, and I think he has a bunch of the orginal sketches. I love seeing sketches. Almost every artist I know is able to catch something great in a sketch that seems just out of reach in a final.
Cameron Tucker
45. Loialson
Hear Hear!
@Tor and Irene

Thank you so much, this is beautiful. While I felt when I bought each new WoT book that Sweet's work was going a bit downhill, now I do not. Seeing each portrait as it was meant to be seen in full, not blown up and with lettering pasted all over it, I appreciate it so much more.

Now I'm wishing for book full of just the WoT Artwork for my collection, now that would be fabulous.

P.S. Funny tidbits I see: Does anyone else notice that Elayne isn't preggers in the sketch? I can see why not, wouldn't be the best pic, but that threw me out for a second ;). And Aviendha looks a bit like a hunchback (must be the dress flapping in the wind, just what I see lol).
jeremiah gaster
46. jer
Actually isn't the bier ontop of rocks... and isn't there blood running down the rocks????
47. Littleleicesterfox
It's quite nice to see the entire collection of covers - we stopped getting Darrell's covers in the UK on book 10. I think his sketch foraMoL was possibly the nicest one :)
48. Slurpy
While never having been. a big DKS fan (as a teenager in the '90s I was annoyed at his Trollocs, and never completely got over that), I would still love to see this as the cover of AMoL regardless, even in its "unfinished" state - the continuity would mean a lot to the fans.

Plus, it's pretty great.
49. Tumbling Dice!
Elayne is not pregnant in this picture!
Noneo Yourbusiness
50. Longtimefan
I really enjoyed this post and seeing all of the artwork as the full paintings without the text on the front and back cover.

It is very impressive to see the work as a whole instead of a wrap on a book with additional clutter.

I am sure many would have complained about the Memory of Light cover but it would have been so nice for Mr. Sweet to have lived long enough to finish so they could complain. :)

Even in this small representation of his work it is moving to realize how much he did and how unfortunate it is that he has passed away.
Thomas Keith
51. insectoid
Irene, Tor: Many thanks for sharing this with us!

To Mr. Sweet, Jr.: your father did great artwork, no matter what the critics say. May he rest in peace.

To all who think the AMoL sketch is too spoilery: Is it any more so than any of the other covers? It depicts a scene we, the readers of the series, know is prophesised to occur—just like Mat + co. visiting the Tower of Ghenjei (ToM), or Rand claiming Callandor (TSR). Most of the other covers are fairly ambiguous.

52. markerikson
Just use that sketch.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Loialson @45 - Actually, if this happens soon (book time) Elayne would only be about 4 months pregnant. A lot of women don't show all that much until 5 or even 6 months, especially on a first pregnancy. Granted that she's got twins, but if the girl on the right is Elayne, I don't see a problem; she could easily be 4 months pregnant, even with twins.

Of course, if you're looking at the one in the middle, that would be difficult. :)
54. Freelancer
Oh, let's see...

Aviendha should be taller. Elayne should be prettier. Min should have shorter hair. The Ancient Aes Sedai symbol should have no nested Taijitu dots. Blah, blah, blah.

Oh, it's a sketch? That means it isn't a final product. Even with the man gone, some of you are going to bash a piece which was never intended to be printed or published as-is on a book cover. Just lovely.

I won't pretend that I didn't criticize the story-connection points of Sweet's WoT cover art, such as the draghkar or the Aes Sedai shawl on the Lord of Chaos cover. However, he was still an outstanding artist, and a Sweet book cover was always immediately identifiable, interesting, and often mysterious. I cannot imagine that SFF novels suffered a lack of sales due to Sweet cover art.
Scott Silver
55. hihosilver28
Honestly, I think the sketch has more than enough detail to publish as is. I also think it is one of the more emotionally evocative Sweet covers. My vote is publish A Memory of Light with that as the cover.
Irene Gallo
57. Irene
Hi Guys,
I really want to keep the focus on Darrell right now, so I’m hesitant to reply but -- as has been reported here -- the final, printed cover will be done by Michael Whelan. I love Michael’s work and I’m excited that he took the project on...just as I am sorry, and truly regret, that he had to. I hope everyone can appreciate each piece for its own merits and not let one artist’s work bring down the other.
Alice Arneson
58. Wetlandernw
Irene - Exactly!!

Oh, and... thanks, again.
Leilani Cantu
59. spanishviolet
I'm looking forward to seeing Michael Whelan's cover, but this is beautiful.
Though I didn't love all the previous WoT covers, I did love some of them, and Darrell Sweet's work was on so many of the fantasy books I read when I was first diving into fantasy that seeing one of his covers can't help but leave me feeling happily nostalgic.
60. JillA
I'm a long-time lover of both Darrell Sweet's work and Michael Whelan's work. I'm very sad that Darrell won't be able to complete the series, but I'm happy that Michael is doing the last one, especially since he had retired from book covers and is making a special effort to do this. I do want to join the chorus who would like to see the sketch included in the final book somehow. I'm sure if it were cover-quality, it would have been used, but I'd sure like to see it included somehow. Thanks, Tor, for sharing it.

And it's not a spoiler! Have these people never read the books?
61. Skyler
I love it. It looks brilliant. Just makes me wish for the book so badly!

Godspeed Sweet and Jordan.
62. ssgorik
Honestly, I'm surprised it's NOT being used for the book cover. I realize it's not finished, but I wouldn't say it's remotely bad. I think it's better than some of his finished ones. I, for one, would like Tor to reconsider not using it for the final cover. At worst, you could put it out in both covers which I've seen publishers sometimes do for big releases.
Eigor Maldonado
63. e-mann
Haters will Hate and Lovers will Love
I, for one, feel that this sketch brings me one more step closer to the completion of a great story. To all those who have a problem with the inconsistencies of the sketch, please try to remember that this is a sketch. At best, this was a mid-point for Sweet in the process to complete the final picture. Most of us remember the awful first depictions of the TGS and ToM covers, but the final completed works were much better than I thought they could be.
Therefore, I will consider myself grateful that I have seen the completed works of WoT by Sweet and hope that someday I can have collection of books that have this unbroken chain of interpretation.
Thanks to the Sweet family, Harriet, and to Team TOR.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
e-mann - You reminded me of something... (Not arguing with you, just bouncing off your comment to address the complainers.) This sketch was done about a year and a half ago. Brandon hadn't even started seriously writing on AMoL then; the sketch is based on a few pages, outlining a scene that Brandon knew would be in the book. The final version of that scene isn't necessarily finished even now; we all know the book is still in editing and consistency checks, so it may yet change somewhat.

People complain, "Didn't he even read the book before he drew this? It doesn't match the scene!" Well, no, he didn't read the book (on this or any of them) because the book wasn't written yet. He was working from what the author gave him, well in advance of the final version of the book. To get absolute consistency, you could go one of two ways. One, you finish all the editing on the book, then wait another 6 months to a year for the artist to read the book, decide how to portray a scene, send sketches back and forth with the author and the art director, decide on a particular one, work it up, correct any details, and produce the final version. Two, you give the artist a scene to work with while you're writing, agree on the sketch, and then make sure the final written version of the scene matches what he's been painting, even though it would actually work better if you did it differently. One way, you release the book a lot later; the other way, you have a lesser book but at least the cover art matches.

I'm fine with the way they've done it all these years.
Jared Farish
66. jfarish102
Just adding my thank you's.

Thank you to Mr. Sweet's son for sharing his father's final sketch of the AMoL cover.

Thank you to him and TOR and to whomever else that allowed us to see all of the full completed artwork. It is absolutely amazing.

My own abilities as an artist are relegated to stick figures, so I am very impressed with DKS's abilities.

Thank you.
Erdrick Farseer
67. Erdrick
I'm very excited about the Whelan cover for AMoL, but I really hope
they also include this as an inner panel (like they did with the earlier
EotW cover). Make it happen TOR!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
68. tnh
Wetlander's right. Darrell Sweet frequently had to paint covers well in advance of the final manuscript. What he conveyed was the look and feel of the book.
Birgit F
69. birgit
Can someone please clarify who makes the prophecy, and in which book, about 3 girls on a boat with he who is dead yet still lives, or something like that?
The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.
LoC ch 14 Nicola Treehill
70. jimbobcbb
The cover art teases me, any spoiler I get is intoxicating ... I want this over, yet never to end !!! :)
Tess Laird
71. thewindrose
White is the colour of mourning in Randland. In New Spring we get an brief showing of this for Tamra's funeral: Changes
Long white ribbons were tied in her hair, and longer tied around her arms. The passing sisters all wore variations of the same. Aes Sedai never put on full mourning, except for the Whites, who did not consider it so.
So it is interesting that the 3 are wearing all white. And that Elayne is not showing. Is this in TAR maybe? A ruse for team dark. Are TAR and Randland becoming one?

Beautiful cover art, thamk you for posting!
Marcus W
74. toryx
Thanks so much for sharing the sketch. It's beautifully done. I will certainly be missing his art on the final volume.
Donna Harvey
75. snaggletoothedwoman
Thank you for posting these book covers. I have never seen them as paintings before, they are beautiful. I agree with others that it would be nice if it could be included in AMOL.
77. Fenric25
I have to say, apart from a few bits of each cover (namely the nifty-looking architecture and the great use of color, always very memorable and striking), I have never been too fond of the Wheel of Time covers. Some look like ridiculous romance novel covers, characters look wrong, fashions are ridiculous, etc, etc. This final sketch, however, is better than all the previous book covers combined, in my opinion, and really should be used for AMOL, at least as an interior art piece. While I may not have personally cared for Mr. Sweet's WOT covers, I could still tell he had talent and this final sketch alone showcases it in totality and I'm very glad we got to see it, an amazing sketch piece. :)
78. Twilight
Is there some place we could order prints of all of the covers?
79. JexRin
This sketch should be included in AMoL, as one of the end-paper images - the map in the front, the sketch in the back - to honour Sweet`s contribution to the series if nothing else!
80. JoeH42
Of all the drawings/covers I think I like this last one the most. I like the more ethereal feel of the picture for this final cover, kind of like the story changes then from a story into a legend or myth that slowly begins to fade away as time passes and the wheel turns. And I love that in that picture no one is holding a weapon anymore. There's weapons and shields on the ground, but the battle has been won and there's no more need for them. It's a bittersweet moment as the story comes to an end.
Terry McNamee
81. macster
I have never had the problems most people have had with Sweet's work for Wheel of Time--partly thanks to my lack of critical eye for the human form, I suppose, not being an artist myself, but also due to not being as hung up on accuracy and perfect detail as so many fans seem to be. The only covers I had issues was were The Shadow Rising and Lord of Chaos, the former for being so...nondescript and generic in its lack of correlation to any scene in the book, the latter for the romance novel vibe. But that said, I always thought they were all still great works of art in their own right, regardless of how they did or didn't match the books. These full versions of the paintings, without all the words and at the proper size, only underscore Sweet's talent, I think. I wish I could have seen the full-size versions in person.

As for the "sketch"...while I agree some things needed to be fixed before it was a final product (the girls' appearances and the dots in the Aes Sedai symbol being the only real problems), overall this IS one of the more visually striking, powerful, and unusual covers for the series. It definitely isn't a spoiler, since anyone who's read the series even cursorily will know this was prophesied long ago and the only issue has been how/why it will happen, and what happens next. It seems to me those complaining are likely the ones who refused to believe Rand could ever die, and so seeing the moment immortalized in art has made it sink in for them that all their determination to believe otherwise was only denial. It's less a spoiler and more a confirmation that yes, the hero is going to die whether you like it or not.

Judging by the shape of the mountain and the relatively beautiful surroundings, I'd guess that was Dragonmount, not Shayol Ghul. Which means the red at the peak suggests the nightmare Perrin fought Slayer in may have been more prophetic than a simple product of fear. Confirmation, perhaps, that the "twice dawns the day" has something to do with an eruption? And Elayne not being pregnant, if it isn't an error or if she merely looks like she isn't due to only being four months along, implies a great deal as well. This couldn't be the moment Rand shed his blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, but Elayne may already have done that...

In any event, a wonderful and amazing piece, the strange rock/tree bier makes me think this is TAR indeed (if so that might explain the Aes Sedai symbol, but it means that battle must have been over for a long time if the reflection of shields and weapons has had time to form). I can see why this might have been rejected, aside from continuity issues, because it might actually give away too much--not that Rand will die, but the details of it/how prophecies and visions will be fulfilled. That said, let me add my voice to those saying it would be wonderful to see this as the endpapers for the final volume. Aside from allowing us to see it in full size, and a great tribute to Sweet, it would be wonderfully symbolic that only the first and last volumes of Wheel of Time had two pieces of cover art like this.
82. tstone
Are prints or posters of these covers available anywhere? I would pay well for a few of them.
Cynthia Ahmar
83. tenkuu
Simply beautiful. There has always been a whimsical quality to Sweet's drawing style, in my opinion, something that completely captures the imagination. I can understand people's criticisms about why they dislike the way he draws people, but for me that is part of the attraction of his drawings.

thewindrose@71: Makes sense. I have always thought of white as a rather pretentious color for brides, myself, and in Japan, white is also the color of mourning, whereas red is the color for weddings.

Freelancer@54 & others: Hasn't Min been growing out her hair over the past few books?
Armand Fils
85. ArmandFils
First time I saw the painting, I said it's already a masterpiece, considering it's unfinished. I also thought, "Light, what's wrong with the painting?" I mean, it's brilliant that Sweet chose this scene to depict for the conclusion of THE WHEEL OF TIME. (Emotional it is, Rand, finally overcoming what he's destined to become; brought tears to my eyes.) All it needed now is a good editing eye, give to Michael Whelan to finish, and there... the grand finale of the epic fantasy we've all been anticipating.

I just don't know about Whelan not painting the same scene as Sweet. I'm a big fan of Michael Whelan, really; he's almost like Darell K. Sweet in notoriety, and he's provided artworks for most of my favorite sci-fi and epic fantasies. But it pains to know that this painting will not grace the cover of "A Memory Of Light" anymore. BitterSWEET indeed; and how ironic for Mr. SWEET...

But whatever's got to happen, has got to happen. Whether or not this painting will make it to the cover of the final book, TOR, McDougal & Sanderson will have my full support & appreciation. And that's Michael Whelan who's taking over Sweet, right? I mean, Michael Whelan! That, at least, is a consolation.
86. FrodoFaggins
Of course that is Rand, who else would three vixens be mourning after?
87. m88
It's so sad that he passed away :( It's his art cover for "The Eye of the World" that made me interested in WOT. .. I really hope that last art will be finished by the author that was chosen to make last cover.
88. KSB Snow Owl
PLEASE make Sweet's sketch the interior cover art for A Memory of Light, a la Eye of the World. It would be a fitting book end. The Eye of the World had inside cover art of the gang within Emond's Field, rather than the world map that came with the later books. Please consider giving Sweet's final sketch the same treatment. As AMoL displays the work of two authors, have it also display the work of two artists; both the original, and the newcomer.
90. Doctor Rand
Where's Bela in the picture? Isn't she about to attack right about now?

(It's great to be able to consume both the covers, and now I eagerly await the meat inside!)
91. Levelling
Didn't care much for some of the covers in there but this turned out pretty well, my favorite of the lot. Figures that it would be the only one not making cover art.
92. Nocterequim
For all of those complaining of spoilers; unless you haven't read most of the series you this is no surprise. We've known since very early that for Rand to live, he must die. Unless the Aelfinn and Eelfinn tricked him, of course.
Tony Berezowski
94. Tonybere
I have to say that I don't see how/why anyone can complain about a spoiler. As addressed by many before me - if you didn't know this scene was coming you might as well not even bother reading this book. You haven't been into the series that much anyway!
Before I get critical, let me say that my heart goes out to Mr. Sweet's family and friends for their loss. But while it is easy to see that he had a ton of talent I never cared for his covers. Solely based on the inconsistency of what he depicted versus what was described to us on the pages. His landscapes and architecture drawings were fantastic, but he drew Perrin as if he was about four and a half feet tall, Moiraine's horse like a pony, trollocs like they were...I don't know what. And the list goes on. These inconsistencies never intruded on my love of the series, but I'd be lying if I said anything else.
95. Sara 1511
I love the covers and you should be grateful that Tor are still using them, orbit in the UK give us a very boring cover - basically its the serpernt and the great wheel on either a black or white background. I always have to wait months for the USA books to appear in the UK. Anyway I like both DK Sweet's cover sketch & Michael Whelan's one.
96. elricprincess
The covers for the Kindle version are pretty, but Darryl Sweet's covers are the only one's I see in my head when I think of the Wheel of Time series.
97. Mark Zajac

Mayby add a SPOILER notice?

That last caption give far too much away!


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