Robert Jordan’s famed fantasy epic The Wheel of Time is absolutely packed with worldbuilding details. Every single chapter in the multi-volume series contains an icon at its beginning, a symbol heralding the character, theme, location, or group that the reader is about to learn more about.
Some of these icons would say more than was obvious at first glance, hinting at a secretive threat present within a chapter. (And boy did they really get the theory train rolling!) Some of these icons grew along with their character, taking on additional complexity or shifting focus as that character’s core identity matured. For a reader several books in, seeing a brand new icon became an exciting event unto itself, promising exploration of a new corner of Jordan’s expansive tale.
Jordan’s formative work Warrior of Altaii will contain chapter icons, as well, crafted by Wheel of Time artist Ellisa Mitchell, and Tor.com has a first look at them!
Although not set in the world of The Wheel of Time, Warrior of the Altaii is a fascinating and propulsive formative work, offering an abundance of the epic themes that Jordan would continue to develop in The Wheel of Time itself.
Fans of Jordan’s magnum opus will recognize Ellisa Mitchell’s signature style in the map of the world of Altaii, as well.
What we know of the story so far comes from this brief summary:
Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end.
The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions.
But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?
Harriet McDougal, Jordan’s wife and editor, briefly describes a scene from the book here:
And explains a bit of the history behind Warrior of Altaii:
Warrior of the Altaii has been sold twice, but has never been published. Until now.
When I reread Warrior of the Altaii this winter, after this long intermission, I was amazed at the foreshadowing of The Wheel of Time. You will find many hints of what is to come. One of the most obvious is the name of the major mountain range – the Backbone of the World. In The Wheel of Time, it is the Spine of the World. I think you’ll have fun finding them as you read this brand new Robert Jordan – a fine wine that has reached its perfect maturity.
Warrior of the Altaii arrives on October 8th.