This cover made it to you through a highstorm.
Stormlight Archive series cover artist Michael Whelan was putting the finishing tweaks on the cover to Rhythm of War, the fourth installment of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive fantasy series, when Hurricane Isaias scoured its way north through New England on Tuesday, August 4. Though lessened to a tropical storm by that point, it felled trees, downed lines, and left vast areas of the region without power for a week or longer.
Nevertheless, the master artist and his latest masterpiece persevered.
“From my earliest days I’ve been drawn to the idea of ‘other worlds,’” says Whelan. “And couldn’t read enough F&SF stories, seeking to be transported to strange new realms of the imagination. That overriding impulse has remained constant throughout my life, and lately has seen its greatest evocation in the works of Brandon Sanderson.
“I haven’t experienced such a sense of living in a complete and wholly integrated other universe as I have in the Stormlight books! It was both a dream assignment as well as a monumental challenge to attempt to visualize Shadesmar for the cover of Rhythm of War. Choosing an approach to focus on wasn’t easy because of the myriad possibilities beckoning me in Brandon’s wonderful story—but I hope I captured a glimpse of the strangeness of the place in my illustration.”
“One of the highlights of my career is getting to work with Michael Whelan,” Brandon Sanderson added. “I would’ve been grateful for just one of his cover illustrations, so I feel incredibly lucky that he continues to work his magic for Rhythm of War. I think it’s the best Stormlight cover so far. The colors are beautiful and vibrant. It’s without a doubt a masterpiece, and I am in awe of it.”
Rhythm of War arrives on November 17, 2020 from Tor Books.
Read a new chapter every Tuesday on Tor.com.
U.K. readers can pre-order Rhythm of War here.