Books, By the Cover, Wheel of Time

The Eye of the World (By the Cover): Representing the Genre, Not the Book

I’ve got a soft spot for old book covers. They’ve got a sort of old, somewhat goofy charm to them. Which is part of what drew me to certain book series in the first place. Including the Wheel of Time.

Question is: does the cover actually work for the story? Well… not really.

I know it’s the audio book version, but it’s the only version I could find that wasn’t absolutely covered in text

What the art is depicting is fairly simple. We’ve got the group from Emond’s Field all lined up on horses. Front and center are Lan and Moraine. Behind them is… Rand, maybe? And behind him are all the others. Given how far they are in the background, it’s hard to make out who they are. Behind them, the massive moon shines brightly and the forest looms in silhouette.

A couple problems here. First: the characters don’t look anything like they do in the book. Lan doesn’t have his color-changing cloak (or maybe he does and it’s just so specifically colored right now that we can’t see it; however, that argument is retarded, so we’re ignoring it). Moraine is cartoonishly small compared to how she actually is; she’s short, yes, but she isn’t tiny! Not to mention how the man behind them doesn’t really look like how any of the Emond’s Fielders are described as looking. They look more like someone was drawing a generic fantasy party rather than the party in the actual books.

And don’t even get me started on their horses! Where the hell is Bella?! AKA the only character that matters?!

Second: the event being depicted is meaningless nonsense. It’s just the party riding through the night. They didn’t even throw in any of the many enemies they face, like the Dark One or the Whitecloaks. Something, anything to give it more dramatic weight than a nighttime ride!

It’s not a bad cover. The artwork is very nice and it catches the eye quickly. It’s a fine cover for a fantasy story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the book behind that cover.

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