Should I start putting spoiler warnings on these? With the show coming out, more and more people are reading this series for the first time, like I am. Well, spoilers ahead for The Fires of Heaven.
Oh, wow. This cover is actually fantastic! It isn’t as charmingly goofy as the previous four covers. But if I had seen this in a library, I’d probably have given it a read! I mean, come on! Look at it!
This cover depicts the beginning of the final battle of The Fires of Heaven, wherein Rand and his forces go to confront one of the Forsaken and take Caimlyn. Standing in the light are Rand, Mat, and Avienda, the latter-most facing away. Standing in the foreground, veiled in the shadows of the city, are the Trollocs, poised to ambush our heroes. This is the last breath of calm before the book’s explosive climax.
For the first time, this cover has tons of accuracy to the books. Avienda is tall, with the red hair of the Aiel. Rand and Mat are dressed as described, right down to Mat’s strange hat. The Trollocs don’t have the same insane variety that they do in the books; they all look more or less the same here.
As per usual, the artists behind this put in an insane amount of detail into the drawings. Just look at the Trollocs armor! And the paths of the city! Look at the archway on the far left! It all truly feels alive! There are also a lot of really subtle details. If you look closely at the top of the artwork, behind the city, you can see the storm clouds Rahvin uses to attack Rand’s forces with lightning. That’s some dedication for a detail you might not even notice!
So far, this one is my favorite Wheel of Time cover. Both accurate and beautiful, it accomplishes everything I look for in a book cover. I wish I had seen this earlier in my life; I might have started this series long before I did.
If only the book itself were so consistently good…