The Gathering Storm (By the Cover): I feel like we’ve been here before…

How many times can the artist draw Rand standing with a hand raised? This makes twice now, maybe three times?

‘Man Yells at Cloud’

This cover just comes across as silly more than anything else. I’m fairly sure it’s trying to adapt one of the heavier scenes from the book. But in execution, it just looks like some dude yelling at the sky while his friends and family look on in concern.

Which… I guess it is, now that I think about it. It looks sillier than they intended, that’s the point I was trying to make.

The scene in question is likely the Avienda chapter where the Dark One’s influence causes a man to spontaneously combust. The hole in the manor’s wall, the expressions of the soldiers, and Rand shouting at the sky all support this idea. Avienda herself is present; she may be wearing a Wetlander dress, which doesn’t fit, but that fiery hair is unmistakable.

Speaking of details that don’t quite fit, this cover is full of them. Why is Rand just standing and shouting in the middle of the field rather than on a high wall? Why is the manor so small; I get they’re trying to do a perspective thing, but the attempt makes it look more like an oddly shaped cabin with tiny windows than a mansion. Why are all the soldiers just standing there like they’re watching a crazy dude do something funny?

Of course, the quality of the artwork doesn’t need to be mentioned. Aside from the odd-looking mansion, the rest of the art is absolutely stellar. The characters look solid, the forest and clouds look absolutely gorgeous, they even made the dead grass look pretty! It isn’t an exciting cover, but it’s damn nice on the eyes!

Overall, this is definitely one of the lesser Wheel of Time covers. In terms of visual appeal, it’s up there! But in terms of capturing a scene or grabbing a reader’s interest (even if the ladder is unimportant at this point), it’s not nearly as strong as what was offered for books like ‘The Fires of Heaven’ or ‘The Lord of Chaos’.

But I guess comparing this book to those isn’t fair. We’ve entered a new era, after all. One without Robert Jordan.

That’s gonna bum me out for a good long while.

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