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Darrell K. Sweet's Unfinished Cover for A MEMORY OF LIGHT

Posted by Jason on Apr 20 2012 09:00 AM under in A Memory of Light
Check out Darrell K. Sweet's unfinished cover art for A Memory of Light.

Most fans are aware of Darrell K. Sweet's artwork, which graces the covers of the original U.S. edition Wheel of Time books. Regardless of what you think of the art itself, Mr. Sweet's imagery has become a recognized style deeply associated with the series.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sweet passed away before completing the book cover for A Memory of Light, the final book in the series. But this weekend at JordanCon 2012, we've been given the opportunity to see his first draft of the painting.

Click here or on the image to the right to see the full version.

In my personal opinion, I think this painting had the potential to be one of the finest in the series. Try and see past the obvious mistakes or omissions. The three women (presumably Elayne, Min, and Aviendha) would need some articulation to distinguish themselves from each other, and the "yin yang" isn't accurate. But those are the kinds of adjustments that Darrell would have made. It's been part of the process since the series began. While the details aren't accurate to the book, per se, this painting invokes some powerful emotions for me. I think we can all guess whose body that is at the top of the funeral bier!

With Mr. Sweet's passing, the final book cover will be painted by renowned artist Michael Whelan. Mr. Whelan is hard at work on the painting at this time. He will not be painting the same scene as Mr. Sweet. Be sure to follow our news, Twitter, or Facebook pages to see when that cover is revealed.

So, what do you think of this unfinished cover? Critical comments are welcome, but please keep things respectful at all times.
A Memory of Light will be released in hardcover and audiobook on January 8, 2013. Read the full details here.
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Posted by Jason on Apr 20 2012 09:00 AM under in A Memory of Light


Honestly, I love this one. It's obviously a draft, but it has many of the things I liked about DKS's work: The bold colors and brush strokes. I'm so glad we have the opportunity to see it.
I love it also. Brandon described it to me as Sweet's best since Eye of the World, and seeing it, I agree completely.
Wow! This would have been an awesome cover with the proper finishing tweaks no doubt would have happened in editing. The colors are strong and the scene is powerful. The girls look to be well drawn and fluid. This would have been his best yet.
Incredible, definitely felt a chill looking at it.
Testy al'Carr
Apr 20 2012 09:11 AM
i think i just did something unspeakable in my pants.
Testy al'Carr
Apr 20 2012 09:20 AM
the white of mourning, aviendha looks faint, min looks like she is about to fall to her knees, and elayne looks like she doesnt want to see it. it is a powerful image for a scene even without the words. and of course there is also the blood on the rocks.
MAJOR Goosebumps!!!! If only...if only...if only.... sigh. oh well. First, once again condolensces to DKS' family and friends. Second, what a picture!!!! I LOVE it! It makes me very sad though, of course, and although I love Whelan's work, I still wish this could have been completed. It's actually more complete than I thought it would be. Didn't Min say something about a body on a boat on a river to Tar Valon? Or am I crazy? Still, this funeral bier scene depicted here is powerful, beautiful, and I am so honored to be able to see it. Thank you for making this happen. RIP DKS
He might not have gotten the symbol wrong...
Testy al'Carr
Apr 20 2012 10:10 AM

He might not have gotten the symbol wrong...

very possible, we have two champions after all, and also two taints, a good guy taint and a bad guy taint. mashadar was created from the intent to destroy the shadow thus created with "good intentions" thus a light side taint.... well i think one will get where i'm going and 10 paragraphs will just piss people off or bore them as i ramble.
OMG spoilers!
Can someone please clarify who makes the prophecy, and in which book, about 3 girls on a boat with he who is dead yet still lives, or something like that? Thanks! I know this scene depicts Min's viewing from TEOTW "Strangers And Friends"...
I cant seem to hold back my tears......Knowing what Rand has been through and seeing his broken body finally at rest, I gonna need a minute...
Wow. DKS pulled through, shame we didn't get the last one.
Wow....I have mixed emotions about this whole situation.

On one side I'm pissed off because this piece definitely LOOKS almost finished....so you're telling me someone close to DKS couldn't have bloody finished it, thus having a COMPLETE series of covers???

On the other hand....I can understand that it's a rough draft.......lacks detail, and could use a few more elements throughout.

However......I am a fan that has always accepted DKS' style and never criticized him, since I've always appreciated the bond he had with WOT.

Thank you for releasing this.....in the end it's quite stirring either way.

R.IP. (R.J. AND DKS).......you are greatly missed.
truly an image to make an anchor weep. and me as well. bittersweet Sweet.
It's making me squeak!
I'm hoping for a special edition release with this as the cover. No offense the Mr. Whelan but DKS is too much a part of the series I desperately want this one on my self next to the others.

(that's all i've got)
@BlackAjah nicola makes the boat prophecy in book 6 in Salidar right after the bubble of evil is over.
Testy al'Carr
Apr 20 2012 02:32 PM
how often have any of the covers, in any version, been realy accurate to a scene? this is a damn good image, but will it happen verbatim in the book, insanely unlikely, even after the edits it would not have been a real picture of the scene.

I love it also. Brandon described it to me as Sweet's best since Eye of the World, and seeing it, I agree completely.

I agree. I am not the biggest sweet fan, But I actually think this looks great.

Good enough to go on the cover with a message inside even.
I've never liked any of the Sweet covers much, but I have to say this is by far the best of the bunch, even unfinished. A shame it wasn't finished. Would be nice if they put it on the interior of the cover, replacing the map or something.
Hmm, I guess I'm happy I'm getting an Orbit (UK) copy.

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