Oon March 4, 2014, Brandon Sanderson released his sequel to The Way of Kings, second in The Stormlight Archive series. Words of Radiance is such a large book—in both page count and visibility—that Tor commissioned the cover as well as a second illustration for the endpapers of the hardcover edition.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Original art will be added to our shop with our next email newsletter. Prints of WORDS OF RADIANCE and SHALLAN are now available in our shop, either individually or in sets with THE WAY OF KINGS.
WORDS OF RADIANCE
Roshar is a world rich with strange flora and fauna, and Brandon Sanderson’s narrative features a diverse cast woven through multiple story threads, all complex and interesting. How to choose what to present on the cover for Words of Radiance?
Fortunately, Irene Gallo and the editorial staff at Tor Books provided key scenes for me to consider.
Once ideas started to gel, I separated background from foreground and worked on each independently. I’m not convinced this is the best approach ordinarily, but for these books I think it works. Because of the importance of weather in The Stormlight Archive, it felt appropriate to build the storm first then construct the scene within it.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Want to help us promote our prints AND get a high resolution download of these images? Click to download and for the cost of a Tweet (or other social media post) you’ll get WORDS OF RADIANCE at 2880 x 1893 and/or SHALLAN at 2880 x 2143 free for your personal use.
Many fans were dismayed when Tor revealed the art for Words of Radiance. Brandon had mentioned that Shallan would be the focus of the book, but the cover featured Kaladin and Szeth.
What fans didn’t know was the publisher had already approached me about a second illustration. Shallan would be featured on the endpapers of the book–I just couldn’t tell anyone!
WORDS OF RADIANCE – Tor Books (ISBN #0765326361)
If you’re interested in reading this book (and really that’s the best way to fully appreciate Michael’s illustrations), please check out your local library or bookstore. Or if you prefer, we’ve included links to these online retailers.
About the author
Michael Whelan (Michael Whelan)
Since 1980, Michael Whelan has been one of the world’s premier fantasy and science fiction artists. He is currently working full time on his fine art paintings, but in the past three decades he has created more than 350 book and album covers for authors and artists like Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, the Jacksons, Sepultura, and MeatLoaf. Read more on Michael's Biography page.