WoT a Difference a Week Makes

Tor surprised me (and many other Wheel of Time fans) yesterday by releasing Michael Whelan’s cover art for A Memory of Light, just one week after revealing Darrell K. Sweet’s color sketch for the same final volume of that epic fantasy series.

When I first laid eyes of Michael’s painting, I knew this is what I’d been waiting to envision for more than two decades.

First, let me share the front cover as you’ll see it next January:

Next, the entire panel, sans lettering, synopses or endorsements, and a bit of a spoiler, if you can guess (or know) who the other two figures are (besides Rand who is front and center above):

Michael cleverly hid Rand’s missing left hand, yet I love the stance he’s chosen and the determination and tension emanating from Rand.   I’m curious about the eclipsed sun though, and hope the author(s) didn’t fall for that overused cliche’ for this pivotal moment in the Last Battle.

I am one step closer to knowing the answer (on January 8, 2013) to the question posed over two decades ago (on January 15, 1990) in Eye of the WorldI plan to while away the remaining months re-reading the entire Wheel of Time series.  The real challenge will come next January, when I should be re-reading Crossroads of Twilight, but may not be able to resist the undeniable pull of A Memory of Light.