Cover Launch for The Black Prism

(Click to enlarge. Credit: Richard Jones.)

As we shared previously (see the November post about the leak below), the working image for the cover of The Black Prism came out a few months back. Now, I am pleased to release the final cover art for The Black Prism.

Releasing new covers is, quite honestly, tricky. From a business standpoint, you want people who enjoyed the Night Angel books but can’t even remember my name to be able to identify that these new books are Brent Weeks books. At the same time, you want to let people know that this is a new series, that the feel of these books is new and different, and basically (if you’re Orbit) appeal to the greatest audience possible. This is made harder if every Tom, Dick, and Harry now has a cover with a hooded man with a sword. (Orbit appears to have started a small trend with my last covers.) What I really appreciate about Orbit is that they didn’t settle with a “good enough” cover. The last cover looked good, in my opinion. It communicated that this was  a Brent Weeks book; and it was visually striking, but it just wasn’t quite perfect for these books. I understood the decision, and focused on making The Black Prism the best book I could.

Then Orbit did this. Very gutsy, very different, very cutting edge. Is it a bit of a gamble? Yes. Do I appreciate that? Absolutely.

Lauren Panepinto is a genius. More about Orbit’s cover launch of The Black Prism here. With non-spoiler-y back cover blurb!

57 thoughts on “Cover Launch for The Black Prism

  1. Giovanni says:

    Cover looks amazing i like it a lot. The short description of what the book is going to be like on the orbit sight is amazing as well! I cant wait to buy the book once it hits shelfs this august. (<yes you are mean for making me wait that long.) Anyways over all i am glad that i got drawn into your world of Kylar and Durzo. Keep up the great writing.

    (PS. Is it bad that im such a big fan of Brent Weeks that when i saw Stephen Deas had a book out called the Adamantine Palace the first thing i did was notice that it had a good review by Mr. Weeks on it so i bought it? Anyways i think it is. Also 1std on the comments. =p

  2. ria says:

    Ooh – it looks good. Much better than the November draft.
    I’m really looking forward to this series 🙂

  3. Saigo says:

    That’s awesome! I liked the previous one, but to be honest I felt like with a title like “The Black Prism” it should have some darker cover art. I’m pleased to say not only is the new one visually striking but it’s great. I like it a lot! Keep up the good work, I bought your first three books and I’ll continue to buy any you come out with.

  4. Alex says:

    Are there any plans to continue off of the Night Angel trilogy. It’s one of my favorite series and there are to many loose ends for me to let it go.

    Also the cover looks awesome, much more eye catching then previous one and is more along with the theme of your previous books.

  5. Alex says:

    Researched some more and found that it probably wont continue for a long time. Kinda stinks that there were so many cliff hangers with no plans for continuing this for some time.

  6. brent says:

    Giovanni, Ria, and Saigo,
    Thanks! I like it a lot, too. And with the foil stuff that Orbit tells me about, I think it’ll look even more impressive in person.

    After I finish the Black Prism books, I’ll head back to Midcyru. I know there are more stories for me to tell there, and I’m eager to tell them.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Brent: Any word on those Blint novellas/short stories that have been begged for? 😛

    Also, what’s the release date for this and the following books of the BP series?

  8. Sol says:

    Honestly, I think that cover looks a bit generic. There are tons of books that have that whole close up image. It was the stylization of the night angel series that grabbed my eye when I was walking past the huge wall of books at my local book store. If I were to see that book as an oblivious reader, I would jut walk right past assuming it to be another bathroom fantasy novel. As little as people like to admit it, they do judge books by their cover.

  9. Nathalia says:

    I really CANNOT wait to get my hands on this book!

  10. Caius says:

    Love it. Way better than the original design.

  11. Caius says:

    P.S. Is the book still expected to release in August?

    1. brent says:


  12. Bryce says:

    I’m definitaly gonna read this new book….Although it’s killing me to wait for the next series in Midcyru…. Be hasty but efficient Brent. I’m expecting more books better than the last (if possible) Good luck and hurry please!

  13. Bryce says:

    Also tell that guy in Bulgaria to bust a move. Were all waiting! 🙂

  14. Pj says:

    August is so far away! i’ve reread the night angel trilogy 4 or 5 times now. I’m really looking forward to this new book.

  15. Jeremy says:

    Wait, I haven’t been keeping up. Is it not a trilogy?

  16. Eric says:

    Greeting..Just finished the night angel trilogy and just so u know i enjoyed it from start to finish can’t wait for your next book….For the record, i was at the bookstore looking for something new and your cover for “The Way of Shadows” caught my eye and I’m glad I bought. Its best book I’ve read since someone introduce me to R.A. Salvatore…Thanks for a great read..and will be enjoying your books until u stop making them…. Eric Dee

  17. Bryce says:

    Night Angel books are a trilogy yes and if I read correctly, so is this series.

  18. Bryce says:

    You know…They should totally make a video game for this series. I would definitly buy it. Dontchya think Brent? That would be awesome.

  19. Nuda says:

    Somebody tell me when will this be out!!!!!! I cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brent U Rockkkk!!!

  20. Lisa says:

    Looks amazing! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I think I prefer this cover over the previous one because it looks that bit more different from the Night Angel trilogy. Also, that knife is awesome.

    Funnily enough, I was re-reading Way of Shadows last night.. At this rate, I’ll need to buy new copies when these fall apart.

  21. Lisa says:

    AH, I love it!
    I’m much more impressed by this image than I was on the previous one. I think it’s because it’s in a relatively different ‘style’ or something XD
    Either way, I can’t wait to buy it! I’m so excited~

    And I can’t wait until you pick back up on Midcyru too!

  22. Andrew P says:

    I like the new cover because both dagger (which much better than the last one) and the man holding it comes across as dark and mysterious. However it is missing the element or presences of magic that all of the previous books covers mange to infer (including the leaked cover show in Nov09).

  23. Caitie says:

    WHOA. I totally take back what I said about the name Gavin being like singing chipmunks. IT ROCKS!!!!! He sounds AWESOME!!!!! See what I mean? You make the GUY cool, you make the NAME cool. But I like this cover. I agree with the cooler dagger, it’s like, WAPOW!!! Killer cool guy, on the way!!! I seriously can’t wait to read it. Gunna buy it soon as I can!!! The darkness of it rocks, like it’s creating an atmosphere for the book, all dark and mysterious… Very cool.

  24. Roger V says:

    What?? no more white books!? It was that little white book shining its way through all of the other black and brown books that lead me to the Night Angel. Oh well, i knows your name now.

  25. Matt W says:

    To be totally honest, I don’t dig the new cover style. I know a bit about marketing and that cover does not catch the eye. I can understand maybe wanting to seperate this series from the last, but keep the same focus on stark contrast and not so close up on the face. Not being able to see the model’s face fully allows the readers to visualize as opposed to being shown, which is better. I remember the other cover grabbed me walking by. There is no way this one would. The goal is to pick up new readers too, not just live off of your existing fan base. I will read your next book no matter what because I loved your last series and I’ve got other non-fantasy readers picking up your stuff too. Don’t make it harder, do your books justice and have your covers be a one of a kind work of art not something generic like this. This doesn’t say “pick me up” it says “same as the next book”. Just some food for thought.

  26. Matt W says:

    Okay, I’m sorry to post again. But I need to add something and give you a piece of advice. First, do not except the march cover you posted. I can tell you right now that it won’t do as well for “new” readers or those that are unfamiliar with your work. This is the truth regardless of whoever is advising you on this says about this being the cover of choice. Covers matter, period. Don’t negotiate, demand. Little mistakes like this go a long way in negative effects down the road as far as future fans. Try this, have your guys take this cover minus your name and book title and put it up against several others using stark contrast & the above recomendations (my last post). Try them out on some random readers and ask them if they had to pick up one which would they choose. Trust me it’ll pay off. And if whoever your listening to is confident that this is the cover to go with,then they won’t mind listening to this advice. If they don’t, then you have your answer too. Later- and i’m looking foreward to cracking out on your new book by the way.

  27. Jack says:

    Looks amazing! I cannot wait for this book. I am counting the days left on my wall with some chalk…..
    No not really, it was just painted but i still cant wait.

  28. m silver says:

    I loved your Night Angel trilogy – honestly, it WAS the cover that drew mw back time and again before I bought the first one. HAH! Then once I was twenty pages into it, I immediately regretted not buying all three at the same time! I loaned them to a co-worker who loved them and has since purchased his own set . . . We are both eagerly awaiting the next series, and of course a return to Midcryu. . . I wonder, who YOU read. Can you recomend? . . . Also, I’m afraid I missed the first cover art rendition, and while I like this one, I like the Night Angel covers better. . . I have recomended you BY NAME to many friends, and when I’m at the bookstore, I often lead people I don’t even know over to your books with a guarantee that they’ll enjoy them!

  29. m silver says:

    Not trying to pimp another author, but have you ever read anything by Scott Lynch? After reading the Night Angel trilogy, I think YOU would enjoy his books. Not as well known as say, George RR Martin, but he’s written some good stuff. Try him and tell me what you think.

  30. Lauren says:

    LOVE IT!! There’s nothing that takes away from the Night Angel series, as it’s separate from this one and shouldn’t be mistaken. And I love that this time we can put a face to a name, but not enough to distract us from creating our own image of the character. Not to mention I cut to the ‘W’ section no matter what to see if maybe I missed a blurb about a new book coming out. 🙂

    And the description makes me HATE that I have to wait until August! Why?!!

  31. Lauren says:

    Oh and also, I would LOVE if you could make a book-signing trip to Florida. Maybe a mini-vacay?

  32. Fred says:

    I have to agree with the above…the new cover is kind of generic and whilst well ‘shot’ it’s pretty boring.

    I think the NA series covers were a breath of fresh air and like the above comment, attracted me to the series.

    How many boring photoshopped photos are there already on bookshelves that this book is now going to compete with?

    I don’t like the pre-release cover either but I feel a different direction (again) should have been tried.

    Great series though. Really enjoyed it and will be eager for the new one…it is though taking a fair while!!

  33. Joe says:

    Forgive me for saying this Brent, but this looks like the cover to some cheesy supernatural romance novel.

  34. Lance Brown says:

    Brent looks good. I must say I am more partial to non-photos type covers myself. I real question is when and where on the new book. I have missed your style after I finished your first three. I must say I was presently glad to have picked them up. You really run the line along with Modesitt Jr. in my opinion and he is my favorite author to date.

  35. Elizabeth says:

    The cover looks good, the only problem that it is a little generic at the moment, but I guess that can’t be helped as the publishing company want to ‘maximise readership’ by using popular styles. Looking forward to reading it!

  36. Phreddieboy says:

    As I exited my car to get a feed… I found a brand new copy of “The Way of Shadows” in a shallow puddle. I live in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. The “Way” screamed up, “Read me! I am exactly the kind of book you love.”
    I have been getting more and more into writing, so this has been the perfect series to encourage me. It has redoubled my desire to write a book/series with unbelievable pacing, story and characters. Brent, I will continue to share your work with friends and strangers. The “Way’s” cover grabbed me like no other cover, but the story gripped me even tighter. While the new cover has great components, the NAT covers are a template that deserve the future stories of Midcyru… My own vivid imagination and bizarre sense of humour, coupled with the sheer epic-ness of Terry Brooks, the fun and foolishness of Terry Pratchet and, now, the brave darkness (twisted with good and evil) of Brent Weeks will be my primary inspirations for writing. Thank you – Fred

  37. Nathan says:

    sorry brents but i gotta say this cover is another no-go for me… i dont like novels to have real people on the cover… dont like being told what a character should look like in my mind. even tho i doubt i’ll have any problem reimagining the character, i still like to have almost no starting point thatn a general build of the body… maybe a shadow over the face ar another animation would work better… not saying to go back to the hooded character tho cuz i kno a new story calls for new style. i kno this is final and ur not really looking for suggestions but i just had to put my 2 cents in. i will buy, read, and probly love this book nontheless

  38. Christine says:

    After years of trying to get my husband to read something other than Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown and the like, (preferably something in the fantasy genre) I finally managed to get him into my Wheel of Time books. He then moved on to the L.E. Modesitt Jr Recluse series and then on to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy.

    At that point he started branching out from the books I already owned and started buying his own. Your Night Angel trilogy was the first fantasy books he bought for himself. He loved them and so did I -once I finally got to read them. I just wanted to drop a line and say great job on this amazing series and we’re both really looking forward to Black Prism this summer.

  39. Diamondkelt says:

    I’m not a fan of real people on fantasy covers either. And I will admit the original Night Angel covers were what caught my eye in the first place. Maybe go back to the white covers and do a “Da Vinci style” line drawing of this guy. This cover feels so Forgotten Realms to me. It’s over done 🙁

    On a different note that Night Angel series should’ve been LONGER than a trilogy. I mean, seriously it was like a cruel joke it was only 3 measly books long. Three books was incredibly short for what could have been a sweeping saga of badassery and heartaching passion. I’m not saying that it should’ve stretched into Robert Jordan lengths, but I was sorely disappointed that it ended so abruptly. The characters were really coming into their own and getting fleshed out. It almost felt like your publishers were urging you to finish this up quickly so it could get to the printers.
    Is there an un-cut version of this somewhere? I swear there’s another 2 books hiding in this “Trilogy”. I would be nice to see a continuation of this character in the future.

  40. Taylor says:

    This one reminds of the rangers apprentice covers (american versions) which are always eyecatching, although with this I can define the guys face. I really like the looks of this one.

  41. Andrew says:

    I think this cover is much better than the one that got leaked. If orbit make the dagger stand out alot more with the foil stuff Brent mentioned (possibly by making a faint magical glow around it or an electricity effect linking the dagger to the sky because I will admit it is missing the sense of magic) I personally think that will catch peoples attention.
    I think it is a really good base but just missing some small thing that will make the difference. I’m no markting salesmen though so what do other people think it needs?

  42. Andrew says:

    I just realised this and thought it was worth adding on next to my last comment. People are saying that it was the different cover of the last series of books that made them pick the books up. I think it’s a good idea to have something different like this cover as it will attract a different crowd of people . As for the people who liked the last series book covers (like me), I honestly dont care what the covers like, I’ll definately buy the new books.
    Because of this different cover I’m sure that Brent Weeks Will sell more of the books than the last set.

  43. Franklin Pryor says:

    Brent when I first saw your series I didn’t even need to read a few pages to know I would love the books I just grabbed all three and bought them. I think I’ve read them five times. Anyways looking foward to reading the new book and any others you write keep up the good work and may God provide you with happiness.

  44. Franklin Pryor says:

    P.S. If you could do a book signing in Mississippi that would be great thanks.

  45. Chris W says:

    Starting the night angel trilogy again. Absolutely love these books. Can NOT wait for more about Kylar. Will definitely be buying this one as well.

  46. Ben B says:

    Checked out the preview for Black Prism and sounds for than promising looking forward to the release date. I am however very prejudice about the night angel trilogy and am selfishly hoping for one or two more to add the series.

  47. Kayla says:

    Definitely like this cover more than the one that was leaked. I read the Night Angel Trilogy and loved it! My favorite books of all time and I read a lot so that’s saying something. Can’t wait till the Black Prism comes out.

  48. K.T. Hanna says:

    I have to admit what drew me to the Night Angel Trilogy was the covers. Probably not something I should admit – but I definitely judge a book by its cover. If the book cover doesn’t appeal/look interesting/look as if effort was put into it – I generally won’t risk a new author unless they’ve been recommended to me.

    This cover for Black Prism would not have made me start reading the book if I didn’t know Brent Week’s work now. It isn’t a cover that will draw in new readers and is actually extremely generic. Almost reminds me of some of the covers on paranormal romances – which are not my books of choice.
    Although I do not think a cover like this will lose you readers who love your previous work – I do not think it will appeal to the masses the way the NAT did.

    Looking forward to Black Prism release though.

  49. Chantal says:

    I must say I do not like this cover at all. The man’s face really creeps me out and he is really not hot at all. I love how on the previous books one could not make out the face so clearly, it left something for the imagination.

    I am from South Africa and I love your books,
    can’t wait for the next ones!!!

  50. Bob Dylan says:

    Im really exited. I will read the new book “The black prism”. I expect it.
    I´m from German, and i don´t speak english very well. But I will try to read Brent Weeks books on english. I´ve read lots of fantasy-books but the best is “The way of Shadows”

  51. Ruaan says:

    I will not read it until the cover does not look like a romantic drama anymore. I don’t find it creative or fitting a great work of fiction as all of the ‘Way of Shadow’ series has been. I hope it will soon be adorned by a much better cover so I can continue my collection.


    1. Taylor says:

      Who cares? Its just the cover, as long as the book is good I don’t care what it looks like. If you care so much just buy the hard back and take of the sleeve off.

  52. James says:

    I cant wait for it who care what the cover looks like
    the night angel trilogy was awsome so these books should be rlly good

    1. Krystallynn says:

      It’s about time seomnoe wrote about this.

  53. greg h. says:

    Just got the book last week, and finished it this morning.
    Awesome book! I deffinatley look forward to reading more of Brent
    Weeks’ books. I’m afraid I have to put my ignorance on display for
    a moment, and ask a question that’s been nagging at me. Just who is
    it on the cover? For a while, I was thinking Gavin (right up until
    he drops into the green prison) so I’m guessing his tie in is with
    the knife. Kip’s too young, which I guess leaves Dazen? Big fan,
    please enlighten, Greg

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