I’m glad I have The Killing God and The War Within. When I finish the War Within, I can jump right into the next book. I read the Last Chronicles that way. I didn’t want to be left too long with a feeling of “what happens next?”
I have learned in probing storytelling that this is the central question you want to create for the reader. Parts of your story can be grand and impressive and awe inspiring but if it doesn’t inspire the reader to ask or to care about “what happens next?” then you can’t hold their attention for length of a long-form fantasy epic.
When there is war in a fantasy story there is often a build up for the reader to know what happens next. Much of the setup for The Killing God is preparing the people for the coming foe.
I could tell the cover art was coordinated by Bantam, the publisher. It’s a common kind of mashup of existing images to make something appealing and vaguely fantasy-esque. I’m fairly confident Donaldson had no input on the cover and likely doesn’t care. But I do know that covers are expensive, and publishers look to save money wherever they can. I looked at a variety of styles of fantasy covers when I looked for what I wanted for my book. An illustration was the way to go for me.
Ruinwaster’s Bane is coming this summer.