From Goodreads: On the planet of Taldain, the legendary Sand Masters harness arcane powers to manipulate sand in spectacular ways. But when they are slaughtered in a sinister conspiracy, the weakest of their number, Kenton, believes himself to be the only survivor. With enemies closing in on all sides, Kenton forges an unlikely partnership with Khriss – a mysterious Darksider who hides secrets of her own.
When I reviewed Arcanum Unbounded last month, I mentioned that there was both an early draft of this story and a partial look at the graphic novel version. At the front of the full GN, there’s a passage from Brandon Sanderson that discusses how the early story draft was eventually fleshed out into full novel, but never edited or published. When approached about a GN concept to adapt, he chose this novel. Rik Hoskin wrote the script and Julius Gopez illustrated.
I’m in two minds about this story. The first is purely due to the fact that this is a GN. I’m not the biggest graphic novel fan, and when I do enjoy them, it’s generally because the artistry in them has a larger, more fluid style. This was more traditional in terms of action-stories, and style that I often find confusing and frustrating. I think if I hadn’t been exposed to that early story draft, I would have been severely confused by the GN. Already I was far more confused by the sections that occurred after the plot of the short story finished. So in terms of graphic novel, this was not my favorite experience.
On the other hand, I love this story, world, concept, and cast of characters. I loved these when I first read the early draft in Arcanum Unbounded, and I love these even though they come through (to me) stilted in their current form. My brain tries to look beyond the pictures and tries to put the story together in a more fluid style. (What I wouldn’t give to be able to read the full novel version!!)
So it was a mixed experience, but hey, it’s Sanderson, and Sanderson is worth a mixed experience periodically. I’ll definitely keep reading on in the series, even if graphic novels aren’t really my thing.
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