Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Brandon Sanderson's White Sand by Brandon Sanderson - Book Review

From the publisher: A brand new saga of magic and adventure by #1 New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson.

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.

White Sand brings to life a crucial, unpublished part of Brandon Sanderson’s sprawling Cosmere universe. The story has been adapted by Rik Hoskin (Mercy Thompson), with art by Julius Gopez and colors by Ross Campbell. Employing powerful imagery and Sanderson’s celebrated approach to magical systems, White Sand is a spectacular new saga for lovers of fantasy and adventure.

I'm a fan of Brandon Sanderson and am willing to read anything he writes, but I particularly enjoy the giant story he is telling with his Cosmere stories. This saga consists of multiple series, stand-alone novels, short stories, and novellas all telling their own tales, but together slowly weaving a greater saga. White Sand is one such story. However, unlike like his other writing, White Sand is told in graphic novel form (anyone interested in the long history of this story can check it out at Sanderson's website).

White Sand, which was adapted by Rik Hoskin and penciled by Julius Gopez, is just the opening volume in the story of the Sand Masters and the planet Taldain. As such, it is mostly concerned with introducing various point-of-view characters, setting up the premise, and revealing the magic system (unique magic systems are a hallmark of Sanderson's stories). Chief among the characters is Kenton, who has spent years studying to be a Sand Master with little success, much to consternation of his father, chief of the Sand Masters. Following a graduation ceremony, nearly all the Sand Masters are killed, with Kenton as one of the few survivors. This starts what appears to be the main story line, and it looks to be another interesting take on fantasy by Sanderson.

The other group of characters come from a different part of the planet, Darkside (as opposed to Kenton's Dayside). They include a Duchess named Khrissala, who is looking to find out what happened to her fiance, Prince Gevin. As Khrissala's story progresses, the reader discovers more about Dayside, and the mystery of the Sand Masters' destruction.

The art in White Sand is well done, conveying a terrific sense of place and providing a nice visual of the characters. I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow throughout the series.

White Sand is a promising new story from prolific author Brandon Sanderson which contains all the things his fans have come to expect and enjoy: magic, engaging characters, and a sense of greater things going on that what appear on the surface. This volume is a fine opening chapter in what is shaping up to be another fun Sanderson epic, and yet another piece of the Cosmere universe. I give it a high recommendation.

I received a preview copy of this book from Dynamite Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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