White Sand volume one
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.
Reviewed on 19th August 2016
I must begin with a caveat - I am not a great reader of graphic novels (aka comic books). In fact, this is probably the first one I've read or bought. I purchased this volume though because it's a story by Brandon Sanderson, and is the start of one of the many threads of his stories that are set in the same universe.
So it took me a little while to get used to reason this format. My instinct is to focus on the words - and only to glance at the pictures to get an idea of the key pieces of action. This is an approach developed by years of reading the likes of the Beano as a child, where the drawing served as a vehicle for the joke. That approach really doesn't honour the amount of effort that must go into creating a book like this and I had to force myself to slow down and take in the art.
While the artwork is incredible and must have taken forever, it has a slightly sketchy feel to it which felt a bit unfinished and rough. I found this a little off putting as it made me feel I was looking at storyboards rather than the finished item.
The story is another brilliant Sanderson, filled with unexpected twists, hints of secrets yet to be revealed, and yet another amazingly complex magic system and cultures which hell this book barely scratches the surface of. My only criticism I suppose is that as this is just 'Volume One' it ends rather abruptly and isn't as long a story as I would have liked. On the other hand, that will make it much easier to re-read when the next volume is published, unlike Sanderson's usual epics.