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White Sand – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere—the greater universe in which the majority of his books takes place—was recently optioned for film and licensing rights for $270 million, which is nothing-to-sneeze-at success, if you ask me. I’m eager to see the visual adaptations of his books, but I worry that because I’ve got such a vivid picture of them in my mind, I’ll be disappointed by one or another quality of the films. It happens all the time. (Dune’s getting a third chance, too. I wonder where that’ll go off the rails.)

But the excitement of seeing any of Sanderson’s worlds come to life, especially one as hauntingly beautiful as Scadrial (the planet on which the Mistborn series takes place), is too exciting to overlook. I mean, if this series is done right, the larger Cosmere universe will easily rival Marvel or Star Wars. Sanderson’s creations are that good. Better, even.

Which brings me to White Sand, the first book of the only graphic novel in the Cosmere universe. The planet Taldain (home of White Sand’s story) is as rich and intriguing a world as any of Sanderson’s others, if a bit monochromatic at first. We meet Kenton, member of an order of Sand Masters—able to wield ribbons of sand to spectacular martial effect—on the eve of the order’s annihilation.

The world, the sands, the suits, the faces—everything’s white. For what should ostensibly be a flat world, there’s a great and seemingly sinister depth lurking. But for what it’s worth, this story didn’t connect with me the way his written novels did. I can’t point my finger at why, though. White Sand has all the makings of a great Sandersonian epic: spectacular vistas, great magic, human drama, strange and terrifying changes to the status quo, but I found myself, more than once, wishing that I could also read White Sand as a novel.

I remain confident that the story of White Sand will blossom in volume two, in which I hope to learn more about Taldain—which seems to be a planet without axial rotation, as it has a light side and a dark side—and the curious folk that fill out the rest of the planet that isn’t in the magical monastery.

But back to this idea that the story didn’t have the same staying power of his prose work. The art is fantastic, the writing solid, and the final product is top-shelf, but I wasn’t absorbed into White Sand the way I’d hoped to be. But because I’m a die-hard Sanderson fan to the maxxx, I will sequester myself in my bedchamber, reading and re-reading White Sand until I get it.

That, or I’ll just wait for volume two, which is set to release in June, 2017.

White Sand is available on Amazon.

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One Response

  1. How interesting that an author’s work, whom you so richly admire, leaves you wanting when the world is given to you in a visual form. You wished for the novel, where the images are inspired and conveyed in words but conjured in your own mind. Sanderson seems to have done the hardest part, getting you to want to be in his world, and then the medium, of a even a well done graphic novel, falters when compared to the intensity of the eye of your own mind. My guess is your enjoyment will grow with each of your re-reads of White Sand.

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