Unlike the earlier installments, I did not stalk the release of White Sands Volume 3. So, when I saw the final book of this trilogy available, it was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, as with all things, life got in the way, and I didn’t buy it the moment I made my discovery. But I promised myself that I would add this book to my collection soon. Well, I recently did just that. And over the last couple of nights, I concluded Brandon Sanderson’s first foray into the world of comic books.
To set the stage, the first volume, read my review here, exposed us to the story’s conflicts and characters. The second volume read that review here, brought us deeper into the world of Taldain and select members of the populous. I remember a burning desire for the third installment, the moment I concluded the second volume of this grand story. Without further ado, let’s delve into the heart of this review.
When reading any of Sanderson’s work, the first thing that leaps to my mind is the rich interwoven plots and character arcs. Those elements exist in this graphic novel, and I loved following the threads to their ultimate conclusions. Throughout the first two installments, the story gripped my mind, pulling me into this unique world. And the third book lifted the tale to a beautiful crescendo. While this epic tale is part of Sanderson’s Cosmere, to date, I’m reasonably confident we have seen nothing about this world’s shard(s). That changes here. In volume three, we receive the barest whispers of hints to the world’s shard(s).
Those hints come after resolving the main plots and the personal journeys’ of the characters, but before Sanderson establishes new dangling threads making us wonder what will happen next. And with the latest threads left dangling, I yearn for the next time we will see these characters. The characters grew leaps and bounds during this latest journey. One character’s compartmentalization amazed me so much that it reminded me of an episode of Farscape where Utu-Noranti Pralatong addressed Scorpius:
Oh, I do admire your compartmentalization of duplicity
This statement came when Scorpius showed how many sides he was playing against each other. And it’s an apt comparison to the arc of certain characters in this story.
Aside from the story, the other key factor for any graphic novel is the artwork. And the imagery and style of the artwork accompanying this story is impressive. There are multiple panels that I loved, which drew me in and spurred me to search out every detail that I could find. From the smallest box to full-page panels, the book looked amazing.
I felt satisfied with this trilogy’s conclusion. Through the extra threads established in the final pages, tickle at my mind building the raging desire to know more about the Cosmere. While I’ll recommend this series to anyone, I have a pair of problems with the third installment of this trilogy. The climax appeared rushed when compared to his other work. But that may well result from the difference in formats, so I’ll hold judgment until he produces another graphic novel for a better baseline. But my other problem is that I have more questions at the end of this story, and I don’t know when/if I’ll get satisfying answer(s). Aside from that gripe, I’m happy that I joined Sanderson on this latest journey into the Cosmere.