Prince of Persia Before the Sandstorm -- A Graphic Novel Anthology

Prince of Persia Before the Sandstorm -- A Graphic Novel Anthology

by Disney Book Group, Jordan Mechner, Todd McFarlane, Niko Henrichon, David Lopez

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Written by Jordan Mechner, the creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, this gorgeously illustrated graphic anthology will appeal to fans of the franchise, fans of the movie, and fans of adventure stories everywhere! Dive further into the world of the upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie with this book of six original stories, all


Written by Jordan Mechner, the creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, this gorgeously illustrated graphic anthology will appeal to fans of the franchise, fans of the movie, and fans of adventure stories everywhere! Dive further into the world of the upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie with this book of six original stories, all highlighting the characters and the world of the film, with art by some of the best and brightest talents in comics!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Video gamers should enjoy this byproduct of a popular franchise. As game creator Mechner explains in an afterword, the original Prince of Persia was widely played in the early 1990s and famed as one of the few video games that had a story line with literary merit. It's been upgraded several times with somewhat different versions of the hero, which Mechner justifies as reflecting the fluid, dreamlike nature of Eastern storytelling. Sina's script for this book lays out two stories simultaneously, echoing and overlapping each other. In the 9th- and again in the 13th-century Persian city of Marv, a rightful prince is denied the throne, a vizier lusts for power, a courageous damsel fights for her lover, etc. The characters can't be sure whether their knowledge of events comes from memory or prophecy, creating a multi-leveled narrative that reflects the game, although readers will need to keep track of which hero is performing on a given page. There's plenty of action, and the artwork by Pham and Puvilland is suitably vigorous and exotic; however, without the thrill of participating in the action on-screen, reader involvement is limited. (Sept.)

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VOYA - Amanda MacGregor
Loosely tied to the popular video game of the same name, this graphic novel imagines the prince's origins. The tale moves between two time periods and sets of characters. In the ninth century, Layth's father is killed by Saman, who then raises the child along with his own children, Guiv and Guilan. When Guiv and Layth have a falling out, Guiv goes into hiding.There he is hailed as the Veiled Prophet of Marv, and reveals the prophecy of a man who will be born and kill the rulers and the ruled. In the fourteenth century, a boy named Ferdos fulfills the foretelling. Each prince, in his own time, must seize power and avenge the wrongs he witnesses. The parallel time lines and characters often make the story difficult to follow, as it is hard to decipher what time period the reader is in and how characters fit together. Pham and Puvilland occasionally vary their illustrations to indicate a switch in time, usually by altering their color palate, but a more distinct tone for each prince and his story would help readers move more smoothly between narratives. The lush, full-color images are powerful and carry much of the story's action. The two princes' legends mesh well at the end. Their struggles are shown side by side on the page, pulling together their common goals, linked history, and ultimate victories. Fans of the video game, the built-in audience, should be satisfied with this challenging and complex exploration of the prince's back story. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
KLIATT - George Galuschak
Prince of Persia is a graphic novel based on a video game. It features two intertwined storylines. Guiv, a Persian prince, has visions as he's being drowned in a pool on the orders of his brother-in-law, the king. His life spared thanks to the intervention of his sister, Guiv retreats to a deserted citadel to live in the company of lions, with only a talking peacock to keep him company. Fast forward 400 years (to the 13th century): Shirin, a Persian princess, wants to learn the forbidden dance. During a rendezvous with her instructor she meets Ferdos, the Guardian of the Waters, who is related to a prophecy regarding the destruction of the city. Prince of Persia is a graphic novel that challenges the reader. I found the jumping back and forth between timelines confusing, at least on the first read. It also draws heavily on Persian mythology and history, much of which is unfamiliar to a Western audience. Since it was written for a Western audience a tad more guidance might have been in order. With that said: this is a fascinating graphic novel that uses the trappings of Persian mythology to construct a rich, multifaceted world; multiple readings are recommended. Prince of Persia is not for younger readers; there is a lot of violence, some of it quite gruesome (severed tongues and eyeballs). There is also some disturbing imagery and mild profanity (donkey turd). Recommended for high school and adult graphic novel collections. Reviewer: George Galuschak
Library Journal

It began as a video game, but this is a graphic novel with plot fixed within pages. Yet the interlocking and cyclical nature of the story, which flips back and forth across time, lends a sense of shimmer and uncertain potential. In the ninth century, an uneasy trio of prince, princess, and princess's brother leads to chaos and to a prophesy: four centuries hence, the palace of Marv will fall, and a new prince will rise from the waters. Jumping to the 13th century, we drop into the prophesy in action: the rebellious daughter of a corrupt official runs off in boy's clothing to join the rebels and discovers the prince-to-be hiding in the aquaducts. Both stories proceed in tandem, and eventually the pieces come together. The solid yet beguiling art incorporates colorful touches from Arabic graphic design and seems to move with the characters. And move they do-there is little dialog here but pages and pages of well-done action that carries much of the tale. Fire, fighting, escape, insurrection, and subterfuge concern these feisty princes and princesses, and even Genghis Khan drops in near the end. Recommended for high school and up owing to considerable mayhem and murder, plus discreetly portrayed sexual content.
—Martha Cornog

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This book, based on the classic computer game (the latest version of the game is due to be released in November 2008), tells the story of multiple heroes and heroines. Fans of the original games may be better well equipped to understand the time shifts as the action flashes forward and backward between centuries, but any readers looking for adventure should enjoy the chases, fights, and political intrigue. There are several grisly scenes of leadership gone wrong, as multiple victims are decapitated or have their tongues cut out. And the divide between the haves and the have-nots is clearly illustrated by the battle over the precious water supply. The pages are filled with vibrant colors and stirring images; the palette begins with a spectrum of desert browns, which make vibrant hues like peacock blue and blood red stand out even more against the colors of sand and bone. In an insightful afterword, game creator Jordan Mechner writes about how this character has evolved over time in various incarnations. This is an excellent recommendation for computer gamers and the fan base that will emerge for the forthcoming (2009) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie, and a good choice for everyone else.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Completing a solid evolution from video game to graphic novel, Mechner and Sina breathe life, passion and legend into the original concept. Told through intertwined narratives set four centuries apart, a prophecy serves as an anchor between the concurrent threads: "a palace must fall / and a prince must rise from the waters..." Pham and Puvilland's vibrant, bold art creates a lush backdrop for this intense tale. Though largely based in fantasy, elemental themes-earth, fire, air and water-provide a firm sensory foundation. Readers will feel the desiccated, scorched desert earth of the peasants, cut off from water by the evil rulers; know the fiery heat of battles, rage and injustice that have spanned centuries; experience the wind beating under the wings of a philosophizing peacock; and understand the cooling relief as water protects and nourishes. This complex epic demands careful reading and a keen eye to detail. Combine these intricacies with a sprawling, visually literate landscape of love, lore and violence, and the result is a fine saga for older readers. (afterword) (Graphic fiction. YA)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

The universe of Prince of Persia began in 1989, with the creation of the first Prince of Persia game. In this platform game, a Persian prince must rescue his throne from the evil vizier who has usurped it. The game was a hit, and spawned eight sequels (plus a cell phone game entitled 'Prince of Persia Harem Adventures') over the next nineteen years, including the award-winning, best-selling 'Sands of Time' series. 'Sands of Time' is now being adapted into a major motion picture by Disney/Bruckheimer: it will be out in theaters in June 2009.

JORDAN MECHNER is the creator of the Prince of Persia games, the Prince of Persia graphic novel, and the author of the script for the Prince of Persia movie. After forsaking his early obsession with comics at age 12 for a new love – computers – Jordan started learning how to program, taking the first steps down the path to writing video games. But his love of comics and reading stayed with him – when he began creating games, he created narrative, story-driven games that had their roots in the comics and the books he loved.

He sold his first game while he was still an undergraduate at Yale, and then moved directly on to creating Prince of Persia. The games took off, and he's been involved in the programming, story development, and world-building for the Prince of Persia ever since.

Jordan now lives in southern California, where he’s working on the next Prince of Persia game and writing and directing award-winning documentaries, as well as working on his next commercial property – Solomon’s Thieves, which will be published by First Second.

Under various other misspellings, mistranslations, andmisrepresentations of his name, A.B.SINA has written for film, magazines, and journals in North America and around the world. Born in Iran, he now works between Montreal and wherever else he can manage. He has no heirs, though he hopes this project will at least give him some followers.

LEUYEN PHAM and ALEX PUVILLAND are happily married in art. They found time in their highly successful careers (one as a children's book illustrator, the other one as her husband) to give us Prince of Persia. LeUyen has produced several acclaimed picture books for children, including her self-authored Big Sister, Little Sister. Alex has worked as an a visual development artist for Dreamworks Feature Animation and on numerous films. They live in San Francisco with their son Leo.

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