I was kind of hoping that this would be an epic about using the White Sands of New Mexico as a secret power source. I was kind of right in that the white sands are the power source of the magic system in this new graphic novel by Brandon Sanderson, based on the unpublished novel that he wrote many years ago. Or perhaps it is water.
Kenton is a Sand Master — kind of. He’s too weak to pass the tests and his own father refuses to let him use his cleverness to employ his weak talent. When they are attacked by their enemies Kenton thinks that he is the only survivor and sets out across the sands to find safety.
Along the way he meets Khriss, a woman from the dark side of the planet.
Taldain is a tidally locked planet with two suns, the smaller, much dimmer one is on the dark side and the brighter and larger one is on the light side. It’s an interesting idea and I like how Sanderson thinks about the actual astronomical aspects of his worlds. It gives them interesting settings that don’t necessarily ever get explained in the stories.
It doesn’t make sense to me, though, that the dark siders are dark skinned and the light siders are light skinned. It seems that it should be the opposite to me. Why are the people that live in a desert and spend their lives with the sun beating down on them all the time light skinned?
The story feels a little underdeveloped which might be the comic book format or it might just be an underdeveloped story. I’m curious to see more about this world but this particular book feels a little random and has a bit of a deus ex machina ending that felt like wish fulfillment rather than good story-telling.