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Prince of Persia Paperback – September 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; 1st edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596432071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596432079
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Arists LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland create vivid scenes against a stunning background of ruins, lush gardens, and desert landscapes in Prince of Persia. Inspired by the popular video game as well as The Arabian Nights, the graphic novel follows two princes living centuries apart whose lives nonetheless intersect: they live in exile, fight epic battles, and, of course, rescue a princess. In their transformations from the video game to the graphic novel, each character was revised multiple times. Some were discarded, like Farah, the female warrior, and others were refined, like Prince Guiv.

Take a look at how the authors transformed the Prince of Persia characters from their early sketches (click each image below to see the final sketch).

Farah is a young warrior who is the model for the 9th century princess, Guilan.
Originally an Arabian Nights character, this dancer became the 13th century princess, Shirin.
This sketch of Guiv combines the prince of the video game with the prince of the graphic novel.

From 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

This graphic novel of "The Prince Persia" doesn't follow the story of any of the video games, classic or cutting-edge.
The artwork didn't really appeal to me either, there seemed to be a disconnect between the words on the page and the images.
Holly K. Lee
With some background, a reader might have more patience for the confusing story that rapidly switches between settings.
K. W. Schreiter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on September 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Actually, I found the storyline in this gem-like graphic novel to be somewhat challenging- I must have skipped back three or four times to figure out exactly what was going on. This is not a criticism, for the interweaving of the storylines from the ninth and thirteenth centuries is rather like that of a Persian carpet. As is brought out in the afterward, from the Arabian Knights to the Sufi tales, the conflict tends to be with the nature of reality itself. That is what makes you think, that is the challenge. If you want a simple-minded, chop-socky hero tale then look elsewhere.

If I was to compare this work to anything it would be with the Sandman graphic novels- I could readily see this story woven into those books.

In some places the artwork approaches that of an illustrated manuscript. Indeed, the overall design of the book is of high quality including the reflective lettering on the cover and the maps under its folding flaps.

Oh yes, I had heard of the original computer game, but I had never played it, but that doesn't seem to be necessary to enjoy the story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Newman VINE VOICE on September 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
About a year ago someone recommended that I read a pair of graphic novels, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Palestine. I was amazed at how well graphic novels could hold up to traditional books for strength of message and emotion. Now our seven year old son is really getting into comic books and graphic novels which seems like a great way to get him interested in reading. So I picked up a copy of Prince of Persia since I remember the video game from years ago.

I was a little disappointed that this book was a little too mature for a seven year old to read (some violence and adult themes, glad I read it first) but I was not disappointed by the story for myself. It is a well crafted intertwined tale which segues dreamily back and forth. It read quickly and sucked me in so well, I couldn't put it down once I started. It is not overwhelming strong artistically but not bad.

You definitely don't need to have experience with the game to appreciate the story, although it does kind of end like an open ended prequel. Don't worry though the story stands on it's own well. There is a short history of the Prince of Persian from the creator of the original video game which was a nice bonus. But for me, one of the best things about the book though was the list of other graphic novels that are available. We have a half dozen more coming to us now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Rule VINE VOICE on November 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved comic books as a kid. My friends and I would buy and share our comic books. I remember the excitement when received a new issue of my favorite comics. Sadly those days seem to be part of a bygone era.

Being an older parent ([...]); I've been trying to share my enthusiasm for comics. Unfortunately, the few comics series that are still around are hard to find and don't appeal to my son. So I tried graphic novels. After reading "Watchmen" and a few others highly recommended novels, it was clear the themes in these are, well, mature. My son isn't old enough to understand the complex and mature tone of these graphic novels.

However, I was encouraged when I ran across this graphic novel. After looking through it, it appeared (at least from a fathers perspective) appropriate for my son. I gave it to him and he devoured it. It took him a couple of evenings to read it. He loved it and is asking for more for Christmas.

My son is a good reader for his age. However, he isn't really ready the chapter books that have mature enough stories for him (Ron Dahl books come to mind). Though we read these books to him, he's independent and likes to read to himself. This novel was at his reading level and he found it engaging. We also had several good discussions about people's motivations and the historical context in the story.

I'd say, for me and my son this novel was a definite winner.

Having said that, there are a few negatives about the book.

My wife and daughter had issues with the violence in this novel. To be fair, it is violent, but the violence makes sense in context and the language and themes in the book seemed appropriate for a mature 8 year old.

I found the art work to be average at best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris VINE VOICE on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked Prince of Persia up as a fan of the games and of the general adventure genre of the Arabian Nights style.

The story was intriguing and thoughtful. It's presented as two stories set ~400 years apart with the first story creating and influencing the legend/action of the second story. The stories are presented side-by-side allowing the plot points to expose themselves gradually which leads to a feeling of mystery and intrigue. The female characters felt stronger to me than the male characters both in terms of their strength of mind and their initiative and drive to get things done.

The art was clean and simple while still detailed enough to really draw me in. The tone created by the art changed based on plot points but was generally fairly light (after having recently read Watchmen, the art here felt almost airy). Some of the depictions of violence were fairly graphic...it wasn't spewing blood, but the violent imagery was pushing PG-13 at times.

The art and the plot were fast paced and kept me scanning from panel to panel and page to page quickly. I think I flew through the book in about 40 minutes. Which was my main complaint. I wanted more. The depth there was good and the story flowed well. I just felt like it was over too quickly. There was a little deus ex machina that sped things up a little bit, but the story itself flowed well. I think mostly I would have loved to have seen the book double in size, stretch a few segments out, and add more scenes before ending.

The book also came with a very cool afterward by the developer/designer responsible for the first Prince of Persia game and involved in creation of the subsequent titles.
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