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Prince of Persia Paperback – September 2, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
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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).
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.
Top customer reviews
Don't be deceived by the child-like cover -- this is a serious, mature, graphic novel.
Unfortunately, my praise pretty much stops here. The story was honestly rather hard to follow, and I found the plot to be very slow at times. There were certain parts of the dialog that were obviously meant to add a touch of humor to the otherwise serious and dramatic storyline, but at some points the humor was so out of place that it came out weird and rough.
Basically, if you're a fan of the Prince of Persia series, give this a read, just to say that you've read it. It doesn't take very long. If you're a fan of obscure or different graphic novels, give it a try. If you're a fan of anime and manga and you're somewhat familiar with the existence of a video game called Prince of Persia, this is probably not the book for you.
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.
At first glance I wasn't too impressed. The cover art looked a bit too much like Michael Avon Oeming's work on Powers and the interior art looked like it was trying to merge P. Craig Russell's vision of Arabia in The Sandman story "Ramadan" with a stylized Disney-influence. But as I got into the story itself, I saw that artists LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland had more subtlety and command of the comics medium than can be gleaned from a first glance.
That subtlety, along with A.B. Sina's time-spanning reincarnation story, makes "Prince of Persia" both a fascinating and frustrating read. Fascinating, because of the use of the comics medium to impart ideas without words. Time bends and folds like a tapestry, and centuries pass that are never called out in the book, only hinted at in textless panels that need to be deciphered. One beautiful panel shows this history of the kingdom as a succession of figures each holding a sword to the person in front of them, stretching out into infinity. Frustrating, because the reader can become lost in the story; Who is a reincarnation of who? Who stole the throne from who? Who is the hero and who is the villain? What time period are we in at any given time? The story flows back and forth, merging completely towards the end and even after reading and enjoying the story I still couldn't honestly say how it finished, or if it finished at all. And maybe that is the point.
The size of the book is also something of a problem. About two-thirds of standard comic book size (although larger than a Japanese manga volume) the artwork is shrunk down and too many of those tiny details that make "Prince of Persia" wonderful are hard to discern. A larger-sized publication would have allowed for the artwork to shine through.
But even then there is lots of awesomeness here. An army of slaughtered babies rises from the sand, creating giant bodies for themselves out of the desert sands. A magical peacock swoops from the sky to haul off enemy warriors like a fairytale roc. The story has twists and turns galore, as saviors at the gate turn out to be conquerors, and the heroic rebel might just be attempting to steal the throne from a good and wise king, not a tyrant at all.
Like I said, I haven't played the game before but this is definitely the best videogame adaptation I have read. It stands alone very well as just a comic book, one that is far more compelling than it would appear. Don't skim "Prince of Persia," or flip through it while doing something else. You really have to dive into the pages to find the hidden treasure here.
Most recent customer reviews
The story was intriguing and thoughtful.Read more