Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Disney's Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm by Jordan Mechner, Tom Fowler, David Lopez, Bernard Chang, Tommy Lee Edwards, Cameron Stewart & others

In a court in Persia, five people are brought before the judge for a crime of theft. A desert trader named Sheikh Amar was giving a private party in his tent- not a crime. He had with him his servant, a black man named Seso. Also not a crime.

At the party were two dancing girls and a laborer- still not a crime. But in the house where the party was taking place were discovered various trinkets and items with the insignia of King Sharaman. So, how could such a disreputable group come into the possession of such items without stealing them?

The judge feels that this is true, and sentences the men to death- the porter he spares because he had faith that the men were honest, and the dancing girls were merely hired.

But Sheikh Amar says that the sack of items which they found were tossed to him by a horseman who appeared at his tent earlier that day, giving him the thanks of Prince Dastan. Since he is an otherwise simple man with simple needs, he threw a party with the proceeds.

But the Judge finds it ludicrous that such a disreputable man as Sheikh Amar has known Prince Dastan, but he tells them a story of meeting Dastan when he was just a street boy, and had fallen in love with the Princess. When the Vizier who was attempting to take over from the King found out, he had Dastan thrown in Prison, where he met Sheikh Amar- who lent Dastan his knife, and then they helped each other to escape, for which Sheikh Amar earned Dastan's gratitude.

The Judge is not inclined to believe him, so Sheikh Amar's companion, a Ngbaka tribesman named Seso, steps up to attest to Sheikh Amar's truthfulness and veracity, while telling his own story of how he met Sheikh Amar.

But the judge doesn't believe him, either. And one of the dancing girls steps forward to claim that the Ngbaka tribesmen are well-known as being truthful and honorable, and to tell her own story, of another slave in the Hareem who knew an Ngbaka, who rescued her from being used by the Assassins.

Needless to say, the Judge is not convinced by this, either. And so the second dancing girl tells the story of the woman Prince Dastan is marrying, Princess Sharzad. Again, the judge is unconvinced.

But when the porter speaks up, also revealing a connection to Prince Dastan, will the judge finally believe that this ragged collection of foreigners and dancing girls truly knows the Prince, or will he simply have them all beheaded in the marketplace?

This was an interesting graphic novel. Unlike the other book I read, that had very little connection to the games (as I saw it, anyway), this book was more firmly connected not only to the movie, but to the games as well, with sections where the story resembled the first game, and parts that were reminiscent of the Sands of Time.

But most of the rest of the stories were just amusing stories, Arabian stories, it's true, but I didn't see any real connection to the movie or the games in any of them.

Overall, this graphic novel tells good stories, but some of them are only loosely linked to the book or the games. This isn't to say it's a bad graphic novel, just extremely loosely linked to its supposed source material. Still, I'd recommend it for someone who wants a good, amusing graphic novel.

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