book review: prince of persia

I’ve actually reviewed A.B. Sina’s Prince of Persia comic before and it was on the basis of that memory I suggested it for our YA reading circle on Comics and Videogames. We read Scott Pilgrim, Level Up, Kimmie66 (which it appears I’ve never reviewed) and Prince of Persia and discussed them for class. It was good discussion each week, lots of fun. Sitting around for 40 minutes and talking about the shit we’ve read is pretty much my idea of a good time.

Anyway, this time I didn’t like Prince of Persia so much. It felt to me like the two storylines (taking place centuries apart) were just covering up for and over-complexifying two bog-standard royalty narratives. The characters didn’t seem very fleshed out, relying on the reader to fill everything in.

That said, the book is still beautiful. One of my favourite visual motifs is how Ferdos (the princ in the ruins) told Shirin stories and those stories were illustrated like old Persian paintings, with the borders and lack of perspective and everything. The colours were rich and not garish, which allowed the mystical peacock to really stand out.

So I still liked the book, but it wasn’t quite the book I’d remembered when I pitched it for the group. I’d be a bit more careful about recommending it in the future, especially to someone who just wants a Prince of Persia book because they want something similar to the videogame (which really, this isn’t).

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