The Lords of the Sands of Time by Issui Ogawa
|The Lords of the Sands of Time by Issui Ogawa|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A time-bending, time-travelling piece of Japanese science fantasy, but the join-the-dots process needed to get round all the paradoxical journeys leads to an awkward, cubist picture.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 260||Date: July 2009|
|Publisher: Viz Media|
We're in the third century, Japan. A queen and her young retainer are wandering to the edge of their territory, when a baddy appears - an alien seeming to be some local creature. Handily enough a saviour, warrior hero appears too, from way in the future, complete with talking sword, and saves the day. This incident is bad news for the queen to take back to court and discuss, but it's even worse for the messenger - sent on a one-way ticket from his own life, to advise of timelines that need saved - and the people that might just save Earth from this cosmic battle.
What we have is a sort of Terminator-style flavour to this story, despite the different settings. Time paradoxes are mentioned but that's nothing considering the amount of illogical things that happen here, just as in the Terminator films - people coming from the future to their past to make sure the only future that could be present to bring them back is allowed to run its course, and so on.
That, and a couple of times when we were swamped with common nouns - splurges of place and character names unnecessarily - did not make me endeared to the story here. There are several occasions when we branch off to different timelines, and these don't seem to have much bearing on anything. And the whole nature of the tale - somewhen things will go right for everyone, and we can try and ignore all the failed timelines elsewhen - made the characters a little hard to care for. We're in no doubt there will be a happy ending coming along somewhen, and not a host of things to while our time before then.
Nothing is too badly written, however - there is enough in the characterisaion of the main protagonists - including that sword, and the action is not too bad. Plus the hero is called Orville, which is not what you normally find in sci-fantasy. This is worth a borrow, but don't waste too much time waiting for this to come into your existence.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
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