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The Sandman Vol 4: Season of Mists

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Sandman Vol 4: Season of Mists (1991) Neil Gaiman

Season of Mists is the story of Dream’s journey to Hell to free Nada, after he is confronted by the fact that he unjustly sent her there ten thousand years before. All the stories in Seasons of Mists are part of a single tale, of Dream’s trip to Hell, and the aftermath of that trip.

We first heard of Nada in Preludes and Nocturnes, and this book holds the conclusion of her tale. Dream is finally made to realize that he acted wrongly, that he treated her very badly, and that he had to make amends for his actions. I quite like that, since it bothered me that Nada had to suffer in Hell for doing the right thing, although in this Dream sets in motion more actions that will later come back to haunt him (so to speak).

My major complaint is that more than half the time I cannot figure out what Mazikeen is saying. Even if I try and sound it out, I still can’t get it. It’s not a huge problem here, as she doesn’t say a lot that’s important, but if I remember, it’s very frustrating later on.

What I like best about Season of Mists is that Dream acts pretty justly throughout, which is a pleasant change from actions he has taken in the past. We also see Daniel, the son of Lyta Hall, for the first time. And Dream is still blind to the fact that she blames him for Hector’s death, and the anger she carries because of this. It is this blindness that will cost him in the end.

I’m still fond of Nuala the faerie, and I still think she’s more attractive without her glamour. But my favorite thing in Season of Mists is the introduction to the Library of Dreams, which has finally been rebuilt. The idea of reading books that were never written except in the dreams of their authors is a very appealing one. I mean, who would not want to read “The Conscience of Sherlock Holmes”?

It’s the little bits like that, that make Sandman so appealing to me.

And don’t miss the biographies in the back.
Rating: 7/10

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