Synopsis: The book is divided into seven chapters, each devoted to one of the Endless. A family of siblings who are physical manifestations of the metaphysical concepts Dream, Death, Desire, Destruction, Delirium, Despair, and Destiny.
Death and Venice is an affecting story about the transient nature of all good things. Seen through the Italian soldier Sergei’s eyes. Who joins Death as she takes the soul of a Venetian count. Who used magic to relive an endless day. Indeed, the Count’s reaction to Death’s beauty and identity is touching.
Desire – What I’ve Tasted of Desire is a feminist love story set in a Viking village. As our main character falls for the village’s champion and surmounts all obstacles to win his love. Saving her village from invaders using her feminine wiles. Further, there is also a nice aside from Desire about how all stories’ plots are “Somebody wanted something.”
Dream – The Heart of a Star shows us a sweet and fairytale-like love story between Dream’s paramour Killalla and Sto-Oa. Causing Dream to turn his back on Desire. Furthermore, I enjoyed the Death cameo. Which showed our favourite psychopomp before she took a level in kindness.
Despair – Fifteen Portraits of Despair was beautifully dark and angsty. Written by a true legend who understands how real people struggle.
Delirium – Going Inside portrays schizophrenia and mentally ill people with great tenderness and respect. I enjoyed how the people experiencing mental distress were the heroes who rescued Delirium from the non-speaking girl’s mind. Moreover, I shed tears when the people rescued Del and the non-speaking girl spoke again. It was also great to see Daniel-Dream and Matthew the Raven.
Destruction On the Peninsula continues the feminist theme through its main character Rachel. Invited to a secret archaeological dig. I liked how Destruction helped Rachel and how Rachel stood up to the government agents who wanted to make weapons from the buried future artefacts.
Destiny- Endless Nights rounds off the anthology with a nice musing on how every human will spend time in each of the Endless’s realms.
P. Craig Russell uses light and bright colours for Sergei’s flashbacks nicely. I enjoyed how bleak present day Venice was. Milo Manara‘s art was sexy and featured a good Desire. Additionally being kinder than they are in the main Sandman series. Miguelanxo Prado‘s rendition of the galaxy palace and characters was a treat for the eyes. Barron Storey and Dave McKean‘s portraits of Despair were out of this world. As were Bill Sienkiewicz‘s pictures for Delirium’s story. Glenn Fabry‘s designs poignant given real world events. And Frank Quitely‘s aesthetics for Destiny’s story were gorgeous.
The Sandman: Endless Nights is one of those books that just comforts you. No matter where you are in your life. It’s also a beautifully written and illustrated mashup of the everyday and the fantastical. Buy this.
Check out our review of DC Showcase: Death here
Check out our review of A Study In Emerald here