This is my first graphic novel from the Sandman library and the first volume in the highly successful, benchmark (that is what I heard) series. I guess, as the title suggests, that this acts as a introductory piece to the long forgotten DC character, The Sandman, the Lord of Dreams. The introduction to the novel crows that it also marks the maturity of a talented writer sculpting supernatural, compelling characters and storylines.
Honestly, I am not a comic fan, saved from bits and pieces of Japanese mangas, the likes of Dragon Balls (Wukong and company were hell cute as kids) and City Hunter. But in many ways, the Sandman series is more adult and profound, thus the term "graphic novel" I think. Neil Gaiman is a master in his own right, that simple fairy-tale-like prose shining through.
Preludes and Nocturnes has a golden touch of fantasy, stretching the imagination in Dream (as Sandman is called in the novel, along with the other "Endless" like Death and Desire) being captured and imprisoned by some mere mortals hungry for powers, only to take the reader through a quest for his lost kingdom.