Hah! I knew I couldn’t be imagining things when I read about Neelgaimon in Children of the Jedi! (Although I didn’t catch the sandmine/sandman thing. Probably because I’m not a big fan of Barbara Hambly’s writing style. >_> It seems like not only is she telling too much, but she’s showing too much as well. [I don’t necessarily believe one should show over tell or vice versa, just whichever one works best for the situation.] No wonder it’s taking me so long to get through the book.)
Then earlier, when reading InterWorld, I was reminded of Ender’s Game/Shadow. I don’t remember if it was the school, or the Nowhere-at-All and flying/falling (down). Then there’s also a character named Jai. heh.