Reflection: Vinland Saga, book 1


Vinland Saga book 1


-Vinland Saga, book 1

                -Makoto Yukimura

                                -Kodansha Comics


After the opening chapter of the series (discussed in previous posting) the storyline takes us back in time to Thorfinn’s childhood in Greenland. Thorfinn’s background story is built up throughout the rest of this volume and several family secrets are revealed. Importantly the murder of his father at the hands of Askeladd is presented, giving an insight into Thorfinn’s yarning to murder this father’s killer. The story of the unknown land to the West, Vinland, is also presented to the reader through the stories told by Leif Ericson.


The artwork in Vinland Saga is truly fantastic. I know I say that about a lot of manga series, but I have to rank Makoto Yukimura’s artwork in Vinland Saga right up there with Takashi Obata (hands down my favourite manga illustrator). The settings and the movements of the characters are so well presented that the reader can see the action so clearly. Graphic images reflect the story so well and at no point does Yukimura shy away from drawing exactly what is happening. I was actually surprised to find within the very first pages people being shot in the eyes by arrows and decapitations.


I’m excited to continue reading this series and am so happy that I bought the first four books all at once. I really hope to see the series continue for a long time to come and with fourteen volumes released so far in Japan, it probably will. As the series progresses I really want to see Thorfinn defeat Askeladd and become more established in Viking society. Throughout this volume we hear stories about great warriors known by all Vikings, and I hope that as the story develops Thorfinn will become one of these legends.  


I’m going to read the second volume right away so look out for the reflection on that within a couple days.





  1. Hey Turtle! I picked up this title after reading your post on it and really enjoyed it too. That first chapter established an awesome energy and pace. Like you’ve said, the art is refreshingly realistic, especially in the action scenes. Not being that well versed on Viking history this series has been pretty educational as well, finding out about the various settlements where Vikings lived and their lifestyles. The only criticism I have is that the subsequent chapters in the first volume didn’t keep up pace with the first one but I’m guessing that’ll be made up in subsequent volumes. Great post again and I’ll be looking forward to your future ones on Vinland Saga!

    • Hey James, Thanks again. The first volume did kind of dwindle away from how it set out, but I really enjoyed the background story into what happened to Thorfinn’s father. I’m halfway through book two now, and yes it really does pick up and become for more intense. Still abit of standing around talking, but as soon as Thorfinn becomes involved you know right away that your in for a really good fight scene.

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