-Vinland Saga, book 1
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.