Reflection: Vinland Saga, book 2

Vinland Saga book 2

-Vinland Saga, book 2

-Makoto Yukimura

-Kodansha Comics

Book two of this series starts off just as awesome as the first book did. A Viking Army led by King Sweyn of Denmark has been laying siege to England. Attention has turned to taking down the fortified city of London who’s army is led by the traitor Thorkell. Askeladd’s band is part of the attacking force and sends Thorfinn to down Thorkell. The pair have an intense battle but just as Thorfinn takes the upper hand the Vikings are called back from their attack and Thorkell vows to finish their battle on another day.

With the winter fast approaching most of the Nordics start to make their way north back to the Nordic controlled territories in Northern England. A few hundred remain, under the control Prince Canute, around London to prevent reinforcements from arriving to help the English. Thorkell will not be held for long though and quickly the English army capture the Danish prince and set out on pursuit of the migrating Viking army. Hearing of the capture of the prince Askeladd decides to take matters into his own hands to rescue the prince and be awarded by King Sweyn. With the Prince now with Askeladds band Thorkell grows angry and a hunt begins as the small Viking force attempts to flee through Wales and reach the Nordic territory in the North.

Book two is really tense with several really good battle scenes, but there are also a fair few stand offs which slow the pace of the story own. As with the first book, the action does fade a little throughout, however, it still holds the readers as we slowly learn the intentions all of the sides in the battle and negotiations commence between them.

A note must also be made for the quality of these books as well. I’m reading the hand cover publications which include two volumes of the series in each one. The paper is of the best quality and the books themselves are absolutely beautiful to look at. If you are considering buying this series, these hardcover editions are the way to go.


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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.



First Impression: Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura

Vinland Saga
After reading the first chapter of Vinland Saga I turned to my girlfriends and just said “This is fucking awesome.” That’s all I could really think after my first read and now the next morning, I’m still feeling the exact same.

The first chapter of Vinland saga takes the reading to the eleventh century Frankish Kingdom where two forces are battling to take control of a coastal fortress. From a distance the main character Thorfinn is watching with a group of Vikings led by Askeladd. Askeladd decides that they will assist the attackers and sends Thorfinn to meet with their commander to give their conditions. Thorfinn explains that they will attack by sea while they take their main force through the front of the fortress’ wall. Adamant that it is impossible to take a ship up the rivers the commander reluctantly accepts the terms of the Vikings to prevent them fighting against him.

Soon after the battle resumes the following morning, Askeladd and his men appear over the nearby mountain carrying their ships. They run down the slopes to the sea and launch the ships. Now able to attack the fortress on two sides the defenders forces are split and soon the Vikings burst through the walls and raid the treasury before the Franks even know they have entered.

The chapter ends with Thorfinn presenting the head of the commander of the defeated army to Askeladd. By killing the commander, Thorfinn mets to terms given to him in order to challenge Askeladd to a battle to avenge his father’s death.

I’ve been really excited to start reading Vinland Saga, and the first chapter has not at all let me down. Makoto Yukimura has really pulled off an amazing series here, and I know I will be reading this until the very end.

As a side, I flipped to the back of the volume to see what manga is being advertised. After all the adverts, I found a page with a comment saying ‘Creator Makoto Yukimura received a Kodansha Manga Awrd for Vinland Saga. He decided to accept the award in style.’ The pictures on the page are of Yukimura at the award ceremony, in full armour with a battle axe and a shield. Just thought I would share that as well as being a great mangaka, He is also a fucking legend.


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