Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Book Review: Northlanders Vol. 01 - Sven The Returned

The Viking Age seems to be an era that would be rife for storytelling opportunities but other than Last Light Of The Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay I can't think of another book I've read on the subject. That is until I read Northlanders Vol. 01: Sven The Returned written by Brian Wood and art by David Gianfelice.

The plot of the story follows the familiar tale of the prodigal son. In this book Sven returns from his long self imposed exile as a soldier in the Mediterranean to his home village to claim his inheritance. His father was the chief of the clan and now his uncle rules using violence and superstition to keep the villagers in check.

When we first encounter Sven he doesn't care for anything but his money. He just wants to collect on his inheritance and return to his life in the Mediterranean. Of course it would be a pretty boring story if his uncle just handed over the money. Because of his uncle's lust for power he cannot fathom that Sven would renounce his claim on the leadership of the clan and throws many obstacles in his way. These challenges only succeed in having Sven grow up as a person and a leader.

Gianfelice art is spot on for this book. It's grim and dirty when it needs to be but also clean and beautiful as well.

The most common way I've heard this book described is Vikings Done Right! and that is a sentiment I couldn't agree more with.

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