Vinland Saga Volume 1: For Honor and Vengeance
Author & Illustrator: Makoto Yukimura
2021 Reading Challenge: This is book 22 for the year.
I read this on the Comixology app on my iPad Pro through the Comixology Unlimited service.
Synopsis and Setting
This is a manga that takes place in 1013 A.D. and is geographically set in Iceland, England, and in the waters in between. Our main character, Thorfinn, is a boy who was taken by a raiding band after his father was killed. Thorfinn is filled with anger and wants nothing but to avenge his father’s death. To do this, he must kill Askeladd, the leader of the band that he was taken by. Askeladd lost a duel to Thorfinns’ father but had him killed anyway.
Did I like it?
Yes, I really did. I am not a huge reader of manga, so I do not have a lot of experience with the genre. I think this might have been the third manga that I have ever read. What I really liked is that it felt rooted in historical reality. There was no magic or superpowers or alien robots. These were just normal people, living normal lives, in very cold and hostile conditions. The story itself is excellent and has a real “epic” feeling to it. I am sure that the world will grow far beyond what we saw in volume 1.
Could you read with the kids?
Overall, I would say yes. It is a bit violent, due to the setting and you know, VIKINGS. But it is not an egregious amount. I would feel safe saying age 12 or up.
My Favorite Character
Thors, the father of Thorfinn. A really good, decent man that wasn’t always a good and decent man. His transformation is covered in this volume and it is quite touching.
Swords, guns, or lasers?
Swords. And also spears, poleaxes, bows and arrows, and Viking longships. Oh my!
What was something annoying about the book?
The two main characters, Thorfinn and Askeladd, felt a bit one-dimensional to me but they were interesting enough that I will continue reading, just to see where they go from here. Askeladd seems to he take nothing seriously and Thorfinn is just a lot of rage. Not much depth to them yet.
Any villainous villains?
Yes. The chieftain from a neighboring village who was named Halfdan, it a very villainous villain. He was a slave owner that ruled over his slaves with an iron chain, literally.
This was a good start to what other reviewers say is an excellent series. I am looking forward to seeing Thorfinn grow up and learning more about what lies behind that constant smirk of Askeladd.