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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Book 3
Blood in the Snow


Author: Brian Wood
Artists: Dean Ormston, Vasils Lolos, Danijel Zezelj and Davide Gianfelice
Titan Books
RRP: £10.99, US $14.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 558 6
Available 28 May 2010

With this collection of Northlanders short stories, writer Brian Wood continues his redefinition of the Norse sagas, seamlessly blending historical details with a modern sensibility...

Northlanders: Book 3 - Blood in the Snow collects together issues #9, 10, 17-20 of the Northlanders comic book series. This is not going to be a book that is enjoyed by the majority of the comic buying public. In fact, I'm not overly sure that this is a collection I'd really be interested in exploring further.

My main problem with a lot of the tales is that they are either too preachy, pretend to have more depth than they actually do, or are a little too cliched.

In Lindisfarne, a small Christian boy in the infamous coastal village witnesses the Viking invasion firsthand, and is torn between his brutal and pious father and the mythic pagan warriors from the old stories.

With The Viking Art of Single Combat, Wood blends a simple narrative of two warriors fighting a duel with an acerbic overview of Viking warfare and tactics, technical details and philosophical observations on the very nature of war, conscription, collateral damage and post-traumatic stress.

The Shield Maidens peels back the layers on the role of women in early Middle Ages as three widowed Danish women face down an invading Saxon army, in a story of bouncing back from loss and finding a new life against impossible odds.

Sven the Immortal revisits the original Northlanders character Sven of Orkney, some twenty years into the future. Now an old man with a loving family, he comes brutally face-to-face with his own mythology as a group of mercenaries comes to hunt down the legendary warrior.

While this collection is worth a quick flick through, I think most mature readers will take very little away from it.


Darren Rea

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