Step Into the Cutthroat World of Vikings in “Vinland Saga”

Step Into the Cutthroat World of Vikings in “Vinland Saga”

Author Makoto Yukimura’s stunning series Vinland Saga combines elements of history with gorgeous artwork to create a thoroughly enjoyable manga series. The Vineland Saga follows King Canute the Great’s rise to power as well as a revenge plot centered on Thorfinn, who is seeking justice for his murdered father.  Set in England during the eleventh century when the Danes controlled the country, there’s just enough fantasy and juicy historical tidbits mixed in to keep readers going until the very last page.

Although it may seem like the graphic novel version of Lord of the Rings, the Vinland Saga is actually quite dark. Later on in the story, Canute is haunted by visions of his father King Sweyn’s disembodied head, which accuses his son of poisoning his brother. There’s also the disturbing dreams that haunt Thorfinn, especially when his old foe Askeladd shows up and torments him with images of those he’s slain, warning the now-enslaved warrior that it’s not too late for him to become a “real” warrior like his father.

The Vinland Saga, much like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, is brutally honest to its readers and does not paint a romanticized image of medieval times. Readers will get a chance to see how many of the Nordic people lived as slaves and the trials and tribulations of the common folk. Despite its bleak realism, Vinland Saga is a thrilling ride through the world of the Vikings that’s both unpredictable and enthralling.

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