- Written by: Cavan Scott
- Art by: Martín Túnica
- Colours by: Michael Atiyeh
- Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
- Cover by: Karl Kopinski
I have been a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed since it’s beginnings in 2007, when the first game was released, and I have loved every game since no matter what changes were made to plot, mechanics etc. I just love playing the games, and when I learned that there was going to be a game set within the Viking Era of history, giving us control of a powerful Viking warrior and allowing us to raid England etc. I fell in love instantly.
I fully completed Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla within the first week and half of its release, putting in around 150 hours in order to complete absolutely everything within the game including getting that platinum Playstation trophy for the game. Since then, I have been reading other Valhalla and Viking-related media so when I heard there was a comic prequel to the game coming out, I pre-ordered the collected edition as soon as I could. I’ve now read the book and really enjoyed it, so here is my review of it!
Since becoming a fierce Drengr, Eivor Wolf-Kissed has never been one to sit by and avoid a fight, so when she and her clan witness a village in Rygjafylke under attack from Kjotve’s men, despite her clansmen’s attempts to dissuade her from doing so, Eivor gets involved and storms in to defend the village, albeit to gain their alliance for her own clan. However, nothing is so simple in the life of a Viking, as her actions will unfold a series of events that will put Eivor’s loyalty to the test, as she learns of a hidden treasure somewhere in the mountains.
Meanwhile, in the East, Eivor’s brother Sigurd seeks a different treasure in the form of steel. During his journey, he runs into troubles of his own and learns a great deal more than he expected to. After news of his presence reaches a stranger in a white hood, it seems someone has use for a Dane in the east, which will lead us back to what we have learned from the video game (if you’ve played it that is) .
The story and writing in the book fits almost perfectly into what we know from the game. I was super happy to see that they made Eivor female, since this is her canon gender and I don’t think some people appreciate how much that means to have a female lead in a role such as this. Vikings are always portrayed by big bearded buff dudes, which of course helps portray their famous ferocity and the image we most associate with the era, but a female lead gives us just as much ferocity and brings us a character that portrays female empowerment which is long overdue, especially in the Assassin’s Creed universe, and more especially considering the current situations with Ubisoft as a company.
However, there has been a lot of questions from this book that I think have remained unanswered, involving two pieces of Eden as well as a further telling of Sigurd’s story as it leaves it just before Basim meets up with him. Of course there is a lot of dialogue within the game that fills in some of the blanks about Basim and Sigurd meeting, but I would love too see more comics that follow on from Song of Glory in order to show us what exactly happened in their time together in the East before they return home.
One aspect I did also enjoy which won’t spoil too much from the game, if you haven’t played it, is the question put to Eivor by a seer, asking whose soul she hides, and this particular image below gives a great portrayal at the deeper story of Valhalla.
The art helps bring out the designs of the characters and settings, with the heavy use of thick lines that outline each aspect of the characters, making them stand out from their backgrounds and ensuring that everything is clear to see.
There is plenty of violent scenes in the story which are brought to life with fantastic art and colour schemes, which make the reds pop out of the page, to let you know that particular moments are bloody, portraying the savagery that Vikings are famed for throughout history. It also matches the game’s themes of violence and unique designs as well as being somewhat reminiscent of the game’s violent finisher moves that you are able to execute when an enemy is low on health.
This is nice quick prequel companion to the game, but as mentioned previously there are certainly some unanswered questions and I would love to see more of the story told for both Eivor and Sigurd, as we get to see Eivor’s morals brought to light through her choices and aspirations, whilst with Sigurd, we get to see his skill as a warrior and if there was more stories told, we could explore more of his character as a leader, since we don’t get to spend as much time as I’d have liked in the game since he was always running off with Basim.
The book is fast paced and full of action from start to finish to fit with what a reader such as myself would want from a comic involving Vikings.