Thanks to everyone who's picked up Vinland Saga Book One! We've received some fantastic feedback on the first volume. Acclaimed comics creator Faith Erin Hicks even sent us a blurb to be used on Book Two! Here's what she wrote:
I was really excited to read this. I really enjoyed Planetes (which is sadly out of print) by the same author, and even tried to get Vinland Saga in French, thinking it'd never make its way over to the English market. Thankfully it did, and I wasn't disappointed. Most of this volume (which is actually volumes 1 & 2, so extra value) is in flashback to the childhood of Thorfinn, and the knowledge of what happens in that flashback hangs over the entire book. The art is gorgeous, a combination of beautiful cartooning and realistic backgrounds. Yukimura is also a master of pacing, both in frenetic battle scenes and charged emotional moments.
I haven't had a regular manga series to follow since 20th Century Boys wrapped up; I'm thrilled Vinland Saga lived up to my expectations, and I'm really looking forward to following it. Next volume is out in January.
If you're not familiar with her work, Faith is an incredible artist whose most recent books are The Last of Us: American Dreams, based on the video game, and the awesome and hilarious Adventures of a Superhero Girl. Check them out!
Reviews have also poured in from across the Web. Here's a quick sampling:
"I can't imagine my life being complete without having read this… Gripping doesn't begin to describe Vinland Saga. 5 stars." – ICv2 (Full review)
"A deeply engrossing book. Part shounen adventure, part historical drama, it strives to explain the past while allowing its readers to live it… If you have any interest at all in Vikings, the Medieval period, or pirates, this is not a series you want to miss. Grade A-." – Anime News Network (Full review)
"[Yukimura] has quickly become one of my favorite manga writer-artists… The potential for character development is excellent and I’m completely invested in the story and setting. Highly recommended. Grade A+." – Fandom Post (Full review)
"While there’s plenty of adventure and action in Vinland Saga, what stands out to me more are the human elements that Yukimura focuses on so well." – Manga Report (Full review)
"For those who love Berserk, you’ll love this too… This is not going to be a cheery romp, but it’s gripping stuff, and incredibly hard to put down… Worth the long wait." – A Case Suitable for Treatment (Full review)
"I didn’t think that I had any interest in Viking tales, but now I’m upset with myself for reading it so quickly since it will be a while before volume 2 is available. Don’t hesitate—if you like a good story, pick this one up." – Reflecting Lights (Full review)
Sounds pretty unanimous to me! So if you've been hesitating, now is the perfect time to pick up Book One in print or digital on Kindle, Nook, or iBookstore!
But if you've already got your copy, you might have noticed something on the last page. It's a circular design with a knotted snake in the center and what looks like writing around the edges. Next to it was a Web address. If you punched in that address, you got a fun introduction to one of our Vinland Saga Easter eggs!
Yes, those letters are runes, and yes, we left a space for you to add your name to the book in the ancient Norse script, just like a Viking would! We've already had a few takers, including one for whom this brought back major memories.
Around 10-11 years ago when I was in Primary School (Elementary to you, I think) part of my school's history curriculum was on the Vikings and it was something that I was very fond of and quite fascinated with back then.
I was taken on a school trip to a museum here in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England which I had all but forgotten about until I looked at your 'rune table'. I was suddenly flooded with memories of that day, specifically when we were shown/taught how to write our names using said runes. I remember trying over and over again to make it look perfect and I actually found myself doing the same before I wrote it in the book tonight. I also remember how proud I was with myself showing my work to my mother when I got home and that night and many nights after I was constantly stringing together sentences using the same system, so there's probably boat loads (eyyy!) of scribbles of mine buried away somewhere.
I feel so ridiculously happy with all of the things I'm suddenly remembering and I have goosebumps like a mofo. It's little things like this which make me that much happier about buying manga, so thank you, thank you, thank you x 1,000,000 for what you do and now I'm even more excited to own the rest of Vinland Saga!
So yes, here is my attempt! Competition or not I just think it's bloody brilliant.
We agree, and we'll be sending you a free copy of Vinland Saga Book Two!
Now that the tag's out of the bag, we're hoping to see a lot more attempts (e-mail them to email@example.com). But don't worry, we're not giving it all away – this isn't the only extra hidden in the book design. There are more out there for the particularly adventurous… and if you're reading a manga about Vikings, you'd better be adventurous!