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The first volume of Heathen is the compilation of the first four issues of a stunning series about “a Viking warrior woman who conspires to end the tyrannical reign of the god-king Odin” (but there’s more to that). This was one of those books I was instantly drawn to. As a fan of Norse Mythology and anything Vikings related, it was impossible to be indifferent to the breathtaking cover art and compelling synopsis.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Contemporary Story Set In The Vikings Age
What I loved about this series, more than the setting which inspired it, was how all the topics and themes were so easily relatable and contemporary. Heathen was able to incorporate mythology and fantasy when delivering a heart-felt story led by a strong female warrior who, in her essence, could be any of us. Aydis’ narrative feels real, and so does her struggle, and this is why we’re so invested in her journey. As powerful as the source can be (specially if you love Norse Mythology like me), don’t get tricked into thinking that this is all this tale is about. In fact, Heathen feels very modern in the way it addresses certain issues and personal battles. By featuring a strong LGBT character against a truly epic backdrop, the volume does a great job with the parallelism and the translation from fantasy to real-life.
Characters Who Simply Feel…Real
The characters are pure and flawed in a way that makes them feel human – and that applies even to the non-human ones (Saga, Skull, Hati – I loved those)! They’re also complex, intriguing and overall, pretty badass. The female characters are amazingly portrayed, not an easy challenge when addressing nudity (beautiful artwork) and a sensual character such as Freyja.
Stunning Art That Speaks For Itself
I was very impressed with the art of Heathen as it has its very unique style. The colors, mostly neutrals with shades of brown, match the different moods through the narrative and the sketch-like characters are beautifully represented. The messy style matches the vibe and the crude setting, making Heathen stand out as the very unique piece of art it is.
Overall, I absolutely recommend Heathen, even if you have never read a graphic novel or anything Norse related before. If you’re looking for a LGBT story with a strong female lead that includes Vikings, Valkyries, Norse Mythology and an empowering message (I mean, who isn’t?), then look no further, Heathen is the next thing you’ll want to read.
To me, this is Platinum (5/5).
Portuguese geeky girl living in France. My first OS was Win 3.1 and Sony Playstation was officially the first console I’ve owned - of course that didn’t stop me from emulating SNES and GameBoy games, mostly RPGs. Roleplaying games were part of my childhood, they've expanded my horizons and made me start writing Fantasy too.