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Pushed to the brink of despair after his father attempted to have him killed, Prince Canute has experienced an awakening, transforming him from a timid, gentle boy into a clear-eyed man with the heart of a king. But a king needs a crown, and Canute now knows that nothing will be given to him. If he wants to rule, he will have to prove his ruthlessness with a plot that will Pushed to the brink of despair after his father attempted to have him killed, Prince Canute has experienced an awakening, transforming him from a timid, gentle boy into a clear-eyed man with the heart of a king. But a king needs a crown, and Canute now knows that nothing will be given to him. If he wants to rule, he will have to prove his ruthlessness with a plot that will change the fate of the kingdom and spatter the throne with blood! Meanwhile, Thorfinn watches events unfold that could steal away the vengeance he has waited so long to achieve...


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Pushed to the brink of despair after his father attempted to have him killed, Prince Canute has experienced an awakening, transforming him from a timid, gentle boy into a clear-eyed man with the heart of a king. But a king needs a crown, and Canute now knows that nothing will be given to him. If he wants to rule, he will have to prove his ruthlessness with a plot that will Pushed to the brink of despair after his father attempted to have him killed, Prince Canute has experienced an awakening, transforming him from a timid, gentle boy into a clear-eyed man with the heart of a king. But a king needs a crown, and Canute now knows that nothing will be given to him. If he wants to rule, he will have to prove his ruthlessness with a plot that will change the fate of the kingdom and spatter the throne with blood! Meanwhile, Thorfinn watches events unfold that could steal away the vengeance he has waited so long to achieve...

30 review for Vinland Saga, Volume 4: A King Is Born

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    The excellent Vinland Saga continues. After the startling events of the third volume-we are treated to an even more convoluted and twisted political mess in this superb volume. King Sweyn ,of Denmark and now a huge swath of England, had plans to have his son Harald as his heir. His dislike of Prince Canute causes him to try to have him killed off, but Cantue surprises everyone with his acts during volume 3. He returns to acclaim and then the politics begin. There are some huge surprises that I won The excellent Vinland Saga continues. After the startling events of the third volume-we are treated to an even more convoluted and twisted political mess in this superb volume. King Sweyn ,of Denmark and now a huge swath of England, had plans to have his son Harald as his heir. His dislike of Prince Canute causes him to try to have him killed off, but Cantue surprises everyone with his acts during volume 3. He returns to acclaim and then the politics begin. There are some huge surprises that I won't spoil (though they are historically based..so is it really a spoiler?)-but suffice it to say the end of this volume has Canute become King. I must say Askelaad, in the end, surprised me. His backstory gives him a more understandable basis for his attitude towards the Norse. His choice to help Canute was also quite a surprise. The entire bit of intrigue between Sweyn-Canute and Askelaad is excellent. I can see with the time frame (1014 as of this story) that this will eventually in future volumes lead to the Norman invasion by William. But that is for later. I am enjoying reading the adventures of Canute-the change in him is impressive. The start of the new storyline with Thorfinn is also very interesting. I would say more about it but that would be spoilers. This is one of the best of the volumes so far. It has a great mix of intelligent historical politics and wonderful action. I am looking forwards to more of this superb Manga. What can I say? I enjoy a nice, violent Viking tale. The manga take on it is also very interesting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    With an uneasy alliance between them, four of the survivors of the last volume enter the court of Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard in the occupied English town of York. The court intrigue is thick and the end results are bloody. And bloody good.

  3. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Well hot damn, shit is going down town...I mean down. Oh whatever, this shit is epic. So this starts with alot of plotting. The king is NOT happy his son arrived home safe. He was hoping the boy would have tied. However, the boy now has Thorfinn, Thorkell, and Askeladd. Things begin to heat up and then the ending, the last few chapters, are balls to the walls action. Betrayal, schemes, a big old "Fuck you motherfuckers" moments. So much craziness and ends on a quiet note that also leaves the ser Well hot damn, shit is going down town...I mean down. Oh whatever, this shit is epic. So this starts with alot of plotting. The king is NOT happy his son arrived home safe. He was hoping the boy would have tied. However, the boy now has Thorfinn, Thorkell, and Askeladd. Things begin to heat up and then the ending, the last few chapters, are balls to the walls action. Betrayal, schemes, a big old "Fuck you motherfuckers" moments. So much craziness and ends on a quiet note that also leaves the series going into a new direction. Good: The art is glorious. The fights flow so smooth at times that I only HOPE the anime is going to look as good as this. The plot twist are fucked up, some game of thrones level shit going on. The ending leaves the series in a whole new direction that I can't see how it'll turn around. Oh and Askeladd got his moment to shine like a mofo. Bad: Nothing really. This is amazing epic that should be read by any fan of Manga/viking/badass shit. This is a easy 5 out of 5.

  4. 5 out of 5

    RG

    Hands down one of the best mangas currently going.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    this volume has me s h o o k

  6. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    Good one! Big transition in the story! I'm a bit sad because it look like we lost some great characters, might see some of them in the future, but some are definitely lost forever. Good one! Big transition in the story! I'm a bit sad because it look like we lost some great characters, might see some of them in the future, but some are definitely lost forever.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Loz

    Each volume draws me in further. It's truly fantastic. Epic historical drama with stunningly detailed art and visceral violence. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment. Each volume draws me in further. It's truly fantastic. Epic historical drama with stunningly detailed art and visceral violence. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    Outstanding! I continue to say the same things volume after volume with this series. It is one of my highlights when a new volume is released. The art is just of such a high calibre that it is almost incomparable in manga circles: detailed, intricate, realistic, gorgeous. This is a pivotal book in the series with some plot conclusions and some turning points. I won't go into any details here as this is a major point in the story's plot but I will say there are some surprising deaths! The plot so Outstanding! I continue to say the same things volume after volume with this series. It is one of my highlights when a new volume is released. The art is just of such a high calibre that it is almost incomparable in manga circles: detailed, intricate, realistic, gorgeous. This is a pivotal book in the series with some plot conclusions and some turning points. I won't go into any details here as this is a major point in the story's plot but I will say there are some surprising deaths! The plot so far has been focused solely on two things, the Danish invasion of England and Thorfinn's revenge for his father's death. This was a fast-paced and exciting read. The ending leaves me entirely intrigued upon what direction the plot will now concentrate from this point on. A top-notch manga series for the serious reader.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill Borowski

    I've finally gotten past the anime and now everything past this point is all new. I expected this volume to end right when the anime does, but I was surprised to find out that it doesn't. There's an extra two chapters featuring a time jump, I have so many questions and I can't wait to continue reading. I've finally gotten past the anime and now everything past this point is all new. I expected this volume to end right when the anime does, but I was surprised to find out that it doesn't. There's an extra two chapters featuring a time jump, I have so many questions and I can't wait to continue reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This omnibus collects volumes 7 and 8 of Vinland Saga (as originally published). Vinland Saga is an intricate story that has been building to events in this collection. Don't start here - go back to the beginning. Rarely have I encountered an author so adept at yanking the rug out from under the reader. Yukimura's wonderfully layered viking epic reaches a crescendo late in this omnibus in a chapter intriguingly titled "End of the Prologue." Several assumptions regarding what the manga was about a This omnibus collects volumes 7 and 8 of Vinland Saga (as originally published). Vinland Saga is an intricate story that has been building to events in this collection. Don't start here - go back to the beginning. Rarely have I encountered an author so adept at yanking the rug out from under the reader. Yukimura's wonderfully layered viking epic reaches a crescendo late in this omnibus in a chapter intriguingly titled "End of the Prologue." Several assumptions regarding what the manga was about at its core and where it was going are upended in dramatic fashion as the political conflicts of Prince Canute and King Sweyn flare. The intrigue and action are perfectly balanced to drive the story and engage the reader without losing any momentum or impact. Harsh realities and brilliant twists lie in every chapter. Askeladd's schemes based around his uncanny ability to read people are particularly fascinating, and provide a tremendous anchor for major developments to branch out of. The omnibus ends with a new direction that looks to be every bit as riveting as what came before. Simply put - there hasn't been a single misstep in eight volumes of dense, powerful storytelling and I can't wait for more. Highest possible recommendation.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    I'm angry the book ended I'm angry the book ended This is one of the very best graphic novel tales I have ever read. it has a little something for everyone, and the story arcs are believable and engrossing. there is a little jumping around which can cause a little dusky reiteration, but over all this author is killing it. I cannot wait for the next book. I cannot recommend this series highly enough to those who appreciate fictionalized history or sci first fantasy stories. I would blindly read any I'm angry the book ended I'm angry the book ended This is one of the very best graphic novel tales I have ever read. it has a little something for everyone, and the story arcs are believable and engrossing. there is a little jumping around which can cause a little dusky reiteration, but over all this author is killing it. I cannot wait for the next book. I cannot recommend this series highly enough to those who appreciate fictionalized history or sci first fantasy stories. I would blindly read any other title from this author. he's earned it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Inkz

    If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that I would binge-read an Age of Vikings inspired manga as the world deal with a pandemic and hyperfixate on this story so much that I've actually picked up the pen to draw, I would most likely laugh at the prospect. *sips tea* Well, look at me now, huh? Honestly, this is the perfect time to binge-read this manga. Or watch the anime. Honestly, I don't care, everything about this series is just so beautiful. Like, literal chief's kiss, everyone. As mentioned If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that I would binge-read an Age of Vikings inspired manga as the world deal with a pandemic and hyperfixate on this story so much that I've actually picked up the pen to draw, I would most likely laugh at the prospect. *sips tea* Well, look at me now, huh? Honestly, this is the perfect time to binge-read this manga. Or watch the anime. Honestly, I don't care, everything about this series is just so beautiful. Like, literal chief's kiss, everyone. As mentioned before, Vinland Saga is set on (mostly) Northern Europe at the Viking era's gradual decline (if my memory serves me correctly, the Vikings ended around the Norma invasion of England, you know that invasion that has been beaten to death at literally every single history class I've been to), and focuses on our favorite gremlin child, Thorfinn. In short, Thorfinn joined Askeladd, fighting for the chance to duel him. Meanwhile, our other favorite (not gremlin) child, Canute, has finally left the nest and grown up, with his eyes set on the crown. Joining forces, they go from the frontlines of the brutal battlefields, to find themselves in the den of courtly intrigue. The real bloodshed begins. This is Volume 4, everyone. At this point, this is the "end of the prologue." The story is just beginning. Let me just say, that how this prologue concluded is just artfully done. Both narrative-wise and illustration-wise, it's just beautiful. Did I cry? Of course, I did. Who do you think I am? I did not just invest so much of my time in this one AMAZING character, just for me to be left utterly ruined. I'm excited to see what's in store for my two adopted sons. I'm most likely going to adopt some more, knowing me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ravenswan

    Another amazing volume, I'm so excited by how good this series is!! If only Vikings (the TV show) had a writer as good as Yukimura... I love how multidimensional all the characters are, even the side characters who only get a few pages in the whole book are really interesting. I'm also soooo impressed by the art, how in the midst of an action scene, Yukimura takes the care to perfectly render every link of chainmail! Speaking of chainmail, I'm enjoying the design of all the clothing and weaponry in Another amazing volume, I'm so excited by how good this series is!! If only Vikings (the TV show) had a writer as good as Yukimura... I love how multidimensional all the characters are, even the side characters who only get a few pages in the whole book are really interesting. I'm also soooo impressed by the art, how in the midst of an action scene, Yukimura takes the care to perfectly render every link of chainmail! Speaking of chainmail, I'm enjoying the design of all the clothing and weaponry in this book a lot (this is partly from a cosplayers p.o.v. you start looking at costume design in everything!) It's actually pretty historically accurate and I like that :-) Sadly not a lot of female characters in the story but that is true to the time the story is set, sadly women did not have a lot to do with war and politics, which is the focus of these books so far. Sadly, my favourite character won't be making any more appearances :-( He had a fantastic story arc though. Thorfinn is not the most sympathetic character, maybe he's more of a bridging character to link others together, or maybe he'll develop as the books continue? Can't wait until volume 5 arrives in my mailbox!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    George

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Things really pick up in this volume and this is essentially the end of the prologue. As a device I’m not sure how I feel about it, because it seems like this story is going to keep going, and as of this review it is still going. This is something I really don’t like about manga and comic books (but also television shows and long running series in general.) It seems as though the author doesn’t map out an ending point. I hope this is not the case for Yukimura. Hopefully the grand narrative of th Things really pick up in this volume and this is essentially the end of the prologue. As a device I’m not sure how I feel about it, because it seems like this story is going to keep going, and as of this review it is still going. This is something I really don’t like about manga and comic books (but also television shows and long running series in general.) It seems as though the author doesn’t map out an ending point. I hope this is not the case for Yukimura. Hopefully the grand narrative of the story has been mapped out and he’s just filling in the details. Regardless this volume slaps. Mainly for the subversion of the arc that dominates the beginning of the series. A traditional anime/manga revenge story is cut short by unforeseen circumstances and now the main character has lost all motivation, he now has to pivot somewhere else. It’s good to not have a godlike main character that can just do everything. Very refreshing in this genre of literature. This also ends with a little after where the anime finished. So going forward I’m completely blind. Hopefully it is worth the ride.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    My favourite volume of the series so far. There's a lot of plotting and counter-plotting here. There are some fights but not big battles, instead the emphasis is on political schemes. Prince Canute and Askeladd plan to overthrow king Sweyn. All that scheming is done very interestingly and peppered throughout are some personal moments for Thorfinn and Askeladd, so the story remains dynamic. The setting changes completely for a couple of last chapters though: Thorfinn is now a slave on a farm in De My favourite volume of the series so far. There's a lot of plotting and counter-plotting here. There are some fights but not big battles, instead the emphasis is on political schemes. Prince Canute and Askeladd plan to overthrow king Sweyn. All that scheming is done very interestingly and peppered throughout are some personal moments for Thorfinn and Askeladd, so the story remains dynamic. The setting changes completely for a couple of last chapters though: Thorfinn is now a slave on a farm in Denmark. I knew this change was gonna come, let's see how I'll like it when I continue reading the series... The characters are multi-faceted, except Thorfinn is still driven only by his revenge and is left in the background for big chunks of the volume. His character will probably get some new sides too when the setting is changed. Art is super detailed, especially when it comes to food or buildings or clothes and sometimes the more cartoony character designs feel slightly out of place but that's a minor complaint. I applaud the work that has gone into the details and research.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    Vinland Saga is incredible, and this is possibly the best volume yet. I'm gonna review the series as a whole so far because this one marks the end of the prologue. I watched the anime for this and didn't love it, and I'm not sure what illicit drugs I was on because holy shit I was wrong. In picking up the manga and reading it, I'm not sure what changed, but something clicked and I wholly love this series now. The characters are so well written (especially Askeladd wtf, he's so amazing while bein Vinland Saga is incredible, and this is possibly the best volume yet. I'm gonna review the series as a whole so far because this one marks the end of the prologue. I watched the anime for this and didn't love it, and I'm not sure what illicit drugs I was on because holy shit I was wrong. In picking up the manga and reading it, I'm not sure what changed, but something clicked and I wholly love this series now. The characters are so well written (especially Askeladd wtf, he's so amazing while being an awful person). The art is amazing too, and there's not much I can fault this series on. I would highly recommend Vinland Saga if you aren't too bothered by violence and gore (it's pretty rough), there's just so much to gain from the art, philosophy, and masterful character writing that make Vinland Saga tick. Prologue (volumes 1-4): 10/10

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ericka

    With the end of this volume, we finish the first arc of Thorfinn's journey. I liked the way that Yukimura worked in the Arthurian legend so that it felt realistic and plausible. I am sad that we probably won't see the Vikings again after this (at least, not Thorkell and the rest), but then again, Canute isn't done being king either. What a coronation, though... Overall, a great story. Looking forward to cracking into the next volume. With the end of this volume, we finish the first arc of Thorfinn's journey. I liked the way that Yukimura worked in the Arthurian legend so that it felt realistic and plausible. I am sad that we probably won't see the Vikings again after this (at least, not Thorkell and the rest), but then again, Canute isn't done being king either. What a coronation, though... Overall, a great story. Looking forward to cracking into the next volume.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eastham Erik

    Vinland Saga is based on actual events in 1000 AD involving the Viking invasion of England and in addition to fictional characters, does contains numerous historical figures during this era. A fun and fast read with action, comedy and true history lessons. Volume 4 brings the focus of the story to Prince Canute. Thorkell and Asklad in service of Prince Canute scheme and standby for a proper opportunity to overthrow King Sweyn. King Sweyn, being quite perceptive himself, in an attempt to befuddle Vinland Saga is based on actual events in 1000 AD involving the Viking invasion of England and in addition to fictional characters, does contains numerous historical figures during this era. A fun and fast read with action, comedy and true history lessons. Volume 4 brings the focus of the story to Prince Canute. Thorkell and Asklad in service of Prince Canute scheme and standby for a proper opportunity to overthrow King Sweyn. King Sweyn, being quite perceptive himself, in an attempt to befuddle Canute's cortege, specifically Asklad, forces Asklad to show his hand . . but to unfavorable results; results which may rob Thorfinn of his revenge. Yukimura proves great story telling can be found in human history; no doubt he spent hours upon hours in his studies for this series. His focus on true events and his fictional gap fills, sow together this epic saga that will have the reader quickly grabbing the next volume minutes after finishing the last. That being said, Volume 4 wraps up the initial the story quite well, leaving the reader a bit confused/interested as a jump in time has Thorfin working as a slave with no desire of escape, freedom or any expectation of a better life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kumasama

    *Score: 9/10* Most of this volume covers the ending arc of the anime, which was a highlight in the story. The last couple of chapters here provide a glimspe of the new arc, and it starts in a very positive way. Will be taking some break from the series now, but will definitely plan to return to it and read all the other volumes of this brilliant historical drama.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gavin McHugh

    The first slip from 5 star rating for this series for me. Goes heavy into the plot and lacks a bit of the impetus of the previous books. Saying that, however, it is still fantastic. Depicting the conquest of the Danes in England/Britain and all the machinations that come from the warring factions is a rich playground and they make the most of it. Absolutely loving it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bartosz

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Beautiful ending to the prologue of the story. The death of askellad while Thorfinn looking over him, the chance to avange his father being taken away from him. It all made me tear up a little. I'm glad I have the other volumes that are released right now, I wonder what's going to become of Thorfinn, which has been made a slave by prince, now king Canute since Thorfinn attacked him. Beautiful ending to the prologue of the story. The death of askellad while Thorfinn looking over him, the chance to avange his father being taken away from him. It all made me tear up a little. I'm glad I have the other volumes that are released right now, I wonder what's going to become of Thorfinn, which has been made a slave by prince, now king Canute since Thorfinn attacked him.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mal C

    I couldn't put it down! I had been curious about Askeladd ever since learning that he wasn't a Norseman. Learning more about his family, his motives, and his Homeland really made me like him more as a character. I'm extremely excited to see where the story goes from here. I couldn't put it down! I had been curious about Askeladd ever since learning that he wasn't a Norseman. Learning more about his family, his motives, and his Homeland really made me like him more as a character. I'm extremely excited to see where the story goes from here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zachary

    Vinland Saga's first major story arc comes to a stunning conclusion and a new chapter in Thorfinn's life begins. Vinland Saga continues it's streak of strong characters and a swift, gripping narrative. Highly recommended. Vinland Saga's first major story arc comes to a stunning conclusion and a new chapter in Thorfinn's life begins. Vinland Saga continues it's streak of strong characters and a swift, gripping narrative. Highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hudder

    Often deaths of significant characters are overdone or melodramatic. There is one here that just feels right. Unfortunately, I will miss that character as one of the drivers of the political. I wonder who will step up?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Eight volumes, over 1500 pages of story, and still just as engaging and compelling as the first page in the first volume. Keeping such a sprawling epic like this consistently good with no filler is damn impressive. Quickly becoming one of my favorite manga ever.

  26. 4 out of 5

    M.D. Williams

    Masterful storytelling at it's finest. I am such a fan of this series. And now that I've finally caught up with where the anime lets off, I can't wait to explore this historical fictional world! Masterful storytelling at it's finest. I am such a fan of this series. And now that I've finally caught up with where the anime lets off, I can't wait to explore this historical fictional world!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter Wesolowski

    I never saw it coming is all I can say. Story was great and the art continues to impress. I did not see the story going this direction, but it was well done and worth the read. If you have read the other omnibus editions, then you have to read this one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andy Calhoun

    Hot DAMN good as always. It’s interesting to see the differences between the anime and the manga. I’m kind of surprised that Thorfinn is pushed to the side during the last chapter, but I don’t know if that’s the new normal or not. Excited to see what happens next at least.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dorkthropology

    The big change-up. I don't think I appreciated how fascinating Askeladd was the first time through. The big change-up. I don't think I appreciated how fascinating Askeladd was the first time through.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donniesands

    Such fantastic characters. Thorfinn really takes a backseat in this volume in my opinion but gives way to put prince Canute and askeladd at the center. So epic.

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