Assassin's Creed. Valhalla. The Geirmund saga review

Assassin's Creed. Valhalla. The Geirmund saga review
Gamers are also readers, and vice versa. A truly atomic fusion, when it comes to discovering further details of the world of the titles that we are most passionate about, just like it happens when a video game manages to expand outside the consoles. In fact, if the main videogame sagas boast several ancillary and extra-diegetic titles, we cannot fail to mention that of the most famous Assassins in the world, which has just expanded with the new Assassin's Creed Valhalla. With regard to this latest title, the novel Assassin's Creed was published. Valhalla. The Geirmund saga that takes up the history of the video game of the same name, acting as a prequel to the Ubisoft title, and was written by the father of many other books inspired by this world, Matthew J. Kirby. We have read the novel for you, published by Sperling & Kupfer and with an in-depth and compelling narrative in over 350 pages.

Assassin's Creed. Valhalla. The saga of Geirmund and the Norway of yesteryear

This brand new novel connects directly to the events of the aforementioned video game, and here fans will recognize the author's signature precisely by virtue of his previous works dedicated to Abstergo and his Assassins, most notably because of the three-novel series The Last Descendants. On this occasion we retrace the story of Geirmund Hjörrsson, or Hel-hide as he was more commonly nicknamed. Born to a mother from Bjarmaland (northern Russia area), his darker complexion than the rest of the population distinguishes him from the rest of the people, starting with his own father.

IX century. His journey, and ours, therefore begins in Norway, in the same place and time as the video game, as is normal. In fact, the latter is a work whose references are obvious, precisely because we are going to recover and expand this universe of the saga, as anticipated. Our hero Geirmund, however, finds himself seeking his fortune outside of Norway, as he is frustrated by the excessive tranquility in which his family forces him to live and is aware of the fact that his older brother Hámund is destined to inherit all the wealth and the glory of the blood of his blood.

We have in our hands a book that tells in great detail and with an absolutely fluid narrative a story of brotherhood, of blood ties that do not always unite us as we would like, of hunting and war, with others and with themselves. Hámund's illness after the hunt with which the book opens leads Geirmund to ask his friends Steinólfur and Skjalgi for fortuitous help, and it is also decided that Egil will take Hámund home, to King Hjörr's hall. Geirmund is ready to defend his brother's honor, despite the fact that he could have decided to abandon him to his fate and thus take on an already heavy burden.

But the roads are endless and his friend Skjalgi mentions him of a certain Dane, Guthrum, who is rallying men under the banner of the Danish King Bersi to join Halfdan Ragnarsson's army and conquer the Saxon lands.

After discovering the future of his loved ones through the seer Yrsa , whose details we do not reveal, Geirmund introduces himself to the king's daughter, Eivor (yes, she appears here in a female version), who is not the true daughter of Styrbjorn. In fact, his biological father had been killed by Kjötve, king of the Egðir, in the past. She also informs him of an impending war waged by King Harald of Sogn to the north and King Eirik of Hordaland, a news that teases Geirmund to want even more of his crew for a ship.

A journey far from the roots, in search of himself

Needless to say, the hero leaves everything behind, or so he would like to do, leaving for England and exploring the areas ranging from Jorvik (York) to to the south coast of Dorset. The adventure in this new part of the world takes on clearly fantasy connotations, without ever forgetting the origins and the deep ancestral bond that our heroes have with the fame of an Assassin. This gives us to understand that there is no shortage of painful but necessary killings, secrets and magic that will have a clear meaning only in retrospect, mysteries that will only be revealed as we proceed in the narrative.

A really interesting story and worthy of being read not only by those who have already had the opportunity to take possession of the latest chapter of the Ubisoft saga, but also for those who appreciate and know the world of Assassin's Creed or more generically are looking for an exciting story, set in times distant from ours. A perfect opportunity to escape and forget what surrounds us, traveling with the mind where one could not physically go now.

It goes without saying that Matthew J. Kirby's signature is certainly important, not only for his previous experience with the adventures of the Assassins in previous novels, but also because it confirms once again its ability to involve the reader in a unique dimension. The characters, the situations, the moods are all accurately described, giving life to a story that takes shape before our eyes as if by magic.

In conclusion

The places that we got to discover in the course of our reading they are close to those discovered in the role of Eivor (this time in a male version) during the original adventure. The glimpses of the English and Viking lands are represented perfectly and very faithfully in this novel. We can say the same about the representation of the characters, and of the protagonist in particular.

Assassin's Creed. Valhalla. The Geirmund saga is a story of other times, but for which it is always worth finding time to read it and sink into the snows of the far North, as well as embark on the icy waters of the seas that divide distant territories, but able to warm the heart of fantasy fans, of all ages and whether they are fans of the Assassin's Creed saga or not. A title therefore, once again, sincerely recommended.

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