Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Blood Brothers – Review & Summary
Written by Sorrosyss, October 14th, 2021
Translation from French by Azuu

Note: Non Spoiler Review, but a full Story Summary follows

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Blood Brothers is a manhua comic written by Feng Zisu that previously ran in the Chinese market, which has now received its initial translation into French via Mana Books. Beginning in 866 AD, the manhua covers the story of Jarl Stensson (or Sten) and the young brothers Ulf and Björn, as they become embroiled in the Viking invasion of England lead by Ivarr the Boneless and Halfdan Ragnarsson, who fans will recognise from the wider Valhalla game itself. Originally released as five chapters, the new release is a full collation of the story to the one book. The artwork is also completed by Feng Zisu, which has some pretty striking imagery in places, with some very brutal depictions of combat and violence throughout.

As a Viking tale the manhua gives a solid and relatable experience, but sadly most of the characters are really unlikeable. There is also very little here in terms of content relevant to Assassin's Creed as an IP. In that regard, it is difficult to recommend this to fans of the franchise unless you desperately crave more Viking stories. That being said, I would suggest watching the TV show “The Last Kingdom” instead, as it depicts a more detailed and thorough story of the events of the Battle of Ashdown than is briefly shown within the manhua.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Blood Brothers is available now in Chinese and French, from all good stockists. An English version has been produced by TOKYOPOP and is already available in digital format, while it will be available on paperback on October 12, 2021.


SPOILER TAG - Click here to unhide

Scandinavian Peninsula, 866 AD
Amidst the cold snows, a pack of wolves besets an English envoy. Overwhelmed by their numbers, he is rescued by a hail of arrows from the Viking Ulf, as well as the swinging axe of his brother Björn. The envoy reveals to them that he was sent by Ivarr the Boneless to recruit warriors to invade England. Amused by the weak foreigner, the brothers take him to see their chief, Sten, at a nearby village. After arguing over which of the brothers claimed the most wolf kills, the envoy introduces himself and offers the chief a gift of a golden cross to join the invasion.

The English Sea, 866 AD
The brothers Ulf and Björn sail across the sea to England, along with Sten in their search for glory. The chief regales them with a story of how he met Ragnar Lothbrok and helped with the invasion of Francia. 20 years later, he now helps his sons Ivarr and Halfdan to achieve the same result in England. He talks of how every Viking must value their weapon and their shield, as well as every man beside him, but to also be mindful of the elements.

East Anglia, England, 866 AD
Arriving at the Viking staging area, the group are shocked to find numerous warriors crucified upon crosses all around them. The envoy explains that these locals refused to submit to Ivarr's rule, and were thus killed in the same fashion as their Christian icon. The group finally arrives at the camp of Ivarr and Halfdan, who are delighted to see their uncle Sten. After requesting a hundred horses from
the East Anglian King Edmund, Ivarr demands that they all stay the night and enjoy his hospitality.

York Cathedral, Northumbria, England, November 1st, 866 AD
As night falls, the new Northumbrian King AElla is in the process of being coronated. Outside, two guards keep look out when they suddenly see the Viking horde lead by Ivarr rushing towards the city. As the Vikings sack the city, the brothers Ulf and Björn excel in the battle, especially the latter. With the Vikings swiftly successful in capturing the city, Ivarr is quick to praise Björn's prowess, offering him a gold armband, while he offers Ulf the former sword of Ragnar Lothbrok, an Ulfberth sword. Speaking to his gathered army, Ivarr suggests that they cannot raid forever because every time
the Vikings dilapidate all their raided gains in a very short time. He suggests that they instead stay and establish the land as their own.

Reading, Kingdom of Wessex, 871 AD
After several years of Viking success in battle, the so-called Pagan army had managed to usurp three of the English kings from their thrones. This just left the final King, Aethelred of Wessex, who engaged them in combat at Reading. Alongside his younger brother Alfred, realising that their forces were outnumbered, they elect to flee from the battle. The Vikings pursue the king to Ashdown. Realising he may flee again, the Viking split their army into two, attacking the Wessex forces on two fronts.
Believing they were winning the battle, the Vikings are shocked to see Alfred escape the battlefield as a second group of his brother's forces rain down upon them. With the Pagan Army trapped and routed, Sten is fatally wounded and dies in front of Ulf and Björn. After recovering his body and escaping, the brothers later place Sten on a funerary boat and push him out to sea. The invasion of England, for the moment, has seemingly stalled.

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