Warriors of Honour – Oxford University Press

65 pages of classic Icelandic sagas rewritten by Brynhildur Thórarinsdóttir.

34 greyscale spreads plus full colour cover – all of which are 100% digital.

Warriors of Honour, published May 2016 by Oxford University Press, is part of their ‘Greatest Stories Ever Told’ series, curated by Michael Morpurgo, and as the series name suggests, draws out some of the most famous and dramatic stories, from Moby Dick to the Snow Queen.

In Warriors of Honour,  Brynhildur has brought together three of the Icelandic Sagas most famous protagonists – all of whom were real historical figures, the most notable of which is perhaps Egill Skallagrímsson.

Egill arguably epitomises the character of Iceland’s early Viking settlers, gaining fame in equal measure as a farmer, poet and warrior. He started early though: he was already famous around the long-fires for his freestyle spoken poetry at the age of three, and by the age of seven he’s already split a boy’s head “down to the teeth” with an axe for cheating him in a game – and gotten away with it.

When I was three my greatest achievement was trying bubble gum for the first time, and at seven I’d just about perfected getting my Action Man to grip on to the pebble dashed exterior of our council house so I could chuck mud clods at him. I’m just saying…

Anyway, it’s not all Egill, Egill, Egill (much as he’d probably appreciate it); there’s also the fateful love story of the beautiful Hallegerdur, who raises a daughter alone and builds their homestead, while growing her hair so long it can wrap around her body twice. When she finally does fall in love, he’s pretty awesome so she falls hard; but she can’t escape her own flaws and she leads their love to a disastrous end.

And finally there’s the story of the hero Olafur Peacock, son of a chieftain and a melancholy Irish slave, whose inner beauty and grace eventually betray her own royal past. As Olafur seeks to make sense of his past, he’ll come to command sixty men and a prestigious dragon boat – while still in his teens.

Bloody over-achievers.

Spreads
56-spreadwbleed_commander-olafur

Olafur Peacock, commander of his very own dragon boat and sixty men at just 18 years old.

burningy

Roughs

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