Celtic Warrior: The Legend of Cu Chulainn by Will Sliney
|Celtic Warrior: The Legend of Cu Chulainn by Will Sliney|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Beautifully illustrated take on a classic, but not particularly well-known, tale. Well worth a look!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: April 2013|
|Publisher: O'Brien Press|
Queen Maeve wants the Brown Bull of Cooley and the lands of Ulster. With an army of 10,000 men, she marches to try to take them by force. The only man who stands between her and her goal is Cú Chulainn, the legendary hero. Can he save his country from the evil enchantress?
I had a very hazy recollection of having heard of Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster, before reading this, but didn't know any of the details. It's a tragic tale - on the opening couple of pages, we're shown the dying Cú Chulainn swearing that his land shall not be conquered, before we're taken back 40 days to show us how we got to this point. The writing is good and a quick check of various sources shows that Will Sliney has stayed faithful to the original legend. Interestingly, a large part of it follows the villains rather than the hero, as the main story sees Maeve's army make their way to a showdown to Cú Chulainn, who we mostly see in flashbacks until close to the end of the book.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as Sliney is better known as an artist than a writer - currently receiving lots of praise for his run on Marvel's Fearless Defenders - it's the art that really lifts the book to a recommendation for me. Full of tough heroes with bulging biceps, an otherworldly villainness in Maeve, and great backgrounds - I particularly like the storm scenes - it's a beautifully illustrated work. Interspersed with the main story, we get flashbacks to earlier times in the life of the Hound of Ulster. These parts are in sepia, and compared to the full, rich colours of the main story, they aren't quite as much to my tastes, but are definitely well-drawn.
Overall, this is an interesting treatment of a tale which I'd imagine is unfamiliar to the majority of non-Irish readers, and I'd definitely suggest it's worth taking a look at! Will Sliney recently announced that Celtic Warrior is slated to be a trilogy, each featuring a different legend, and I'm certainly looking forward to the second and third in the series.
If you're not sure what to read next, why not check out The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels by Danny Fingeroth which has lots of recommendations for fabulous reads.
This review was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah
You can read more book reviews or buy Celtic Warrior: The Legend of Cu Chulainn by Will Sliney at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Celtic Warrior: The Legend of Cu Chulainn by Will Sliney at Amazon.com.
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