I recently read Gail Simone and Walter Geovanni’s graphic novel Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of Plagues and really liked the whole concept, especially how the team turned Sonja from a teenage boy’s chainmail bikini fantasy into a realistic warrior, who just happened to also be an alluring and scantily clad beauty. So when I saw this graphic novel, I really looked forward to reading it, especially since Peter V. Brett had penned this story and I had heard people rave about his fantasy works. Unfortunately, after finishing this tale, all I can say is that Red Sonja: Unchained did not live up to the Simone/Geovanni version and is, at best, just a decent sword and sorcery story.
Here Peter Brett pens an adventure focusing on Sonja rescuing a young man from the clutches of a foul sorcerer in order to get a reward from his mother. Within a few pages, Sonja encounters this nefarious magic user and a demon he has called into the world, beats them down quickly and rescues the enslaved youth from certain death. Afterwards, the young man becomes smitten with his red-haired rescuer and will not take “no” for an answer to his constant romantic propositions. A situation that puts our constantly drunk Sonja on edge. Naturally, there are also supernatural hijinks going on behind the scene, which our red-haired heroine slowly discovers and has to try to deal with. However, even with all this setup by Brett, the story that crystalizes is a very ho-hum sword and sorcery tale that spends far too much time focusing on big “teats”, romance/sex, and Sonja feeling bad about the young man who is determined to force himself on her.
As for the artwork, it is top notch with the segment featuring Walter Geovanni being a real highlight. As I mentioned in my review of Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of Plagues, Geovanni has really captured Red Sonja and made me view our chainmail bikini red-head as a beautiful but fierce fighter who is more than capable of actually being a formidable warrior. So while Jack Jadson gifts a reader with a beautiful rendition of Red Sonja, it just did not live up to the version envisioned by Geovanni. Even with that being said, however, the art did not detract from my enjoyment of this story.
In summation, this graphic novel was okay. It had above average artwork and a traditional sword and sorcery Red Sonja tale. While Peter Brett’s version of Sonja is not as compelling to me as Gail Simone’s rendition, I still enjoyed the story, but I’m just not sure I will be reading anymore Red Sonja tales penned by Mr. Brett.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank Netgalley for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.