After seven years of exile, battle-hardened Hallstein Thordsson returns home to Iceland, only to find that old wounds haven't healed. His stepmother Solveig and his half-brother Ottar are besieged by wood thieves, directed by her unwelcome suitor, Einar. The Exile's presence disrupts the delicate balance and threatens to tip all of Iceland into violence.
A remarkable decades-spanning epic, Erik Kriek's The Exile is equal parts action “Western” and family drama, with a surprising story of violence and consequences at its core. Told in a naturalistic modern style but with tremendous fidelity to the historical period in which it is set, The Exile depicts the Viking age in all of its conflict, turmoil, and social structure, with every detail depicted vividly on the page.
"...like a classic John Ford movie, with the desert vistas of Monument Valley replaced with the frozen vistas of Iceland..." — James Edward Clark, Tales to Enlighten, Pissant Apocalypse
"A harrowing tale of generational revenge told with a gorgeous style reminiscent of classic screen print illustration." — Carson Grubaugh, The Abolition of Man, The Strange Death of Alex Raymond
"... a punch in the stomach..." — Steph Leuvener
"... everything one could want in an old Icelandic story. Violence, cruelty, shamanism, women, love and envie..." — Nadine Vansant
"Erik Kriek, the Netherlands' legendary graphic novelist and cartoonist/illustrator, brings a previously unimaginable level of historical authenticity to the Viking Age with this beautifully-lit New Way of Seeing mankind's collectivist (and individual) origins." — Dave Sim, Strange Death of Alex Raymond
LIBRARY JOURNAL -- Kriek (The Set-Up) presents an engag-ing blend of family drama and revenge thriller set in 10th-century Iceland. Af-ter seven years in exile as punishment for having committed murder, Hallstein Thordsson returns to the village where he was born, ready to claim his inheri-tance and spend the rest of his life as a peaceful farmer. He discovers that his fa-ther has died during his absence, leaving his stepmother, Solveig, to run their farm alone. It’s not going all that well―she’s besieged by thieves who feel entitled to the bounty found on her land, and under pressure to accept a marriage proposal from Einar Ragnarsson, the brother of the man Hallstein killed. Einar’s actually sponsoring the thieves who have been raiding Solveig’s farm and are in cahoots with her foolish brothers in a conspiracy to take everything she has. When Einar is torn between avenging his brother’s death or allowing his various schemes to continue uninterrupted, his sister Vigdis is spurred to enlist a powerful sorceress to aid her quest for justice. VERDICT Kriek’s luscious brushwork, attention to detail, and refusal to impose modern notions of morality or justice on his characters result in an immersive, provocative saga.