During the era of the Vikings, the god-king Odin is the merciless creator and ruler of gods and men alike. Among these beings were the Valkyries, strong warrior women who were charged with leading the souls of fallen warriors to Valhalla. When the leader of the Valkyrie, Brynhild, disobeyed Odin, he banished her from the lands of the gods, and placed a terrible curse upon her, trapping her forever.
Here we find Aydis, a Viking warrior who was cast out of her tribe after she kissed a girl. Frustrated and hurt, she makes it her business to help those who cannot help themselves. Now, Aydis is on a mission: rescue Brynhild and prove herself braver than any man. With her faithful (and highly intelligent) steed Saga, she battles monsters, demons and gods to end the tyrannical reign of men in her culture, and, simultaneously, the reign of Odin himself.
"Heathen" is an excellent story and graphic novel about persevering in the face of hatred and discrimination. It contains truths we must live every day, and the illustrations are just as beautiful as the story itself.
I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates adventure, romance and a heroine who is unwilling to live with the oppressive status quo and is willing to do something about it.
Megan Mehmert is the teen programming associate at Missouri River Regional Library.