Grinidon is another title that I stumbled across through the Kickstarter for Volume 2 which luckily enough gave me the chance to catch up on this first volume as well.
It opens with a frantic charge into the castle by a lone figure who flashes past guards & soldiers as he cuts his way through anyone that dares try to stop him. His target is unclear but his determination is glaringly obvious with his relentless pace. It’s an almost silent opening that gives no explanation but there’s no need as the body language and actions taken by the attacker are more than apparent. As he nears his target time is against him and while he manages to take care of a number of his enemies he’s stopped of finishing his final kills and is forced to flee.
Fast forward a year and we’re then thrust into a story of Kingdoms & age-old battles as the divide between the superior armies of the North and the city of Carnasus in the South gets narrower with the marching army heading toward the city with overwhelming odds in their favour. In the midst of the impending battle to end all battles we find the Council in turmoil with who to trust & what action to take next and their call to arms to pretty much anyone who can hold a sword will only get them so far.
It feels like a mix of Game of Thrones & Lord of the Rings in this first volume but thankfully the hectic opening and the character building afterwards makes sure it’s not a carbon copy of either as J. Miles Dunn dazzles us with an intricate world full of politics, betrayal and fight preparation. Equal to that dazzling script is Erwin Arroza’s art which was really the clincher for me opting to back the project and then make the move from digital to hardcopy. The pages themselves seem steeped in history and legend as the olde world tones whip up a sense of urgency and risk in the battle that’s not even begun yet and as the world grows from that frantic opening it becomes solidified almost instantly as the type of project that screams “read me!”.
My only minor quibble with this opening volume is the speech bubbles that are used in the beginning as they don’t feel like they belong and while the narrative has a good flow to it there’s something about the dialogue that seemed to get in the way. I’m convinced that’s just my own take on it and it didn’t disrupt the flow of the book too much as things progressed but then with a powerful opening and the quality of the art on show it was virtually impossible to distract from that. A beautiful looking book with a well constructed story at its core which means I can’t wait to get hold of volume two and get both in hardcopy as well.