Book Review: Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire Vol.2 by Gail Simone

22357946A dying emperor has a last request of Sonja. He is throwing the ultimate send-off party, and needs the six greatest artisans from all the known lands: the greatest chef, swordsman, courtesan, and more. If Sonja brings them in time, he will free a thousand slaves…but if she fails, they will be buried alive right next to his coffin! (synopsis from Goodreads)

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Impression: A fun read that made me laugh and pump my fist from all the general badassery that is Red Sonja.

Recommended for: Fans of adventure graphic novels and those wanting find a super awesome female hero.

Red Sonja returns in this second installment in the series, and she’s just as awesome as before. Gotta love her.

Red Sonja is charged with finding the six greatest artisans in the land for an emperor’s party before he dies. While Red Sonja is not one to indulge emperors’ desires, there is a catch. If she succeeds, he will free all of his slaves before he passes. If she fails, they will all be buried with him to serve him after death. Not one to shrug at the suffering of slaves—having been one in the past—she accepts this quest and awesomeness ensues.

While Red Sonja finds this artisans, she begins to learn more about them and their lives while also learning more about herself. Despite the reservations of a couple of the artisans who are a little put off by her demeanor and behavior, they eventual begin to realize the Red Sonja has a kind heart, despite her tough exterior, and they soon become a close-knit group.

This graphic novel does a great job a showing Red Sonja’s go-gettem attitude slowly become exasperated as she continues to run into those who attempt to keep her from fulfilling her quest. By the end, Red Sonja cares not for formalities and simply barges into an establishment and demands what she wants. We can’t help but understand her impatience and annoyance which makes Red Sonja—despite the armor and swordsmanship—an oddly relatable character. We’ve all been there; it just so happens that she has the lives of thousands of slaves on her shoulders.

There is a secondary quest for Sonja, and that is to get laid. Obviously this leads to some pretty entertaining scenes involving failed propositions and general annoyance when no one agrees to sleep with her. She just wants some sex. Is that so much to ask? It is also shown that Sonja doesn’t necessarily have a preference on the gender of her partner which is pretty awesome. She also often makes clear her love of ale, which can always make me giggle.

This is a fun read for any adventure graphic novel fan. It’s exciting, adventurous, funny, and touches on some sensitive spots for Sonja. A great addition to this on-going series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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