FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS by Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS is rich in Irish folklore. Philip Kosloski does a great job grounding the story into the rich heritage. Although fast paced, Michael Lavoy uses his art to hold readers attention.
80 %
I-rich in Folklore
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There is nothing more magical than a voyaging quest. Whether it’s to destroy a tyrannical king or just going to the grocery store, quests come in all shapes and styles. FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS by Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy take this idea and give readers something different.

FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS take us on a journey framed with Irish folklore. The story follows Finnian as he sets out on the quest of a lifetime. In order to avenge his people, Finnian sets out to find a mythic sword. This sponsored review will journey forth into folk tales and mythos that are rarely seen in comics.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains
Image courtesy of Vervante

The Tale Thus Far

FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS takes place in Ireland in the ninth century. A vicious Viking clan known as the Dreking are on the rampage, leaving devastation in their wake. Our hero, Finnian, is in Clonfer Abbey, a monastery when his village is attacked by the Dreking. His parents die in the onslaught and he swears vengeance. He leaves the monastery in search of a legendary sword. Rumors have it that the sword has extraordinary powers.

Finnian begins his quest by traveling to an isolated rock off the coast of Ireland called Skellig Michael. He discovers a monastery there and ends up staying for a while, helping the monks. While he achieves some inner peace, he never forgets why he is here. He befriends a monk, Brendan, who becomes his friend and guide. It is on this quiet island that he gets a message from a divine angel.

The Ups and Downs on a Mountain

Philip Kosloski does a marvelous job creating the mythos behind the story. Kosloski manages to dig up Irish lore and legend that some readers may not be familiar with. Kosloski also elaborates further by showing how Christianity would have been used at the time. He mentions figures such as Archangel Michael and incorporates the religious with the magical. His places are also fully articulated. Kosloski manages to transcribe real places in Ireland and bring them fully to life in his story. Lavoy does an amazing job depicting the island, but Kosloski brings the story to life by utilizing the island’s history. This makes the reading feel more like historical fiction, but also makes it more fun to read.

The one drawback that I found is the pacing of the story. There are times when the comic felt rushed. The pace felt like it was forcing the narrative forward rather than letting the story breathe. I know a little bit about Finnian and Brendan, but I feel some of the moments they have together are forced. However, as the story goes, I’m sure we will see more character building.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains
Image courtesy of Vervante

Beautiful Art

Michael Lavoy’s art in truly fitting of this narrative. His color schemes are fun to look at and the angles he picks are perfect for this story. There were some moments where the panels felt a little disjointed, but the overall presentation is very appealing.

One of the moments that drew me out of the comic was Finnian meeting Brendan. While out at sea, Finnian is a wave catches his boat and destroys it. Luckily, Brendan managed to grab Finnian’s hand and saves him from the rocky bottom of the sea. These moments happen all in one page, but the panels were a little difficult to read. However, moments like this didn’t take away my interest. I just had to slow down the pace I was reading.

Lavoy does amazing things with color. His sunrises and sunsets are stunning, blending colors perfectly. The green of the land when we overlook villages is amazing. His monasteries are replicas of the monastic huts on Skellig Michael. Lavoy does an amazing job replicating the areas the story takes place. This gives readers something that is realistic and marvelous to look at. Needless to say, I’m working on a trip to Ireland after reading this story. Lavoy captures the beauty of Ireland and it is absolutely astounding.

Final Thoughts on FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS

Overall, this story brings us on an adventure we don’t often get. Although there are a fair number of stories that follow the Hero’s Journey, very few take place in Ireland. It’s always nice to see other places, even through the images in comics. Michael Lavoy does a superb job of illustrating the lush and wonderful island of Ireland. Although FINNIAN AND THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS is on its first steps, Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy ensure us that we’re in for a real treat.

 

2 Comments

  1. […] ComicsVerse said about Finnian and the Seven Mountains, “Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy bring us a taste of Irish lore. And we want more.” […]

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  2. […] ComicsVerse said about Finnian and the Seven Mountains, “Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy bring us a taste of Irish lore. And we want more.” […]

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