Review by Frank Plowright
Over four earlier volumes of Sojourn Ron Marz and Greg Land pretty well defined the archer Arwyn, her world and her task, and from The Sorcerer’s Tale Ian Edginton continues her quest. The Thief’s Tale provided several surprises, not least the return of Gareth, and ended with Arwyn captured by her Troll pursuer Captain Bohr to be taken back to despot in chief Mordath.
Edginton takes the opening two chapters to reinforce Mordath and the Trolls, in the case of the latter fleshing out why they’re so keen to help someone the remainder of the world sees as a villain. Mordath’s motivations have already been laid out, with both Marz and Edginton treating him as a variation on the Doctor Doom template of a very capable villain comfortable with who they are and prone to bouts of self-justifying pomposity. More so than Marz, though, Edginton casts him as self-aware, knowing there’s a bigger picture and with the strength of character to oppose that. It makes him more interesting.
Land’s art still has the expansive quality, but the photo reference he uses is becoming more intrusive, resulting in stiffer figures and fixed expressions, not always appropriate to the emotional mood and sometimes too exaggerated. Casting Clint Eastwood as a ship’s captain is an amusing aside.
Of the Five Lands making up Arwyn’s world, one remained unrevealed, and it’s where she, Cassidy and Gareth ultimately end up, a place of vague sorcery and home to creatures already seen in the series, but again given some greater background and depth by Edginton. It’s obvious he’s plotting for the long term, unaware that the following The Berserker’s Tale is as far as Sojourn runs, and he continues the fast pace of the series. Chapter by chapter Arwyn ends up in a different location facing a new threat, all of them enjoyable. The reason this selection ranks slightly lower than earlier volumes is that more guest pencillers than usual feature, and none come anywhere near to Land’s quality.