Admittedly, my one-hour car rides to and from work Monday thru Thursday have been completely taken over by A Storm of Swords, the third book in A Song of Ice and Fire – more commonly known by its TV title, Game of Thrones. But Blood for Stone really reminded me of these books – particularly the portions about Jon Snow and his time with The Wildlings in A Storm of Swords. A warrior from a seemingly more advanced culture – in this case, Rome – finds himself immersed in the a rough world, surrounded by the locals who are themselves rough around the edges, ravaged by their environment.
Aside from drawing parallels to great novels, Blood for Stone is a pretty good and interesting read. It takes the novel approach by splitting the point of view between 4 different characters over the development of the story. This allows for a couple of different things including seeing main characters from the perspective of others. It also allows the reader to experience the world through the eyes of different cultures which is important in this book because it is to some degree the overarching theme of the book, the clashing of cultures. All of this culminates in a dark and conflicting story.
The art of Blood for Stone is as appropriately as dark and intense as the story. It is completely contrasting black and white with space and distance in a panel/page developed through thinning and thickening inking. The images on pages can at times appear muddy at first but as the eyes adjust, they become more and more clear and incredibly well-developed, much like the story is written. There are also several spectacular action and super-natural sequences where this style really makes the book work.
All read and done, Blood for Stone was a happy surprise to buy and read and I look forward to other books by the creators and the publisher.