The cover of this book is beautifully understated. The three 'claw marks' on the front appear to have been gouged into the cover, through the embossed surface, leaving demonic flames from underneath the surface exposed. Embossed patterns in the heavy card of the book cover add to the effect, and on the back an arcane symbol stands out in shining black on the matte black background. Note though that your hands must be absolutely clean when handling the book - the cover takes finger marks like a hero takes health globes, and once marked it's not easy to get clean.
The gold coloured metal bookmark is packaged in a card container designed to hold it securely and protect it in transit. The bookmark is made in two pieces with the head of the prime evil riveted to the bookmark base. The head feels very solid but the bookmark end must be used with care as it will bend very easily if abused at all, which is the case with all metal bookmarks of this type and not a fault with the item.
The book begins with a foreword by Jay wilson and an introduction then gives a fascinating timeline for events in the Diablo world. The hero's basics follows, which is a general guide to gaming in the Diablo 3 world. After that you get details on every hero class. The next 4 sections walk you through the game act by act, giving details of quests, events and areas including spawned dungeons. It's not complete however as there is no mention of the 'Lyceum' spawn anywhere within act 1 (the only act I know well at this point) which is a rare spawn area needed to complete an achievement within act 1, and so therefore must logically appear in that act. If anyone can give me a clue as to where the Lyceum spawns, or the Villager's Journal drops, I'd be eternally grateful. It was those two questions I hoped this guide would answer at this point and not finding them here is disheartening.
The next section is on Artisans and Crafting, with all the crafting information included. Then we go into the loot system, with details on every item in the game, all possible affixes and base stats and their effects. Special item sets and their bonuses are listed and make me think that the item sets may be the true legendaries, however only time will tell. A detailed bestiary follows, with instructions on how to use it. I'd imagine that this would be useful in higher difficulties if a certain monster type is handing you your backside on a platter. Not something I've yet to worry about on normal difficulty. I've not encountered a monster type that I couldn't defeat with common sense and a couple of skill changes. The auction house is also explained in similar detail, and then every achievement in the game is listed, except for feats of strength. The method for getting them is not listed with them, only the achievement itself and whether it gives a banner reward whn gained.
The last section in the book is the armor concept art, which is similar to that found in the art book of the Collector's edtion of the game. Lovely art work and explanations from the animators, designers and artists.
The book itself is in full colour throughout, the pages are not heavier than a standard game guide, but the extras within and the metal bookmark make it good value for money at the RRP. As a part of the purchase price of the book you receive a code that allows you access to the online flash version of the game, this will be updated with game changes so although the printed version may end up being a pretty focus item for your wizard as changes are made in game, the online flash version will remain useful. (No, I couldn't find my missing Lyceum or the Villager's Journal on it either. Meh.)
There are no maps in here, but with the random spawn system changing areas each time you access them within certain limits, maps would really be of little use. The information provided here is both beautifully presented and of a great deal of value. If you are a fan of the new game, then this limited edition will complete your current collection alongside your CE of the game, and if you couldn't get a CE then this gives you a taste of the artwork in the book that goes with it at an affordable price. If you loved the Book of Cain and the CE then you'll love this too, lots more pretty things for your eyes to feast on and some useful information on playing the game to go with it.