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The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures: The Ultimate A-Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic: The Ultimate A-Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic

The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures: The Ultimate A-Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic: The Ultimate A-Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic [Kindle Edition]

John Matthews , Caitlin Matthews
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

From unicorns and trolls to werewolves and griffins, this comprehensive guide is the key to discovering every magical creature from myth, folklore and legend around the world.

This compendium of magical creatures explores the history, folklore and mythology of fascinating beasts throughout all the magical worlds. Including stories, celebrations, traditions, and amazing facts, the book spans every major culture across the globe.

Many of the fantastic creatures described in the book have appeared in the fictitious worlds of the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien and countless other writers who have stirred our imaginations since childhood fairytales. From unicorns, giants, fairies, elves, goblins, dwarves and trolls to nymphs, mermaids, sphinxes, ogres, cyclops, dragons, salamanders, basilisks, banshees, werewolves, griffins, centaurs, satyrs and gremlins – this is the ultimate reference book on creatures from the magical world.

Organized from A to Z for easy reference, the cross–cultural focus spans from the most ancient of creatures to those which have come to prominence more recent ly. Discover everything from obscure magical beings to everyday animals that carry magical symbolism.

Find out more in The Fantastic World of Magical Creatures.

About the Author

John and Caitlín Matthews are two of the most well-respected experts in the area of mythology and legend. Best known for their work surrounding Celtic and Arthurian traditions, they also have a tremendously broad base of knowledge of cultures worldwide from which they have drawn on for this amazing work. Their previous books include The Encyclopedia of Celtic Myth and Legend, Walkers Between the Worlds and The Aquarian Guide to British and Irish Mythology and Hallowquest: The Arthurian Tarot Course.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1109 KB
  • Print Length: 707 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007298943
  • Publisher: Harper Element (25 Feb 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical! 17 Oct 2006
I am a huge fan of mythical beasts, faeries and the likes. And I have always whished for a proper encyclopedia to dive into when I encounter one I havent seen before in books ect. This one is perfect.

Allthough I wish it would have had some pictures in it to easier identify creatures, and they have gotten quite a few nordic beings completely wrong, as well as forgotten a few. I still feel this is the best ency of this category so far.

And a plus, it's not very expensive, but it is huge!
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! 31 Jan 2006
By Kim
I saw this on a shelf in a shop in town, picked it up, flicked through it and within half an hour of getting home it had been ordered!
It's absolutely fascinating, as for the content the title tells you every thing that you need to know, it's an encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, but the first thing I've actually read was the introduction which interested me, and even my biology obsessed other half sat and listened withi interest when I read things out to him. As well as discussing myth and legend it also discusses animals from and biological aspect (where they could have developed from if they were real etc) and from a psycological aspect (why are we so fascinated by them)
The main body of the book is, obviously the encyclopedia, which is in alphabetical order, as well as an incredibly concise index. The introduction suggests that you dip in and out of the book, but I can't resist reading it from cover to cover. I'm only on 'B' so far because I'm having to limit myself, if I didn't it'd be devoured in two days and I'd forget to eat and drink!
The encyclopedia describes the animal where a description is known, gives it's origin, peoples beliefs about it, and the creatures use in contemporary fiction... for instance did you know that Dobby the House elf from Harry Potter developed out of a belief that if you wanted to get rid of a member of the fairy folk you gave them clothes?
In short it isn't possible for me to praise this book enough, I'm telling every one who'll sit still for long enough about the things I've read. Well worth the money!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic resource - truly magical 13 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This encyclopedia is absolutely brilliant. I also have the encyclopedia in their series for witchcraft, and that is equally as good.

As someone who enjoys reading re-tellings of fairytales, children's literature and books on mythology, THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MAGICAL CREATURES has proven to be an excellent addition to my collection. Because it is such a huge book, this is one to dip into now and then, whenever you come across something you may not have heard of before. You are sure to learn a lot more than you had anticipated - there are some creatures in here that you may not class as 'magical'. For example, eels were one creautre I was surprised to see included (they are sacred to the ancient Greeks).

What I love about this volume is that there is so much information, collected from many cultures and times in the world. One reviewer said they have made some mistakes regarding Nordic beliefs; as I do not know about this area, I cannot comment upon whether the authors have made mistakes or omissions. But, what I can say, is that even if there are some errors, this encyclopedia is so good that it can easily encourage people to learn more.

The major gripe I have with the volume, however, is the lack of illustrations to help identify the creatures. I think that is the only way this could have been improved.

As an easy, quick reference to mythical and magical creatures, this is an excellent place to start. It is informative whilst also firing your imagination and desire to find out more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a big solid book, absolutely packed with interesting facts about pretty much any creature you can think of, along with thematic topics such as animal "guides" etc.

The only disappointment with this book is the total lack of illustrations. It's all text, and I think it would have benefited hugely from some illustrative pictures.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Coffee Table Book 1 Jan 2008
If you are interested in magical and mythical creatures then look no further than this book. It features all creatures from all cultures and is very handy because it lists everything alphabetically and cross-references creatures from across the globe. It is truly a universal book in the sense that there is no region that has been overlooked, which is a refreshing change from all the eurocentric tosh that is on the market these days. It is brilliantly researched and could be used as an invaluable resource for those of you attempting to write your own fantasy stories. As well as providing descriptions of creatures as varied as sylphs, dragons, morrigans, selkies, djinns and moonbirds there are synopses of myths concerning the creatures featured. For example under "swan" the authors provide two examples where they feauture in early Irish myth alongside the general description of what they symbolise across the globe. It is wonderful to dip into when you want to relax and would look very handsome on any coffeetable.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic glossary of a mystical nature!!! 25 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Having already owed another book from this series, i found this to be exactly what i expected, a diamond of resource! fully comprehensive encyclopedia, well researched and well presented - a must for any interested in myths, legends and cryptology!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
I was a little bit puzzled on reading some of the reviews written here for this book, as several people refer to there not being any pictures?? Read more
Published 4 months ago by FAMOUS NAME
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy
I have always been intresting in this find of thing it nice to be able to find it all in one place
Published 11 months ago by Savren
3.0 out of 5 stars Magical Creatures
Another book worth getting to browse through.
If you are into writing fantasy, then it's worth getting.
I've yet to fully read it.
Published 13 months ago by TerryTheViking
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Book on Kindle
I have purchased the original book from a bookshop years ago and found it difficult to read due to the size of it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. K. A. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic
What a tome!! Great to dip into. Well cross referenced and ranging across so many cultures and countries. Good reference book
Published 18 months ago by briosredwind
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
The book itself is a brilliant dictionary of creatures :) although it didn't come in the best of conditions but this might have been from the postman otherwise I can't complain :)
Published 18 months ago by Jazmin Silverwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Encyclopedia
This is a great book. I don't think that the lack of pictures is an issue as the descriptions given are so good. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly brilliant
When I found the brown parcel lying on the ground i was so excited! I opened it up and found that it was in perfect condition and, as it has rounded corners, easy to keep. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Book worm
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I bought this when I was doing my Creative Writing degree and it proved (and continues to prove) invaluable when I am writing or reading fantasy fiction. Read more
Published on 13 July 2012 by CaroleHeidi
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read!
I already have two other element encyclopaedia books (5000 spells & witchcraft) which were perfect books. Read more
Published on 20 Dec 2011 by L. M. Jennis
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