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on 2 June 2002
The title of this book employs a touch of artistic licence in the use of the word 'complete'. A lack of early European and Mediterranean civilisations is evident, although is compensated for by introducing civilisations from further a field, concentrating mainly on cultures from the Americas.
Some readers will find information detailed in the arms and armour section to be inaccurate, for example information on the English longbow implies that it would not have been capable of the feats achieved at Agincourt.
This book should not be used as the only reference source of an aspiring fantasy author, but rather as a basis for new ideas further from the clichés usually associated with this genre. In particular the sections on magic, witchcraft and fantasy races offers a great deal of food for thought that could add spice to any fantasy novel.
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on 5 November 2004
This book is quite an amazing resource. Written by a collection of fiction authors, this book sets out to give the fantasy writer information on what he or she will need to build a fantastic world and culture. Everything is covered in here from politics to commerce to warfare, and it looks in depth at magic and witchcraft and fantasy creatures.
Now, as you might expect with a book that tries to be all things to all people, since it cannot have an infinite amount of information on all subjects, this book functions as an introduction, giving the reader (and writer) enough information to understand the concepts presented. In fact, I must say that the sections on magic and witchcraft were quite excellent and highly informative.
Therefore let me just say this, if you are a fantasy writer, either actual or aspiring, then this is a book you *must* read. I have found this to be a great source of information and ideas, and I know that you will as well. Get this book!
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on 4 October 2007
Just a warning that this is the exact same book as the fantasy reference titled "Myths and Magic" published by Titan books.
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on 6 January 2004
This book provides a great starting point for and budding fantasy author, set out in such a way that the information can be easily read front to back and understood or refered back to randomly. Each section hold just enougth information to help make some of the important decisions without confusing the reader with too much detail, this allows for easy comparison and an effective springboard for further research, after all the key to a believable book is good solid research.
I would definately recommend this as a starting point for anyone considering writing fantasy.
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on 3 November 2007
For ideas, reference and especially inspiration this book is a real gem for a fantasy writer's bookshelf. Just flicking through the pages of this book really gets the writers mind racing. Feeling lethargic, tired and staring at the blank screen? Just tying two sections of different chapters of this book is enough to defeat that ever looming threat of the blank page.
By no means a complete resource, but a good resource nonetheless, to me its more of a caffeine alternative to kick-start the inspiration. Yet, I'd definitely recommend this to any fantasy writer, even if its just a read for interest on a Sunday afternoon, you'll see something you'll find yourself thinking about in the months to come.
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on 14 August 2011
This book is a huge help whilst writing the sequel to my Gorry Brothers coming out on amazon kindle in December. I do give this book full marks and congratulate the author on a job well done.
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on 6 April 2009
Excellent guide to the world of fantasy, with illustrations, though I wish there had been more.
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