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on 19 August 2012
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. When I began to read it, I found a wealth of information far beyond my expectations. There were descriptions, stories and facts about every magical creature in the world (or so I believe). This book is brilliant for people who are into writing fantacy stories as it provides sooo much inspiration and is a really useful sourcebook. It has very few, small pictures which I like as I can picture things better on my own but others might like some illustrations.
All in all, the best book I have yet!
(Hope this helps :D)
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on 24 January 2011
I genuinely enjoyed this book, and spent a week regailing my friends with the snippets of anthropological detail taken from its entries (for example, the ancient Chinese used to place jade cicadas in the mouths of the dead). There are plenty of them, and for anyone with an anthropological interest they are wonderful tidbits to have, as are the essays in the front of the book. Similarly there are dozens of creatures I've never heard before (and I've been heavily into mythology since I was six).

But there are lots of creatures which aren't included and really should be - for example, though there's a (woefully incomplete) entry for the Fomorri of Celtic mythology, there is no mention of the Tuatha de Danaan who succeeded them. Too many entries are comprised only of stories about a paticular creature and give you no information at all, and for some reason the authors have chosen to include various gods from Hindu, Greek and Egyptian mythology (while often getting attributes, names, or genders wrong). While this might be okay if they included *all* the gods from those pantheons, they don't. Similarly mentions are made of vampires, roane, and a handful of other creatures but they don't get their own entries, and some, like the Japanese kitsune, are excluded completely.

The anthopological details and the essays are worth reading, but I would reccomend borrowing this book if you can find it rather than spending money on reading it.
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on 9 July 2009
These books are we produced and very interesting but it really needs some illustrations to make it appeal to the younger audiences. I bought this hoping to read it with my Step daughter who is 11 and into mythical creatures in a big way. We like to draw and paint them too however some of these creatures are so unheard of we couldn't even find them whilst reading and "Googling" the names. Bit disappointed.
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on 20 December 2011
I already have two other element encyclopaedia books (5000 spells & witchcraft) which were perfect books. Full blue bound hard cover, with illustrated cover wrapped perfectly around. This is also what i expected with this book. Although £3 cheaper i figured must be the same as listed as hard cover.
I personally wouldn't go as far as to call this hard cover. I ordered it gift wrapped to ensue the book came in the best possible condition, but may not as well have bothered. This is a flexible cover, not bound as nicely as my previous orders; this looks more like a large children's book then a source of information.

Am still very happy with the book and am sure will be a source of great reading, just the cover that was a little disappointing for me. If you don't own any of the other books, then this would be a very delightful book to buy. I'm just moaning lol.
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on 26 May 2013
I have purchased the original book from a bookshop years ago and found it difficult to read due to the size of it. On a kindle I found the book easier to read and not so much of a struggle. The book is a good read from well known creatures to unknown animals.
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2014
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?? Well, okay, they may not be works of art and pretty small, but this book DOES contain drawings/illustrations - not enough I agree, but several people are saying that there aren't any, and so it cannot be this book they are reviewing...

As for myself; I was a bit disappointed, as though the book does go into great detail about the mythical beasts it features, some of the more common ones we've heard of are not included (strange!) and with reference again to illustrations; there really aren't enough for such a thick volume, and those that there are tend to lack detail and a bit too small...

An interesting book - but not fantastic.
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on 29 August 2010
I think this is a really helpful book. It is very thorough in covering magical creatures from all over the world, and not just the well known ones.

Two reasons I haven't given it 5 stars:

1. Illustrations would really have improved this book. As it is, there are a few, but they are just random dragon pictures, nothing related to the creatures that are being listed.

2. A pronounciation guide for the names of all the creatures would have been really useful. This, more than the lack of illustrations, is this books real downfall.

Otherwise, I really recommend this book! It has every creature you could think of and more! I'd be amazed if there was a creature you could think of (that you haven't just made up yourself!) that isn't in this book! Very impressive and thorough!
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on 4 December 2015
Great book, with a large variety of creatures described. As an artist I find it's a good source of inspiration for any creative person looking for an idea or for something to draw. It's also interesting for anyone if they just wanted to pick it up and read at random. It does lack pictures, and it would be nice if there were a few scattered throughout the book but I can't say this bothers me that much. It's good sometimes to not have your own imagination influenced by someone else's interpretation. Plus you could always do further research if you wanted to look some of them up in more detail.
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on 10 May 2011
Book was delivered on the date I was told and was in perfect condition. Really happy with it and hopefully my fella will be when he opens it on his Birthday.
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on 13 July 2012
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. Creature you couldn't dream up are listed here intelligently and entertainingly. I love it.
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