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Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the D&D Game (Dungeons & Dragons) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 18, 2007

3.3 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, September 18, 2007
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About the Author

SHELLY MAZZANOBLE has written short stories and essays for The Seattle Times, Carve, Whetstone, Skirt! and SomeOtherMagazine.com. Her plays have been produced in Seattle and New York City. When not over-editing her collection of short stories, she enjoys watching HGTV, walking dogs, and designing clothes for D&D minis. She lives in Seattle.

Product Details

  • Series: Dungeons & Dragons
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786947268
  • ASIN: B004KAB7RQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shelly Mazzanoble's short stories and essays have appeared in The Seattle Times, Carve, Whetstone, Skirt!, SomeOtherMagazine.com, and Dragon. In a fit of narcissism, she has appeared in her own work, casting herself as the lead in her play, Blue Malls, which was produced in Seattle's Mae West Fest XIII. Due to the anxiety dreams still plaguing her, she did not star, support or even understudy in her play, The Chicken & the Egg, which was produced in Mae West Fest IV and later Manhattan Theatre Source's Estrogenius Festival. Her first book, Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girls Guide to the Dungeons and Dragons Game published by Wizards of the Coast, was nominated for an Origins Award and won the 2008 ENnies Award for Best Regalia. Her second book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Dungeons & Dragons: One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help will be published in September 2011. Shelly really loves writing books with very long titles. Originally from Upstate New York and a graduate of Ithaca College, she now lives in Seattle with a bi-polar cat named Zelda, a step-dog named Sadie, and a very patient man who has turned "Harpy" into a term of endearment.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Cloutier on September 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Are you a woman who's never played Dungeons & Dragons but has always been curious about it? Do you have a friend/husband/boyfriend who plays, and who has maybe invited you to play, but you were intimidated by the stereotypes about nerds and geeks, or thought it would to be too hard, or have too many rules, or take too much time? Well if so, Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress is the book for you.

Author Shelly Mazzanoble writes from the point of view of an extremely (even hyper-) girly young woman who loves to shop, watch soaps and get mani-pedis- and who also loves participating in the ongoing campaigns of Astrid the elf and her band of adventurers. She wants to convince women that D&D isn't all about smelly geeks in a basement casting arcane spells and speaking with cheesy British accents while dressed in chainmaille and Ren Faire outfits. Her thesis is that it's just about groups of friends coming together on a regular basis for a fun, wholesome activity that fires the imagination, fosters social skills and helps participants gain confidence.


Let me just say up front that I am exactly the sort of person towards whom this book is aimed. My husband is an avid D&D player, as have been many of my male friends throughout my life. I always thought it was a boy thing- a little seedy, a little smelly, and just a little weird. I was in college before I knew any women who played, and they weren't, uhm, people I could relate to. So I just thought, this isn't for me, and put it aside. So when this book came along I thought, okay, let's see if this woman can sell me on D&D. Cause if she can sell me, she can sell anyone.

Most of the book consists of a girly primer on the basics of D&D.
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Comment 65 of 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I felt the need to put up a defense for this book after reading the multiple 1 and 2 star reviews. Sure, it stereotypes a certain kind of shopaholic girly-girl that would watch E! television as though it was CNN. The pages do have massive amounts of pink ink. And yes, the author does espouse often that math is hard.

But that is all part of a carefully crafted strategy to create a mind-bend for all the women who believe in the "Gamers are all nerdy men who still live in their parents' basement and eat doritos for dinner" stereotype.

She NEVER says that all women are shallow and only think of shoes. She says that SHE is a shallow girly-girl who would rather pick out a handbag than do any math. She is describing entering the world of gaming from HER point of view. You may not be the same type of person the author is, but you do not have to take on the holier than thou feminist attitude that all depictions of girly-girl are creating a world of unempowered women. I will grant that if you do not find it humorous to read page after page of shopping and pop-culture analogies as they apply to D&D, this is not the book for you.

I thought this book did a good job at what it set out to do: break the stereotypes regarding gamers and gaming while providing a breezy and entertaining read. You do not receive any but the most basic of basics regarding the game of D&D, so do not read this book with learning the game as an expectation. But you do receive lots of information about the benefits of gaming as far as social interaction, confidence building, and creativity. And if that's not important to impart to those with a negative view of gaming, I'm not sure what is.
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Comment 30 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I suggested that my girlfriend check read this book after she went kinda cross-eyed when I was trying to explain D&D to her. She read through the whole thing and now has a much better understanding of the game, and that is the basic point - Guys, if you are having trouble explaining D&D to your wife/girlfriend etc. this is a really nice book to have them read. It might not get them to play, but at least they will better understand your hobby afterward.

The book is written in a light-hearted tone that really carries the reader along. There is a lot of humor and it is interesting to see a "girly-girl's" take on the game. There are plenty of stereotypes in the book that make it easy to draw analogies between a girl's world and D&D. And while most girls are not likely chic as this one is, most could likely understand the world that she is describing.

Also, this book is also for women who have never played the game before and really don't have much of a clue as to what it is about. If you already play the game, then this book is not going to be much more than a quick, fun, light-hearted read that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Comment 24 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Wow. I guess this book is perfect for anyone who wishes the Player's Handbook was more like US Weekly. Shelly Mazzanoble puts SO much effort into girling it up in this book that it frequently made me question whether she is actually a real life "she" at all, or a sloppily created Wizards of the Coast character. Or, caricature, rather, who can't get through a page without relating some aspect of the game to shoe shopping. There's nothing wrong with being girly, thinking about clothes, or buying shoes, but focusing on these as the ONLY way women could relate to and understand D&D is frankly insulting.
I guess what disappoints me is that on the surface this seemed like an effort by Wizards of the Coast to reach out to lady gamers and potential lady gamers, but the book attempts this by appealing to a superficial, insipid, apparel-oriented nature. Don't they know there's a vast pool of girl nerds in the world who would love to play D&D for the adventure, the camaraderie, and the chance to be creative and imaginative, rather than just as another excuse to think about shopping?
2 Comments 35 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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