With the attention to detail and artistic skill that he brought to Sword (2008), Boos has created a beautifully drawn, darkly fascinating contribution to high fantasy. This tour of New Perigord begins by presenting the fictional realm’s geography, warriors, enemies, common weapons, and mages, including full details of their abilities and spells. Moving further afield, he reveals “commonly encountered spirits,” such as elves, undines, and banshees. In the book’s final sections, Boos explores “vast tracks of wasteland and wilderness,” populated with troglodytes and vampires. The large spreads are filled with authentically ancient-looking, digitally produced pictures of the many imagined inhabitants and elements, all described in densely packed, short blocks of text. Weapons (especially swords) receive the most attention, perhaps reflecting the author’s greatest interest, and young readers with similar proclivities will certainly be delighted with this title’s offerings. This offers plenty of entertainment for even those with a more casual interest in the fantasy genre, though, and a final note from our “humble scribe” hints that this encyclopedic introduction is laying the groundwork for future adventures. Grades 4-8. --Andrew Medlar
From the Author
"When I was a boy, I used to sketch and doodle to escape boredom and, well, just to escape. Deskbound in body, I could wander far, far away - and I learned that a mind can wander where it will; no walls can stop it! On one occasion, I recall sketching some big, ominous- looking doors with bulky iron hinges twisted into gnarly shapes. I wished I was creating a door to another place - a place full of strange cities, green fields, giant mountains, and deep, dark forests. There would be monsters, treasure, and ample adventure. I remember staring at that illustrated door when I was done, pretending there was an entire world beyond its threshold.
I've revisited this old idea to recapture some of the wonder that haunts me, even after all these years. Here is my hand-drawn "door" to another place, inspired by endless daydreams and the light of many minds. I hope you enjoy it, and may it aid you in your own adventures and escapes!"