Recommended Fantasy Book - Unique Gifts Blog - Ooonique!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Recommended Fantasy Book

Cover of The Last Realm: Dragonscarpe

Quick Note: Attention, lovers of the fantasy genre. You don't come across publications like this on a daily basis.

The Last Realm: Book One, Dragonscarpe, is a 320 page coffee-table-sized hardback, written by Pat McNamara. The first volume of this groundbreaking epic features more than one hundred pages of stunning, full-color art by multi-Award winning comic book Illustrator and master pin-up Artist, Michal Dutkiewicz.

The book is a collaboration between Pat and Michal, based on an initial concept and character outlines by Gary Turner. It is an ambitious and bold storytelling venture, and could very well high-and-mightily helm a new direction in contemporary fantasy literature. There is a unique multiple-platform type of feel to the presentation (like a book, artbook, screenplay, and virtual world concept all at once).

Story-wise, the text is very readable -- young adult level -- and vivid. The story centers around fiery heroics, doomed love and betrayal (featuring a lead Paladin named Zayd, four beautiful Elementalists, a vengeful Outcast, etc.).

The storytelling has a cinematic atmosphere, moreso than what a traditional fantasy text would read like. Readers that are used to classic/high fantasy material might want to take note of that. That is the intent, as the book draws its inspiration from a wide range of material, from classic fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Pern) to modern genre icons (Star Wars, Babylon 5). The comprehensive lexicon at the back allows the reader at a glance, to know who's who and what's what in The Last Realm.

Due to the size and presentation of the publication [it measures 25cm x 36cm (10" x 14") and is huge + quite heavy], $39.95 is a moderate price range for such high-quality artwork and printing. The paper quality is ideal for showcasing the illustrations: a visual feast of anatomical detail (and a labour of love, having taken up over a year of the illustrator's time/life/effort/energy).

Many fantasy books have eye-catching cover art -- but the illustrations here appear throughout. And because of the generous sizing of the book, one really gets the sense of being transported IN-to the story. Five pages before the actual story begins, is a panoramic illustration of "The Realm of the Dragonscarpe...And The Vast Land Bridges Over The Natmos Lake." You can't help but let your jaw drop when you have something like that in your hands, right in front of you. I know I did!

Links--Michal Dutkiewicz: Illustrator, Pat McNamara: Writer (on myspace)

1 comment:

Jess. said...
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