Thank you to Diamon Book Distributors, Ablaze and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: The Dragon Universe by various
Release Date: May 10th 2022
Tags: Illustrations | Stories | Collection of Stories | Dragons | Elves | Dwarves | Orcs | Humans | History
Trigger/Content Warnings: Nudity
Dragons. They reign above the eternal snows or in the depths of the abyss… They are marvelous, magical, malicious creatures… But, where do these winged creatures with sparkling scales and fearsome claws come from?
This collection of illustrations on the theme of dragons brings together the best illustrators and comic book authors from around the world: French, English, Danish, Spanish, Italian, American, Canadian… From John Howe, designer of The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia, to Todd Lockwood, illustrator of Dungeons & Dragons, and Olivier Ledroit, creator of the Chronicles of the Black Moon and Adrian Smith, one of the authors of Warhammer, and more… They’ve pooled their talents in a Tolkien-style universe where dragons coexist or fight Dwarves, Orcs, Elves and Humans…
The result is this illustrated encyclopedia, which combines extraordinary texts on the history of dragons, with drawings of remarkable quality, realism of line and thoroughness of detail.
When I saw The Dragon Universe on Netgalley one knew I had to request it with that focus on dragons. And illustrations. I love illustrations. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but what I got left me a little dissapointed.
That certainly was in no way the fault of the illustrations. It was great to see the variety of styles on the dragons and other creatures. From small drawings to large spreads. Detailed and so many things to look at.
Its downfall were the text. The book is divided into two sections. The first section seems to focus on the dwarves, orcs and humans in relation to the dragons. The second part is focused on the elves and dragons. The first part feels so very unconnected. To most of the art but also to the stories themselves. There were tid bits that were focused on more of the other creatures than dragons really. Some of the texts were long-winded and boring. A lot of the art was very random. I saw a spread of Paul Kidby’s Discworld dragons for instance.
The second part tells the story of the relations between the elves and dragons, and was structured so much better. But unfortunately that couldn’t save the book for me anymore.