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The Dragon Hunter's Handbook by Adelia Vin Helsin

01/10/2008. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy The Dragon Hunter's Handbook in the USA - or Buy The Dragon Hunter's Handbook in the UK

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pub: Pavilion/Anova. 34 page padded hardcover illustrated hardback. Price: 14.99 (UK) if you haven't got the groats equivalent. ISBN: 978-1-86205-816-3).

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This is the third book from Pavilion/Anova in its format of thick card paged books with accessories, this time looking through the parchment pages of Adelia Vin Helsin as she prepares to fight dragons. Through her you learn how these big scaly winged reptiles are so formidable and how they mix a combustible bile-venom with air to create fire. There's also a stern warning that dragons don't like barbecued prey preferring fresh kills instead. To say these dragons are dangerous is putting it mildly and Adelia to survive one attack and gets ready to face them again is either the act of the foolhardy or the truly heroic. More so, when it is discovered that Satan let them loose from Hell their wings and take over the Earth.

In many respects, this is a quick read, understandably so, with so few pages. The art by Miles Teves is bleak and a limited colour range. It works well with close-up scenes but more impressionistic with panoramic scenes. I tend to think this is more of a problem of when you illustrate a book a particular way that you have to be self-consistent rather than raise the level of art along the way. Considering its spread between the text, ghosting Adelia by Martin Howard, its more a question of making sure everything fits and backgrounds tend to suffer because of it. The nature of the illustrations does make it somewhat difficult to include any small pictures here unfortunately.

This is very much the kind of book that you will probably read once, go away for a month or so and then read again. Those who wish to become dragon hunters will no doubt find it of some use and will not try to emulate the saintly George whose legend far exceeds what truly happened when he ran into a couple of dragons.

GF Willmetts

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This book has 6 votes in the sci-fi charts

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