Swords: an artist's devotion

The following is a "book trailer" I wrote to deliver at my library's upcoming semi-annual reader advisory meeting. Booktalks, as we call them in the book biz, are not summaries or reviews. They are teasers intended to give just enough information about the book, to grab the attention of the reader, and honestly, to sell the book. What you can do with this blog post is this: Pretend you are a 10-14 yr old boy, and pretend you're listening to a librarian give her spiel about a book. Then decide if you want to read it. My husband has to gets to do this quite often.

Swords: an artist's devotion, by Ben Boos. 2008.

Maybe you need a nonfiction book for a report. Maybe you're looking for a book like the DK Eyewitness books that you can read for just 15 minutes a day, or that you can read for hours. Maybe you are in the mood for books like David Macaulay's Castle or City that has lots of detailed illustrations that you can learn a lot from.

Whatever your reason, whatever your mood, I have a book for you, and it is all about swords.

You know that a sword must be very hard, but did you know that the earliest warriors actually cut notches into their blades to make them flexible? You know that swords must be strong enough so that the handle doesn't break off, but did you know that the blade of a samurai sword can actually be removed from the handle?

You'll find swords from around the world that have been used by Viking raiders, Medieval knights and kings, Turkish sultans, African war chiefs, and even swords that Maidens of War used. You'll learn about the many different styles of swords, the small details of swords that aided warriors in battles, and you'll discover something new every time you open the book. You'll see close-up details of blades, decorative hilts (the top of the blade), tangs (the part of the sword that connects the blade to the handle) and pommels (which balance a sword to make it easier to handle). It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but after seeing these illustrations, I find that the sword is significantly more beautiful. The life-like illustrations of the swords are absolutely striking. They are done so well, and it's no surprise because the author and illustrator of this book is Ben Boos, who is known for his work in creating the video games Diablo and Diablo II.

Maybe you are as devoted to swords as the author, and maybe you're not, but I highly recommend you check this book out.

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