Review:’The Art of Magic: The Gathering- Kaladesh’

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When I had imagined an art book for Magic: The Gathering, this was not what I expected at all. For this book exceeded my expectations.  As a casual player of Magic: the Gathering, the card themselves entertained me.  I have always enjoyed the artwork and teetered many times while reading the text but there was this disconnect between myself and the cards.  There was a story that I was missing out on and it just seemed like I was getting snapshots of the bigger picture. Since I was too lazy to delve right into novels, it seemed that I was destined to always skim the surface of the world of Magic: the Gathering.

What is Magic: The Gathering?

Magic: The Gathering is the world’s best strategy game, with more than 20 million players and fans worldwide. In this innovative card game, players build personalized decks using cards they have collected from booster packs and by trading with friends. Magic offers a robust gaming experience for its community of passionate fans through face-to-face play events and social gatherings in more than 7,000 hobby game stores around the world, complemented by its Magic Duels and Magic Online digital games. For more information, visit MagicTheGathering.com. (Viz Media)

What I expected out of The Art of Magic: The Gathering- Kaladesh were pages of just blown up versions of the artwork from the cards. Each of the cards in a deck of Magic: The Gathering are tiny little canvases of art. It is very common for players to become distracted by the artwork themselves, of course granting their opponent to take advantage. Instead, this book presented a detailed descriptions along with the artwork integral to the planes. For as the book explains, there are several planes of reality that the game can exist. These planes float in aether which the “main characters” of the game, the planeswalkers can cross over.

Published by Viz Media, The Art of Magic: The Gathering- Kaladesh is hefty 240 page hardcover back. Between all of the lore is the artwork of  95 artists. This is the  third book in the series, with the first two covering Innistrad and Zendikar. After immersing myself with this book, I most definitely want to check out the first two.

The details that were given to the art and the story is staggering. I was distracted by how the book even describes how the swirls of the aether clouds above mirror the swirls of the water patterns upon the plane. That is how in depth the world building for Magic:The Gathering can become. Right down to the patterns of grass.

Where the planes of Inistrad is full of horrors, and Zenidikar is full of nature, Kaladesh is full of creativity and imagination. For those who lean towards the steampunk aestheic, this book will be up your alley with the Inventors Fair and zeppelin aircrafts.  Of course, there are space whales Cannot forget the space whales. Not even halfway through the book and I was already inspired by swirling patterns. Optimism, innovation, and the spirit of creativity are the core of Kaladesh and that is apparent in the style and the story.

 

These books are absolutely a must have for Magic:The Gathering Players. It will broaden the already expanse world of Magic: the Gathering with just the art alone. Innsitrad and Zendikar are available now. The Art of Magic: The Gathering- Kaladesh is available January 2017.

 

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