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The inhabitants of Zendikar are forever at the mercy of the capricious environment and later the titanic Eldrazi. Unfortunately, this tends to work against the story after a while.
The core tenement of writing fiction, even in a compendium volume such as this, is to make the reader root for the story. They need to want to see the story to the end.
There are time when this story showcased in this book heads very closely to this point. Defeat, after defeat comes off the pages and gets a little tedious. The need to sprinkle a bit more hope here and there, if nothing else, they will serve as few more breadcrumbs to lead the readers on.
What these books do is make the story of these cards come alive. The book is clearly divided into easy to navigate sections. One of the best sections actually breaks the fourth and takes the reader into the real world for a change. It takes into the the process behind the scenes in how the world of Zendikar was constructed.
That is what makes this book the best kind of art book. It is more than just a collection of pretty artwork, although there is plenty of that to be had here.
It is a guide to the creation of the world itself and the processes involved. If anyone wishes to embark on a career that involves world building, this book could very be required reading. Final Verdict: This book almost received three stars due to the fact that out of all of the Art of Magic: The Gathering Books, Zendikar was my least favorite of all of the settings, though he is not sure why.
Nonetheless, Brushworm recognizes the immense talent and creativity that went into the art and story. Rating: Four Zendikar Icons out of Five. By Charles Moffat - January I have yet to find an art history book which lists "fantasy art" as an art movement.
Perhaps it is because most art historians do not take fantasy art seriously, or because it is such a lengthy movement that goes back centuries and has its origins in folk art done by common peasants. Yet we take mythological and religious art fairly seriously judging by the amount shown in art history books, so why not fantasy art?
Sheer ignorance perhaps. Many of the most phenomenal art pieces I have ever seen have been fantasy pieces.
The artists' creativity has simply overflowed into new ideas that would never have occurred to the majority of us. It therefore seems silly to me ignore a very large aspect of popular art which has dominated book covers, illustrations and movie posters for the past century. To find the humble beginnings of fantasy art we don't have to look very far.
Gustave Dore's attempts to illustrate the story of "Paradise Lost" [right] for example was a marked achievement in Christian mythology. But Western culture did not sprout fantasy art as we know it until after wide-spread literacy and common use of printing presses to create books. A method of serigraphy to put images on paper did not become patented until