One tome to rule them all
With the release of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited fresh on the minds of PC gamers, and less than a month away for those who plan to explore the realm of Tamriel on consoles, publisher Titan Books and Bethesda Software have picked the perfect time to release The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel Book I: The Land. A perfect primer for those unfamiliar with Bethesda’s flagship series’ history, this lofty tome explores the rich lore and history of Tamriel, offering an expansive and entertaining window in the races, faces and places that make up this rich fantasy realm.
For those of you unfamiliar with Titan Books’ offerings, they’re known for their high quality and exceptional slick production values. We were previously wowed by the exquisite detail that went into The Art of Watch Dogs and and The Art of Alien Isolation (Andy McVittie), and this comprehensive compendium certainly continues the publisher’s trend of delivering gorgeous and immersive products. Solidly bound in faux leather, the 231-page book is filled to the brim with lush illustrations, detailed descriptions of the various factions and races of Tamriel, and assorted lore and songs that breathe life into the Bethesda’s storied universe. Each page looks unique, with distinct mock weathering decorating the pages, and adorned typeface lifted straight from the various notes and tomes you’d encounter in The Elder Scrolls games.
From a heated duel with an equally powerful and cunning Wood Orc in ‘In the Company of Wood Orcs’ to a study on the fickle nature of Tamriel’s famous crustaceans the mudcrabs, the wealth of history packed between the covers of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel is almost absurd, truly exemplifying Bethesda’s commitment to building such a living, breathing world for players to explore over the past few decades. While previous experience with the games in the series would certainly make this book a bit more readable, it’s still a fine introduction for players looking to get a crash course on the rich tapestry of Tamriel’s history. By the time you finish reading up on the finer points of the Daggerfall Covenant and the various houses that peddle power and influence over the land, you’re bound to feel like a Morrowind native.
Priced at $34.99, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel Book 1: The Land is certainly on the pricier end of coffee table reading, but its beautiful production values and sheer wealth of history crammed into its pages make it well worth the asking price. If you’re looking for a fresh introduction to lore and traditions of Tamriel before venturing off in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, or just looking to add to your collection of Elder Scrolls memorabilia, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel Book 1: The Land deserves a spot on your bookshelf.
Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel Book 1: The Land ; Publisher: Titan Books ; Author: Bethesda Software; Released: April 21, 2015 ; MSRP: $34.99