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A Wizards Bestiary

Title: A Wizard's Bestiary
Author: Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (with Ash DeKirk)
Reviewed by: Nick Redfern

Last year, I was asked if I would write an inside-cover blurb for a forthcoming book titled A Wizard’s Bestiary by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (with Ash DeKirk).

Well, at the time of the inquiry Oberon (a renowned wizard in his own right and the author of Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard) sent me a Word document of various sections of the book; and after reading them, I knew that this was going to be a good one, and so I quickly sent off my blurb.

And the book has now been published.

For a very reasonable price you get a 360-page title that is as magical as it is fascinating, and that is as informative as it is thought-provoking. I don’t joke or exaggerate when I say that A Wizard’s Bestiary is likely to become one of the most talked about cryptozoological books of the next few years.

Not only that: Oberon’s book is packed (and I do mean packed) with cool drawings, old woodcuts and ancient engravings on all things bizarre and monster-driven. Indeed, I’d say that the book averages about 5 illustrations per page. That’s right: not 5 per chapter, but 5 per page.

Picking up and reading the book is very much like delving into some ancient magical tome of a type that would sit very well within the pages of a classic tale of Lovecraftian proportions. So, with all that said, precisely what is the book about?

Well, basically, it’s an encyclopedic study of countless unknown beasts that range from the cryptozoological to the fantastic and the magickal. The mainstream cryptozoologist will find much of interest here, including (A) detailed sections on such hairy man-beasts as Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Almas, and the Yowie; (B) a wealth of data (and great imagery) on sea-serpents and lake-monsters; (C) tales of mystery big-cats; (D) sightings of unidentified flying winged things of both a giant bird and pterodactyl-style; (E) reports of the devilish Black Dogs of old; and (F) encounters with still-living dinosaurs and much more.

Reports of magical entities such as Unicorns, Basilisks, Gryphons, the Phoenix, Satyrs and Centaurs are all addressed in-depth; as are the “Plantimals” - animate-plants, as the book describes them, and which yet again create wonderful Lovecraftian-style imagery in the mind’s eye. I could go on and on about this book all day long. But, suffice to say, this is definitely one of the most significant monster titles of recent years and one that, in terms of both its subject matter and its approach, is unlikely to be eclipsed. Magical, informative, monstrous and engaging, A Wizard’s Bestiary is one to read late at night, when the wind howls and the moon is full...

A Wizard’s Bestiary by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart is published by New Page Books. (www.newpagebooks.com)