Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Hobbit Chronicles: Book 3

Click for my thoughts on the first book and on the second.

Continuing on in my journey through this series of books, I now come to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Chronicles: Art & Design. That is, the Desolation of Smaug version of book one, which was for An Unexpected Journey. So once again, we have a bit less text than was in the second book and quite a lot of concept art, in pencil, paint, and digital.

Might I also just admire this cover. The first book was lovely, with its leather-like texture and faint map imagery. But this one, I think, inspires more awe. The texture is of dragon scales to represent the great Smaug and the shapes are reminiscent of the dwarves. Quite impressive. 

Since the format is the same as before, there is nothing new to report there, except my admiration for the continued tidiness and clarity of form. Some of my favorite sections were probably those on Beorn's home and Lake-town, given that those were also some of my favorite sets. It's designed to be so dilapidated, but I'm half in love with Lake-town; granted, I don't want to live there, but as a set and a setting, it's gorgeous. So much thought went into its conception that I could listen to everyone talk about it all day--and this book kind of let me do that, for a few pages, at least. And the concept art paintings for Lake-town--gorgeous. Indeed, they were for many other sets or characters, as well. The $40 list price on this book may be high, but given the amount of imagery within every page, that's rather reasonable. I'm wondering if this was my favorite out of the three books so far.

Well, Weta has shipped out my signed copy of Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon, so I should be writing up a reaction to that within the next month, I think. Then the next Chronicles book comes out around July. It feels good to be finally caught up with these books. 

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