In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’Mor, Carine-M and Jezequel is a journal style book, with beautiful illustrations and notations about various dragons.
It took me aaaaaages to actually download this book due to technical difficulties. Once I finally had it open on the screen in front of me, my first reaction was disappointment: I could barely read the cursive text. I realise that it was meant to be handwriting, French handwriting to be exact, but it is possible to have text that looks like handwriting and is still readable. Furthermore, I would have liked a bit of an introduction. I don’t know about anyone else, but anytime I start writing a journal, I start with a small intro. Just a line or so about what I aim to achieve with the journal. Maybe that is just the years of essay writing drummed into me though.
Now, I LOVE dragons. Seriously, I don’t think I can begin to describe the scope of my fascination with them. Recently, I have been looking into dragon anatomy. While dragons are fantasy creatures, if they are plausible, meaning that they could realistically exist and fly around, they become much more wonderful. This book captures dragons beautifully. There is a wide variety of types, with different features reflecting their habitat or type. Some of the designs are impractical for flying or suchlike, but in essence they are magnificent creatures illustrated stunningly. I really enjoyed that the Muirdris (I think that is how it is spelt, I can’t read the writing!) looked a lot like a realistic Gyarados. There are also other fantastical creatures such as fairies and werewolves. Each dragon and creature has been researched and it contains much lore and legend. As the explore goes from place to place, the dragons reflect the culture and history of that area.
This book suffers from not really being sure what it is: art book or illustrated story book. The notations alongside the artwork bare some semblance to plot, with the narrator on some journey trying to find lost dragons, but the writing is dull and hard to follow. The texts jumps around, a piece of story on the opposite page to a seemingly random observation about dragons. There are also letters from someone included. Rather than being a mystery of who the person is though, I more feel like the introduction of the character has just been missed out. Although a small niggle, it also annoyed me that on one map Wales was completely mislabelled, placing it in the south of Scotland. It really doesn’t take much research to google a map of the UK. It did appear in its proper place later on in the book though.
Some of the essence of the book was lost by it being digital (such as including just under 100 duplicate pages) and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I had a physical copy to flick though. However at £25, I don’t think I could justify the spend. It is over 200 pages long, and very pretty, so it would make an attractive coffee table book but it is not something that is going on my wishlist. This does sadden me, as it is clear that the authors have put in a lot of time and effort into the book. Possible if the book was cheaper, more people would be encouraged to buy it, but as it is unlikely that I will ever want to read it again, for me it is not worth it.