Since these delightful books could actually be easily combined into one volume, I’m reviewing them both in one post.
My thoughts on Lexcalibur: Useful Poetry for Adventurers Above and Below the World:
I was gifted this poetry collection. My friend described it as “Shel Silverstein poems for nerds”, and there’s really no better description. It’s all kinds of nerdy fun!
The poems are generally on the shorter side and are extremely clever. There’s never that feeling of trying too hard and I found myself chuckling as I read through the book. The poems are engaging enough for children with enough wit and little nods that adults will be just as entertained.
The book covers all things fantasy, ranging from important topics such as were-beasts, to concerns about viziers, and complaints about mimics. It’s incredibly obvious that both the author and illustrator are well versed in both the tropes and the lesser-known gems of the fantasy genre. They appreciate all things imaginative and fun.
Lexcalibur is made even better by the inclusion of whimsical and fun illustrations which are scattered throughout. They’re truly delightful and add so much to the book.
I should mention that Lexcalibur can only be found on the Penny Arcade website (link here, for your convenience). The Penny Arcade comics themselves are meant for adults to enjoy, but this book is all-ages fun.
I loved, loved, loved this collection of poems! If you’re a lover of all things fantastical, you’ll really enjoy Lexcalibur. I’ll leave you with one of the poems:
I got a ring, and it makes me invisible.
No one can see me! A marvelous thing!
As I suggested, your eyes have been bested.
Except for the ring.
Lexcalibur II: The Word in the Stone
Lexcalibur II continues in the delightful vein of book one, with fun and imaginative poems that are perfect for any fantasy or TTRPG lover. I smiled at the love of fantasy that shone through every page.
I sometimes cringe at poems that rhyme because they can feel so forced. Not so in this case, the rhymes added a fairy tale cadence that was endearing.
There were several poems that shared a common theme, which was a little different. The Eyrewood, a table-top roleplaying game, featured multiple times. I haven’t played it (yet), but as a TTRPG fan, I could still understand and appreciate the joy and nods. And that’s the thing about both Lexcalibur books: they brim with joy.
It’s wonderful to be taken to a place of unlimited potential and imagination. The playful illustrations added to the atmosphere and kept me grinning. I loved Lexcalibur II and really hope there’s a volume three coming before too long!
Here’s one of my favorite poems from this second installment. Enjoy!
Wait for No Prophecy
Wait for no prophecy,
Yield to no star,
Tell your own story
Wherever you are.
For no prophet knows you,
And stars are just light;
And no dream
Was ever dreamed
Without a fight.