As fans of the series will know, the Elder Scrolls games have a history of relaying information and stories through in-game books, letters, and manuals. Titan Books have published collections of such materials that can be found in the most recent Elder Scrolls game. Vol. III: The Arcane is the most recent such collection, and contains writings relating to the magical aspects of the Elder Scrolls world.
Each book in the Skyrim library has taken on the appearance of the sort of old tome that you might find in the game itself. Very little information is printed on the cover itself, only the logo and the title of the book. The book comes with a small sleeve, but this doesn't provide much more in terms of details; there isn't a blurb to be found. Inside, some of the paragraphs have been illustrated in the same manner that was popular among books written hundreds of years ago. The overall effect is that this book feels like it belongs in the world it depicts.
The main bulk of the book is a series of writings which are separated into four main categories and punctuated with illustrations. The nature of these illustrations varies; they range from character sketches, to drawings of beautiful scenery from the land of Skyrim. The book is 231 pages long, but due to it being a compilation each individual entry only takes a few pages at most. This means that you can spend all afternoon reading it if you want to or elect to read it in short bursts.
What you get from this book depends on what you want it for. Skyrim Library Vol. III is a collection of stories, letters, and essays written as if they had been about real world, academic subjects. This shouldn't be read as an indication that this book is dull. Not only can it draw you deeper into the world that Bethesda has created, it can also be funny. Even the parts that are supposed to be manuals can be funny. Bethesda was always good at making their RPGs feel like they took place in actual fleshed-out worlds and it shows in this book.
The Skyrim Library Vol. III is like an encyclopedia for all things magical in the world of the Elder Scrolls. As such, its primary appeal is to the players who found themselves invested in the extra reading they found while playing the game. It helps if you come to this book already familiar with Skyrim - the book is designed with this in mind, after all – but it isn’t essential that you’re a fan of fantastical worlds to enjoy this release.
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - THE SKYRIM LIBRARY VOL. III: THE ARCANE/ AUTHOR: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW