Galerion the Mystic, by Asgrim Kolsgreg.
This is the tale of a peasant who trained with the Psijics and became the first Archmagister of the Mages Guild. Born into a social strata where literacy was forbidden, he fled his master's estate as a child, later to be found, half dead, by a group of troubadours who recognized his intelligence and sent him to Artaeum for schooling. It's a reasonably interesting tale, told in an unremarkable style. It might have benefited from more detail.
A Game at Dinner, by an Anonymous Spy.
Prince Helseth, son of Barenziah, has more than a few spies in his court. At a banquet, he attempts to suss them out with poison. The story is presented as a letter written by a surviving spy to his employer. Although the story is predictable, it manages to be fairly entertaining.
Three and a half stars.
A Gentleman's Guide to Whiterun, by Mikael the Bard.
This is probably the skeeviest book in the game, written by Mikael, that bard you can beat up for harrassing Carlotta. He lists most of the women in Whiterun--contemporary with the time of the game, so these are characters the player will encounter--along with his opinions on their physical charms and bed-ability. It's functionally a catalog for promiscuous men. Eew.
Ghosts in the Storm, by Adonato Leotelli.
The author, while traveling with a Khajiit caravan, was beset by creatures unnamed, but described so well that the reader can readily identify them as Falmer. Given the author's mention of Ri'saad, the Khajiit leader, it is apparent that this is a recent text, reasonably contemporary with the game. It is well written, with nicely detailed descriptions.
Glories and Laments Among the Ayleid Ruins, by Alexandre Hetrard.
This text is rich with lush descriptions of scenery. It's more or less a travelogue or explorer's guide, but it also touches on ancient High Elf religion. There isn't much to it, but what is there is nicely written.
The Gold Ribbon of Merit, by Ampyrian Brum.
Two young men, who had been friends as boys, have a reunion. The braggart, prideful of his awards, offers an archery lesson to his quiet friend, who is perhaps not so unskilled as his modest demeanor suggests. This tale was predictable, and not nearly as satisfying as The Black Arrow, but it was enjoyable.
Three and a half stars.
Great Harbingers of the Companions.
This is a history of the Companions, who are, in effect, the warriors guild of Skyrim. While the writing is not stellar, the brief biographies are interesting. Unfortunately, non-Nords, particularly elves, seemed to have short tenures as Harbinger, with sad endings. The same can be said of the one woman Harbinger mentioned. It is apparent that Nord chauvinism is not new to Skyrim, or to the Companions.
Note: I am not connected to Bethesda in any way, and no one asked me to do these reviews. I am doing this purely for my own fun, as time allows. I don't have an agenda, other than the joy of reading and writing. If I panned your favorite Skyrim book, sorry. If I gave five stars to one you thought was awful, also sorry. These are my opinions and mine alone. You're entitled to your own.
Read these books within the game Skyrim, on The Elder Scrolls Wiki or on the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, or download the Dovahkiin Gutenberg.
Corridors of Blood
7 months ago