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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The reasons why goblins make perfect bankers and witches have always flown on broomsticks isn't obvious from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, but lucky for us, many baffling questions are answered in David Colbert's helpful guide to the myths, legends, and fascinating facts behind our favorite wizard's worlds.
With subjects in alphabetical order, this solid resource provides quick-reference explanations to all the creatures, spells, character names, and events. Each chapter starts off with a lead-in question, followed by two or more pages of description and additional interesting facts in the margins. Magical topics themselves range from divination to Manticores to wands, and the most basic information usually includes name origin, appropriate historical facts, and myths surrounding the subject. It's a lot to absorb, but thankfully the book also contains page-topic tabs, cross-references in the margins, and a thorough index for easy navigation.
Any Potter fan anxious to delve beyond the pages of Rowling's novels will discover that besides being a master writer, she also knows her history and mythology. Colbert expertly shows us what's factored into her work, and it's a treat. Harry Potter lovers will see this as a must-have for their collections, while teachers, librarians, and parents can easily use it to start discussions on past people or events. An impressive tool that's not to be missed. Matt Warner