A History of Weapons by John O’Bryan (Author) and Barry Orkin (Illustrator)

“Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up”

One of the coolest covers ever! 😀

Summary

“BEHOLD more than 150 of the freakiest weapons in history.

UNLOCK the secrets of Genghis Khan, the “peaceful” Shaolin monks, and the ass-whooping Rajputs of India.

DISCOVER the truths about strange and ancient weapons like the atlatl, the sarissa, the urumi, and the Maka Pahoa Ko’oko’o

BECOME ONE with the often eccentric and always fascinating history of weapons”

-From the back of the book

Review

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!! This book is freaking AWESOME! I haven’t read the entire thing as it isn’t supposed to be read like a regular novel. It is a factual book but its fun to read. The book is broken up into different sections, classifying weapons under what time period they are from or who used them. An example would be that there is a section just on the cavemen’s weapons and then there is a section of Ninjas and Samurai and shows the difference between the two groups and the weapons that they used. The chapters start with an explanation of the group of people in history that are being mentioned and then there is one page per weapon. There is a picture of the weapon itself and then a paragraph or so on what the weapon actually is and what it was used for and its historical importance. Sometimes it will say how easy it is to use the weapon (usually for better known weapons as in the katana and such), it will sometimes say how it became famous (a historical event, movie, or even video game), and some uses that it was used for. It also may talk about what other weapon was used with it.

The setup was incredibly easy to understand and made the book more enjoyable. I also LOVED the illustrations!

You may think that this book would be boring and all historical and stuff but it most definitely is not. There was one weapon which was talked about which made me laugh because what was said in the description. The weapon was the Mancatcher which is a glorified pair of tweazers, massive style. It has spikes inside of it and was used to keep an enemy down while they were being bound or blindfolded. And John O’Bryan, in one of the sentences said,

“After a victim was subdued by the mancatcher, the knight would typically bind the person’s hands for the ride home. Or if he was feeling like a dick, he might leave the person inside the jaws of the mancatcher for the entire horse ride. Ouch.”

The writing in this book is not like a regular history book where big words are used and such. It is written in a common dialect and it makes it more fun and engaging. The pictures also really add to the book as well because otherwise I would have ABSOLUTELY no idea what the weapons are that are being talked about.

I had always been fascinated with weapons and such and this just does the trick for me (also some of the stories I’m writing has historical contexts and Wikipedia searches just aren’t cutting it for the weapons.) This book puts all of the weapons that you are ever going to need to know in one fun, friendly, and easy to use book.

I also loved the cover. It caught my eye and I loved the tagline of the book. It made me laugh and intrigued me to as what the book was about. What can I say…I sometimes judge a book by its cover and boy am I glad that I did.

I personally love this book and will be reading it from beginning to end. It it set up amazingly well and I am so glad that I made this purchase. You should definitely go and try to find this book. It is worth the price, (not that expensive, about $19). If you are interested in weapons then this is a great thing to buy, but would be an amazing gift for someone who is interested in weapons as well. But even if you aren’t interested in weapons, it’s still a fun read and you may learn something.

So go and check it out and let me know what you think of it.