My Favorite "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" Books

Updated on February 18, 2020
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Geek, gamer, writer, graphic artist. The Geek's favorite movies and games are those that allow him to enjoy the world from his bedroom.

If you are a gamer and you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you are missing out big time, my friend. One of the most detailed gaming worlds ever created, journeying through Skyrim is an endless scroll of adventure— no pun intended with that word use.

To assist new players with the rich lore behind Skyrim and earlier episodes, creator Bethesda Studios also included hundreds of books within the game. Think of these as medieval PDFs acquired through a variety of ways, with content ranging from multi-part historical narrations, to diary entries, to comedic short stories. For me, one of the greatest pleasure of playing Skyrim is to collect these books, then read them at a later time when I tire of slaying zombies and dragons. Without further ado, allow me to share my five favorite The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim books. I’m sure you can also easily discern from my selection, the incredible amount of creativity and work Bethesda placed into writing these stories.

1. "The Wolf Queen"

One of the longest stories and spread over eight books, The Wolf Queen is a novella set against one of the most tumultuous periods of the Septim dynasty of Tamriel. Shakespearean in both feel and plot, the most unforgettable aspect of The Wolf Queen is the strong characterization of the eponymous lead character, a tragic figure destined for notoriety but never for greatness. If a live-action movie of The Elder Scrolls were ever to be made, The Wolf Queen would definitely be a strong contender for the plot; already, I can think of a few names to play the title role. Coming back to the story, The Wolf Queen definitely gives a good feel of the savagery underlying Skyrim too. This is a land that is not only frigid, its history is absolutely brutal too.

The Wolf Queen is one of the longest sagas in “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” You need to collect eight books in order to read it in full.
The Wolf Queen is one of the longest sagas in “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” You need to collect eight books in order to read it in full.

2. "The Black Arrow"

Numerous gamers have commended this story in online video game forums. Written in the first narrative, it recounts the first job of a bard during his youth, one that ended on a most intense and tragic note. Of all the Skyrim books that I have read, I consider The Black Arrow the best written in terms of language and technique, with the paced, confident build-up pulling you in like an irresistible magnet. You will definitely feel the murderous justice of the black arrow, when it is shot for the final time. The explanation implied in the epilogue will likewise astound and impress you.

3. "Wabbajack"

Wabbajack is one of the shortest Skyrim books. One of the creepiest as well. Without giving too much away, let me just say this chiller strongly reminded me of one of Stephen King’s short stories. Specifically, the awful one about a doctor marooned on an island. Wabbajack incidentally also contains Lovecraftian elements. Lovecraft, of course, acknowledged by King himself as a major source of inspiration. To summarize, fans of psychological horror would surely adore this disturbing rant. For the rest of you, try not to read this creepy soliloquy too late in the night.

4. "The Lusty Argonian Maid"

A perennial favorite among The Elder Scrolls fans, The Lusty Argonian Maid is divided into two parts and written as a comedic script. You can visualize both acts as one of those naughty, hysterical skids enjoyed by rowdy peasants, while under the summer night and surrounded by copious amounts of mead and ale. The script itself is chock full of sexual innuendoes, but never once overtly vulgar or rude. Too bad there are only two scenes available. Last I checked online, thousands of Elder Scrolls fans are still painfully awaiting more scenes to be added. I’m included in this lot.

The Lusty Argonian Maid is among the most popular Skyrim books. There are even mods for it!
The Lusty Argonian Maid is among the most popular Skyrim books. There are even mods for it!

5. "Surfeit of Thieves"

Surfeit of Thieves is short, and truth be told, not entirely unpredictable too as far as the ending is concerned. I still love it though for the straightforward prose and the Tales from the Crypt flavor throughout. In fact, I could quite easily imagine the Crypt Keeper himself playing a role in this nasty little story. If you are into black comedy, you will surely enjoy this wicked tale. You’d likely enjoy more than a sinful giggle too, when reading the twisted conclusion.

Where Do I Find My Collected Books in the Game?

My personal library in the game. You can enjoy such a facility if you have the Homestead DLC installed.
My personal library in the game. You can enjoy such a facility if you have the Homestead DLC installed.

Where to Read “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” Books?

There are three ways to enjoy these books.

The first is, of course, to buy the game. Skyrim, being several years old now, is available at very good prices for all platforms. Nothing beats reading the lore, then being a part of the world that the stories speak of. By the way, Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games have also won numerous awards for their graphics and gameplay. Outside of the books, you are assured endless hours of fantasy entertainment.

The second way is to browse through the Skyrim Wiki. All stories listed there are in full. I must highlight, though, that while it is still entertaining to read the stories this way, the experience is somewhat compromised, reason being you do not pair it with actually seeing and journeying through Tamriel.

Lastly, if you prefer to read the books outside of the games, Bethesda has compiled the stories into various hardcover books. These are a little pricey, especially if you wish to own all of them. However, I do feel they are worth every cent, if only for their creative worth. They would also be good evidence to show to friends that gaming nowadays is no longer just mindless slashing. Games has long evolved into a respectable form of storytelling.

© 2017 ScribblingGeek


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