My Favorite "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" Books
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 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 now to share my five favorite The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim books. I’m sure you can also discern from my selection, the incredible amount of creativity and work Bethesda placed into writing these tales.
1. "The Wolf Queen"
One of the longest stories and spread over eight books, the Wolf Queen is a novella depicting one of the most tumultuous periods of the Septim dynasty of Tamriel. Shakespearean in feel and plot, its most unforgettable aspect 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 is ever 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. With the right crew, such a movie would be a spectacular box-office hit too.
2. "The Black Arrow"
Many 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. Of all the Skyrim books 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.
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, as in, the awful one about a doctor marooned on an island. Wabbajack incidentally also contains Lovecraftian elements. Lovecraft, of course, was acknowledged by King himself as a major source of inspiration. To summarize, fans of psychological horror would surely adore this disturbing tale. For the rest of you, try not to read this late in the night.
4. "The Lusty Argonian Maid"
A perennial favorite among The Elder Scrolls fans, The Lusty Argonian Maid is written as a comedic script. You can visualize it 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.
5. Surfeit of Thieves
The Surfeit of Thieves is short, and truth be told, the twist at the end is not unpredictable. 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 definitely enjoy this wicked tale. You’d like enjoy more than a sinful giggle too.
Where are my Skyrim Books Currently?
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 a few 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 won numerous awards for their graphics and gameplay. You are assured endless hours of entertainment.
The second way is to use the Wiki. All stories are listed here in full. I have to say, though, that while it is still entertaining to read the stories this way, the experience is somewhat compromised when you do not pair it with actually seeing and journeying through Tamriel.
Lastly, if you prefer to read the stories 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. But 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. Gaming has gone far beyond that.
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© 2017 Kuan Leong Yong