Title: Court of the Dead: The Chronicle of the Underworld
Authors: Corrina Bechko, Landry Q. Walker
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release date: May 17, 2016
When I first began reading this book I was sure that this was a companion piece to an RPG game, where they give more description so players can flesh out their gaming experience. A little reconnaissance shows that while there's no game, there is a line of figures by Sideshow Collectibles and apparently this book is a tie-in. This explains quite a bit, since I kept feeling like the book was a part of something else and not something on its own.
The book has a few things to offer readers, namely its mythology and artwork. The writing here is interesting enough and for what it is (a guidebook to the Underworld and its occupants) it's pretty well detailed. If you did want to use this as the base for a RPG, you wouldn't be disappointed since all of the basics are covered. Readers are given just enough to know what's going on, although I'll say that the best portions come when the creepy court jester Malavestros inserts his own opinions and reflections that frequently contradict the narrator, an official Underworld historian.
Where the book shines is in its artwork and I'd wager that this will likely be the most popular aspect of Court of the Dead for most readers. It was certainly my favorite aspect, as the pictures are just lavishly done and beautiful enough that I'd say that if you're looking into getting this, I'd recommend the print version. (Assuming that there will even be an e-book edition.) This was gorgeous in my e-book ARC, but I know that it won't hold a candle to the larger print copy.
(ARC provided by Netgalley)