The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Shigeru Miyamoto is a very thorough history of Zelda, Link, and all of the villains and characters they meet throughout the ages. The team put together all sorts of stories to work all of the various Legend of Zelda games into a larger history of Hyrule and the surrounding lands. There’s a timeline to help the readers get a better handle on when each game takes place, including an alternate timeline depending on whether Link wins or loses key battles.
If you’re a fan of the Legend of Zelda games, this is worth at least perusing. You’ll get some behind the scenes looks at the games as they were developed, but the majority of the material focuses on Hyrule’s history and population. Who are the main villains of each age? Why are they acting the way they do? Who rises up to stop them and how? How does this fit in the bigger picture? The book includes the earliest game, The Legend of Zelda, and includes the most recent release at the time of this writing, Skyward Sword.
The book is filled with graphics and illustrations – characters in different portraits, maps, screenshots of the games, and some backstory on the major events/characters. This is not in any way a game guide so if you want help in your games, you’ll need to look elsewhere. If you want to know more about why different decisions were made, see the evolution of the games, or just learn how everything fits together, this is a good resource.
My Take: I enjoy the Zelda series, but will admit that I have in no way played every game, let alone beat all of them. I managed to win the first game, but the second game in the series was frustrating even before I met Shadow Link, and I just haven’t had time to play enough since then to make any serious headway. I did enjoy the behind the scenes looks at the various games and how all of them fit together. I was even reminded about some of the games I’d forgotten or missed along the way. It’s a fun read. I don’t know that I’d buy a copy for myself, but I can see this being good for fans of the game. I’d highly recommend reading the actual book over the eBook, just because of the number of illustrations. You won’t have the best experience on a smaller screen.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book with no expectations on anyone’s part. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.