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A Practical Guide to Vampires [Hardcover]

Lisa Trutkoff Trumbauer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 15.99
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Hardcover, Aug. 11 2009 CDN $12.79  

Book Description

Aug. 11 2009 Practical Guide To...
Sink your teeth into today's hottest fantasy topic with the next book in the New York Times best-selling series...

How old is a vampire fledgling? Why do vampires avoid mirrors? What's the best way to slip into a vampire's home? New York Times best-selling author Lisa Trumbauer illuminates the twilight world of vampires in the next edition in the Practical Guide family of fantasy essentials.

Frequently Bought Together

A Practical Guide to Vampires + A Practical Guide to Monsters + A Practical Guide to Faeries
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.53

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  • A Practical Guide to Monsters CDN$ 6.78

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  • A Practical Guide to Faeries CDN$ 11.96

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Product Description

About the Author

Robin D. Owens is an award-winning author. She lives in Denver, Colorado.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun book on vampires June 27 2010
By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is another book in the Practical Guide to... series that is aimed towards the 8-14 age group. The subject of this book is, of course, vampires. The book's contents appear to be a combination of traditional lore (vampire weaknesses and stories), dungeons and dragons (things like magic items and weapons), and modern vampire stories (the idea of "vegetarian" vampires that drink only animal blood). The book is told from the point of view of a vampire hunter, although a pretty sympathetic one at that. The book details the traits of vampires, their habits, their interactions with humans (not always entirely bad), their weaknesses, how to fight them, and related monsters and sub-types of vampires.

In terms of tone, it's presented with enough menace to be interesting, but it's light-hearted enough to suit its target audience (no gory details). This is by no means a book for anyone serious about vampires, but as an interesting book for younger viewers, it's a great buy. The illustrations are good, the content is varied but interesting, and the tone is just right. My only complaint would be that the author tends to enjoy using some pretty obscure and advanced words that younger readers might not recognize. Then again, that just might encourage them to learn the meaning of those words. Overall, a strong recommendation as a fun read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly targets the 9-12 crowd with G-rated material Sept. 8 2009
By Lisa Barker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
You loved the series on dragons, but now you have everything you ever wanted to know about vampires at your fingertips. Stunning illustrations to feast your eyes upon and fill your imagination. Perfectly targets the 9-12 crowd with G-rated material, but is suitable for any vampire lover/collector (along the lines of the older Gnomes and Fairies field books of the seventies, I think it was).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to Vampires Dec 9 2011
By j3nni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 9 year old loves these books! He started out with A Practical Guide to Monsters about a year ago and now has 4 in the series. He looks at them and reads them often and likes to take them to school for show and tell.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appealing to readers of all ages Nov. 15 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Appealing to readers of all ages, A Practical Guide to Vampires is an illustrated, fantastic guide to these popular horror-movie monsters. Presenting the basics of vampire lore from anatomy (apparently vampires have withered internal organs and small lungs whose sole purpose is to provide air for speech, since they don't breathe) to basic physical and magical self-defense against vampires, to proper etiquette when invited to a vampire banquet. A delightful treasure trove of ideas, especially recommended not only for vampire fans, but also anyone interested in creating vampire stories, or leading a role playing game involving vampires. Also a joy to page through are previous books in the "Practical Guide" series, including "A Practical Guide to Monsters" and "A Practical Guide to Dragons".
5.0 out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to Vampires (Practical Guides) June 6 2014
By Katie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a good read for those of us who have read a Practical Guide to dragons. It will even appeal to younger kids as well.
3.0 out of 5 stars Well done book hampered by its D&D subject matter. Dec 18 2013
By Beau Yarbrough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After the books on dragons, D&D monsters, wizards and faeries, Wizards of the Coast/Mirrorstone apparently saw that vampires were hot due to Twilight (which is name-checked on the back cover and with an explicit reference to Forks at the end of the book) and thought that D&D vampires were ripe for a Practical Guides book.

Unfortunately, the vampires of the Dungeons & Dragons world have been a mess since they first debuted in the 1970s, and they're likely not what tweens interested in vampires now because of Twilight, the Vampire Diaries and Monster High are looking for.

First off, and most obviously, it's a world that has wizards and magic in it, and no modern technology. This is addressed in both the art -- which is the usual mix of work for previous D&D books and new work commissioned just for this one -- and explicit mentions of magic items and wizardry. I've never been a pre-teen girl, but my gut says this isn't what they're expecting if they go looking for a parent-approved book that lets them touch on some of the concepts raised by the Twilight books and movies.

Second, D&D vampires don't actually drink blood as a general rule. (They can, but it's more of a flavor choice by the Dungeon Master.) They "drain energy," mechanically making their opponents weaker mid-fight. While this is possibly useful in a D&D game (I think it's an antiquated approach that should have been ditched years ago in favor of more thematic attacks, like those of Ravenloft's Nosferatu vampires), it doesn't line up at all with the classical vampires that non-D&D readers will be expecting. To Lisa Trutkoff Trumbauer's credit, she keeps references to energy drain to a bare minimum in the latter half of the book, but they're still there, and will likely baffle most casual readers.

All of that said, for someone like me, who's collecting these as introductory works to get his young kids into the D&D game in a few years, this is a pretty good book, although lags far behind the dragons, wizards, faeries and monster books. (I haven't read the dragon magic or dragon riding books so far.) It looks like Mirrorstone may have discontinued this series, which is a shame, because I'd love to see giants get this same treatment (they're a group of monsters that have been strangely under-examined by D&D historically), along with dungeons as a milieu.

(I also wouldn't mind an index, either in the book or online, that identifies where the magic items and other monsters referenced came from originally. As with the Practical Guide to Faeries, a fair number of them are new to me, and I suspect came from either later third edition D&D books or fourth edition ones, and I'd love to check them out.)

If you know what you're getting -- and what you're not -- with this book, this is a worthwhile purchase, but I'd put it quite a bit behind the Practical Guide to Dragons, Practical Guide to Wizardry and Practical Guide to Faeries, and a little behind thje Practical Guide to Monsters.
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