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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks and Daggers Book Review

The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles- Cloaks and Daggers Book

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks and Daggers” is another winner from Harper Design and WETA.

With the extended cut of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” being released this week, it seems only fitting to be reviewing the recent tie-in book titled “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks and Daggers.”

Written by Daniel Falconer, ‘Cloaks and Daggers’ is essentially a love letter to the various production departments that worked on the first two films. Truth be told, there’s a staggering amount of content here. Not only do you get to see pictures and concept art of sets (including Hobbiton), props, costumes (like Bilbo’s outfit), shoes, pouches, pipes, weapons (from orcs, dwarves, and elves), the One Ring, treasure, glassware, armor, saddles, barrels, swords, instruments, letters, and digital costumes, but you also get to read accompanying quotes from set decorators, potters, prop masters/designers, soft furnishing designers, graphic artists, costume designers, milliner, costume jeweler, swordsmith, and wardrobe workers, cast members, textile artists, a saddle maker, and more. While some quotes may not add much aside from stating the obvious, you do get to read some great Stephen Fry lines as well as learn about various departments creative jobs. More than that, however, you will also get some insight into how things were made. For instance, if you want to know more about Bofur’s hat, the animal designs on dwarf weapons, the Mirkwood decorations or Galadriel’s sparkly dress, you will get that information here!

Last, but not least, the book also contains a grateful foreword by Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), an introduction by costume designer Ann Maskrey, and an ad for collectibles.

While past tie-in art books have provided in-depth looks at CGI and concept art, ‘Cloaks and Daggers’ offers up material that is arguably the most important part of “The Hobbit” films. Without physical or digital costumes, props, sets, weaponry and so forth, there is no sense of authenticity or believability. These artists are tasked with creating the world of Middle Earth so that filmgoers can immerse themselves in this world. They may not be directing the action or acting in the films, but they are providing the look and feel of the films whether it be through Radagast’s intricate costume or the actual Lake-Town.

Overall Thoughts: If you can’t get enough of “The Hobbit” films, ‘Cloaks and Daggers’ is a must buy.

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November 5, 2014 - Posted by | Book review |

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