by Brian Froud and Alan Lee

Abrams, $29.95, 208 pages

The faeries are both complex and beautiful, the same can be said for this compilation. This is the Deluxe Collector’s Edition of the classic art book Faeries, so some of the work has been seen before, some is new and there is a balanced combination of original sketches with handwritten text. There are many beautiful and complex illustrations that take you far from Neverland into a more mature and darker, yet mystically beautiful, world of fantasy. The artist’s work is well renowned and mimicked in the work you would see in Dungeons & Dragons and other works of fantasy.

While learning about the world of Faeries, you also get a glimpse of the artist’s world through their original sketches and notes. Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth will feel at home within the works of Alan Lee. You will recognize Brian Froud’s work from the darker works of Jim Henson, such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. It is pleasing to get so much out of one book, including eight frameable prints and a poster of the book jacket.

Reviewed by Janet Wright