BOOK REVIEWS

Medieval LEGO Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-12-02 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 17 user ratings
ISBN:1593276508
LANGUAGE:English

" The Lego scenes were an interesting illustration idea, but the text was dull. " said.

" It's not just a collection of super cool Lego builds, it's also a *surprisingly decent* children's medieval English history book! " said.

" British Medieval history, with help from Legos. " said.

" Fun! I didn't know that when King John got excommunicated, people had to hang coffins from trees until they could bury them--for years. Or that Cambridge started with three hangings at Oxford. There's a few boring pages concerning who fought who politically that I think would lose a child reader, but otherwise the facts are written in a way a kid could understand. " said.

"I have a little bit of a mixed feeling about the book. Basically, it is medieval English history with LEGO figures. If you do not expect anything more from it than that, then you will like it. Although the descriptions are quite vivid, I think unless you are really thrilled with the prospect of seeing medieval LEGO (some are just figures on a grassland but you get also cool castles) then this is not a book for you. For LEGO builders this is more a small book of few inspiring builds. Who might enjoy the book are kids with at least some interest in history." said.

"It is a simple introduction to the medieval history of England and my personal opinion is that it would be helpful if you already had some knowledge of what happened during the medieval times in England. For instance, I already knew some things about the War of the Roses, had some knowledge about Jerusalem, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. I had also heard about the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror , Robin Hood, Roger Bacon, Richard of York and William Wallace. What this book did for me was present these things in a neat timeline to understand the sequence of events. The book does omit a lot of information but out of necessity. Personally, I find the LEGO setups to be of no real use other than to liven up the book with vivid colours without which I suspect the reader would find it another dry reading of a history book even though presented in short summaries." said.

"Next morning update: I probably shouldn't write these things late at night. Oh well. I'm not changing it except to fix a couple typos. ("Here" for "hear?" Egads! At least it's not "are" for "our" again. Sheesh!)

Review:

This was pretty awesome. It depicts various events that occurred during the middle ages with a brief summary and an accompanying picture or two done in Legos.

However, the cover has a bit of a misnomer on it. They say never judge a book by its cover, and we should heed that advice here. The picture is fine, but the title is off just a smidge. Lego. Yes, that one is solid. Medieval. Yes, that one works too. But one word missing is "English." All of the events portrayed within concern England in the middle ages, and we hear nothing about what's happening on the main continent save when the Brits trek over there for a crusade or a battle with France.

Also, the name at the bottom is where one would expect an author's name to appear, but while Mr. Beights (pronounced Bates, not Bites, which I'm sure saved him a lot of teasing growing up... except for when he was younger than 12 and could still be addressed as 'master'... And actually he's still growing up. He was only 15 when he put this together which is pretty amazing, and it just came out so he might still be 15 for all I know, but I've digressed). Anyway, the future Mr. Beights authored two of the entries with help from what I assume is one of his professors (the kid's 15 and in his third year of college as near as I can tell. I definitely wasn't college material at that age as I was failing tenth grade biology at 15... Actually I failed it completely, but got a D in it the next year when I was 16! Progress, progress... and digress, digress again. Stick to the book, dummy). The author authored two entries, I say, but the rest were done by scholars from all over the world. Also, the vast majority of the Lego displays were done by other people also from all around the world. I think Greyson provided pictures for five of them. So, he's not so much an author or illustrator as a compiler though he did give full credit and provide a brief bio for each of the contributors. Still, I'm really impressed, so go ahead on Greyson.

Also, I got an autographed copy of this which is cool, even though his "J" in my name looks exactly like the "G" in his, so I'm now Gason? Even though I came out a few years ago, I've still no plan to advertise the fact in my name, not that it matters too much since I go by Pierce (my surname) with most people.

And now for the great stuff. Medieval history! It's been a long time since I've looked into that, and I'm surprised at how much I've forgotten. If you think the wars we fight now are done for silly reasons, let me assure you they can't hold a candle to some of the butt-hurt excuses used to start fights back in the olden days in the old country. Or should that be olde country? The Brits are always throwing e's and u's in places where they're not needed. Anyway, if you think the common rabble is mistreated nowadays, you should've seen the raw deal they got back then. In short, the middle ages were insane. There were centuries of unchecked despotism, and even when people started putting their foot down against the royalty, it was only the other nobles and wealthy that benefited for a long time; the peasants were shat on just as much, only the feces flew from more sources. This book showcases all of that and more most masterfully.

This isn't a book for scholars. This provides breadth on that time period; for depth you must look elsewhere, and I did just that with a few of the entries (although accusing Wikipedia of providing depth is laying it on a bit thick). This is absolutely great for memory jogging, though. And the accompanying pictures are terrific as well. If you need illustrations in your book, they might as well be made of Legos. None of the scenes are epic in proportion, but all of them are quite good, and accompany the text rather well. This would also be an excellent book for any kid interested in history, though I don't know if that was the target audience when it was put together. Adults can enjoy it just as much as a child.

This doesn't pack as much of a punch as The Brick Bible because it lacks the humor, but it's still a great Lego book. I think anyone interested in lightly brushing up on their English medieval history would enjoy this. So would Lego enthusiasts with an interest in that time period.

Another sign that this is a good book is that it's inspired me. It's put me in the mood for more medieval reading, and I've contemplated starting Ivanhoe next, but my busy season at work is just around the corner, and there's no way I can handle something that thick when that kicks off. I'll be doing good if I can wrap my head around The Pokey Little Puppy or Go, Dog. Go!, but Ivanhoe might be moving up the docket for after April 15th. (Or April 19th this year. Goddam DC IRS and their stupid Emancipation Day holiday. I know it might not seem like that much, but four extra days is a long ass time when you've already been exhausted for weeks). Time will tell for Ivanhoe.
" said.

"Whoever said you can't make history interesting or accessible to young readers obviously doesn't like Lego. Actually, you don't even have to like Lego to like this book. Greyson Beights has assembled an all star team of historians and Lego Builders to make this book happen, and it's a pretty quick and pretty fun read. There isn't a lot of depth but then, you really don't want all the nitty gritty of the entire period the book covers. As a jumping off point, it will attract readers of all ages and create some interest in both how the larger scenes were built as well as the story the scenes tell. Overall, a good book that, yes, glosses over a lot, but is, ahem, well constructed for the most part.

Note: book received via Amazon Vine in exchange for review.
" said.

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