A history of swords and their sharp, pointy, or bludgeoning cousins

The history of weapons is a fascinating subject, but none more so than the history of swords and their sharp, pointy or bludgeoning cousins. And this book covers most, if not all of it. Starting from the beginning of primitive stone-age weapons, the book spans over 4000 years of history and covers seven different sections: Classical Weapons, Medieval Weapons, Renaissance Weapons, Age of Sabres, Islamic Weapons, Weapons of the Far East and a Wider World of Weapons. What really makes this book pop is how seamlessly it integrates the use and history of weapons with culture. Many weapons carried far more significance as a symbol than as a fighting tool and the book gives some perspective on the different roles these weapons played. The images were taken at the Berman Museum of World History from their 6000-piece collection, and it shows. There are hundreds of images of beautiful swords, each described in detail from its use to its creator.

If you’re getting into the hobby of swords, or you’re just interested in their history and design, this book is made for you. It covers the information in an easy-to-understand way and doesn’t clutter the pages with too much jargon. However, if you’re already into the hobby or you’re a sword connoisseur, the information here might be on the light side for you. As a decorative coffee table book, it’s a must-buy for anyone even remotely interested in swords.

– Engela Snyman

Swords, Spears and Maces

by Chuck Wills

Hinkler Books

2014, 160 pages, 9.1 x 11 x 0.7 inches

$12 Buy one on Amazon