One of my favorite tabletop miniature skirmish games of the last five years has been Joseph McCullough's Frostgrave. There are many reasons why I love this game of dueling wizards and their minions, but one of the things that instantly endeared me to it was the wonderful artwork of Dmitry and Kate Burmak.
Frostgrave is an easy game to get into and one that has a simple and evocative backstory. The city of Falstad was once a thriving center of magic, learning, and trade. It was a city of scholars and wizards. After something went horribly wrong with that magic, the city was destroyed in a deluge of snow, ice, and cast into a perpetual dark winter. But just as suddenly as the city was entombed, turning it from Falstad into Frostgrave, a thousand years later, it began emerging from its icy prison. As the city now thaws, revealing its once glorious past, new wizards and their hired hands are returning to explore its ruins. As players, you get to assemble warbands of these brave (foolhardy?) adventurers in search of treasure and lost magical knowledge and artifacts.
It was the Burmak's art that really brought the world of Frostgrave to life and fired the imaginations of its players. That art is collected and celebrated in a new book from the game's publisher, Osprey.
Wizard Eye: The Art of Frostgrave includes all of the art that the Burmaks have created for the game to date. It covers the original game book, the supplements, the novels, the miniatures box art, and all of the other Frostgrave products (all the way up to The Perilous Dark supplement).
Just collecting the art itself under one cover would have made for a lovely and desirable book, but Wizard Eye is much more. Each image is explored through sketches and text by McCullough and the Burmaks. There are even photos of the Burmaks dressed in costumes to get the poses right ("Brothers Hildebrandt, white courtesy phone") and photos of clay and foam models that Dmitry constructed to block the scenes, get the lighting correct, etc.
The text provides details into the creation of the art, but it also offers a lot of useful insights into the world of Frostgrave itself. As an avid fan of this world, I learned a lot about Frostgrave and its inhabitants which will further my appreciation of the game as I play it, construct terrain for it, and paint my miniatures.
This book is not only a great tome for Frostgrave players to add to their collection, and a great gift for any tabletop fantasy gamer, it's also the kind of book that anyone interested in fantasy art and classic sword and sorcery will enjoy.
Image: Cover art