Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
I finally got a copy, mostly due to my interest in the chapter on broadswords, as it shows more examples than the Furusiyya Foundation book, and to some extent because of the chapter on Mameluke swordsmiths and swords. I ended up reading the entire book, and can confirm what Ariel wrote - it is a very pleasant read, not dry at all, while at the same time up to very high academic standards of research and writing.
The book encompasses such a huge topic, that it can be useful to almost anyone here on the forum regardless of specific area interest (OK, if you are collecting Polynesian clubs or sub-Saharan spears, maybe not quite). The authors also tackle some controversial and somewhat mystery topics ranging from the saber of Charlemagne to the Virgin Mary swords, and reach some well founded and explained conclusions, dispelling myths created by previous authors.
That being said, the book is not trying to be contrarian and revolutionary. The authors have simply done an excellent job of separating fact from fiction. One of their major contributions going forward may be the periods they have adopted in the evolution of the saber as a form.
I liked the book so much that I also ordered a copy of Kirill Rivkin's Caucasus book, even though I am no longer collecting weapons from that area. I really like him as an author and I hope we will see more books from him in the future.