Explore the fantastic universe of Astolia by solving puzzles from the book “The Key”
Today, my friends, I would like to tell you about an extraordinary artist and a book that you will surely like, as long as you like puzzles.
Phanelia is a very talented and super nice French designer whom I had the opportunity to meet during the festival Geek fairies. She published a puzzle book, some time ago, in collaboration with her co-author Taharna, called “La Clef” and I wanted to let you discover it.
It is a unique book (seriously, there is no equivalent!), which combines a fascinating story and complex puzzles to be solved thanks, in particular, to the use of a UV lamp as in Experts ^^.
I had the opportunity to “test” this book and I was really impressed by the quality of the illustrations that immersed me in the fantastic universe imagined by Fanélia, as well as the originality of the proposed puzzles. In the end, I say “originality”, but we still go beyond that.
The book is called “La Clef” and it is quite sturdy, hardcover and quality paper, which puts it in the category of collector’s books. Give it to a geek friend and he or she will love you for life ^^. Each double page of the book thus suggests an enigma to be solved, without an explicit statement. Yes, I said “no statement”, which I admit can be quite unnerving. Either way, it bothers me.
The reader will therefore have to use an eagle’s sense of observation and inexorable logic to find a solution, obviously based on text and image. The book has a total of 75 puzzles, and some of them refer to other pages in the book or even to websites. Can you imagine the delirium?
Discord is also available for those who want to discuss puzzles with other readers and get a little help.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book “La Clef” is the use of invisible ink. By using the UV lamp supplied with the book, the reader can discover the hidden elements found on individual pages. These clues enrich the puzzle and add a level of complexity and originality to the puzzles. I promise you it makes the reading experience even more immersive and fun.
As for the world of the book, I will try to summarize what I understood. It takes place in Astolia, an imaginary world in a pure Dark Fantasy style, and the reader can discover different aspects of the mythology and culture of Astolia by solving puzzles.
Each puzzle is more original than the last, and some even refer to other works of literature, cinematography or video games. This allows puzzle fans to find familiar references while discovering a new universe straight from the minds of our creators.
I’ve said it before, but the puzzles are quite complex and not exactly for beginners. This is not a book of low-budget beach puzzles that you sometimes find… No, no, they require deep thinking and the ability to combine different and varied elements to find a solution. This makes it the perfect book for seasoned puzzle fans or sharp-witted people looking for a stimulating and original challenge. I know, each of us thinks he has a sharp mind and is smarter than his neighbor… I assure you, this book will help you face reality, and it will hurt ^^ .
My take on the book is that I like it, but damn, I’m struggling. It’s harder than the hacker challenge 😉 anyway, I’m far from done.
Fans of the fantastic universe or Fantasy will also appreciate the quality of the illustrations and the impressive atmosphere created by Fanelia. Moreover, if you appreciate her drawings, know that she also sells her works on her site.
In conclusion, I would say that “La Clef” is an original and fascinating book that deserves to be read by fans of enigmas and fantastic universes who are not afraid to take a little head. Everything is qualitative in this book, and the puzzles + the use of invisible ink make it a book that is both beautiful and stimulating for our soft little brains. It’s changing!
The complexity of the puzzles and the richness of Astolia’s universe will make it an ideal gift for your friends or family, especially as Christmas approaches.
Thanks again to Fanelia for introducing me to Astolia!
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