Now I’ve been a HUGE fan of Aldrec Entertainment Group’s Legend of the Five Rings since the game was in 1st Edition printing as an independent RPG. During my decade of playing it, I was always intrigued by what lay outside the Emerald Empire, and especially the Burning Sands which was often referred to in the fluff for the setting.
You can then imagine how happy I was to see the 3rd Edition rules hardcover of The Burning Sands when I attended GenCon in 2010.
The game details the lands beyond Rokugan, namely the pseudo-Arabian world although there is also mention of a Roman-like nation as well that I really, really hoped we’d get to see but alas AEG went to yet another edition of L5R and this line was never touched again.
Artistically it reflects the times, namely a high content of nicely rendered digital color images by too many artists to name here. The effect is one of veiled uniformity with little flare and only a modicum of substance. Sure, there is a good deal of content, but in the end it reflects no true vision and has little lasting impact on me as a fan.
The cover, done in the style of all the 3rd Edition texts, leaves much to be desired, just a sash and scimitar on the standard layout field.
All said, the book is a quality supplement, but the artwork doesn’t give me the same wonder I found in the 1st Edition black and white illustrations or even the 3rd Edition Rokugan images.
Artistic Rating: 3 [out of 5]