Judging this book by it's cover, which is sweet by the way, this leather back book has a gold embossed scarab on the front. Nothing fancy, just sleek and elegant. Opening this tome (or in my case the PDF) you'll be greeted with stunning piece of artwork by Samuel Araya. The book has several captivating pieces of art scattered amongst it's pages, all of which are beautiful and help to bring the stories to life. From there it moves on to the title page, publishing information and table to contents. I appreciate that Arc Dream put in a table of illustrations as well. Makes showing off the books great artwork that much easier. The PDF version is fully bookmarked. This undoubtedly time consuming effort by the editor is a massive boon for the reader. When I say fully bookmarked, I mean fully. Each of Ken Hite's annotations are bookmarked as well, and there is a TON of them. Ken's insight into Chambers' writing shows. Ken brings you into the strange, nightmarish world Chambers first created. Each nuance is dissected and historical context within the writing is brought into the light. These notes are what makes this version of the book truly shine (that, and the gold feathering). It's clear from the production value, to the lengthy amount of research, that this was a labor of love for those involved. Speaking of the production value, I want to quickly say that the text of the actual stories themselves is really nicely laid out, and easy to read. This in tandem with the bookmarks makes this version of the King in Yellow an unique experience.
The foreword by John Scott Tynes is a good read. Sharing his experiences with the King in Yellow and how the text affected his life, John sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the book. The stories of the King in Yellow are a must read for Cthulhu Mythos fans and a great read if you enjoy reading as a hobby. The main stories Mythos fans will want to check out are “The Repairer of Reputations”, The Mask, In the court of the Dragon, The Yellow Sign, and Cassilda's Song.
Fun fact: Chambers actually borrowed the Carcosa setting from the short story “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” written by Ambrose Bierce in 1886. seems Lovecraft wasn't the only one to borrow concepts and terminology! Lovecraft actually makes mention of Chambers in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith saying quote
“Chambers is like Rupert Hughes and a few other fallen Titans—equipped with the right brains & education, but wholly out of the habit of using them.”
The only thing I don't like about this book is that I don't own a physical copy! There is a small limited print run of these (only 2,000 total produced) so if you're lucky enough to get one of these, definitely pick it up! And if you're unable to get a physical copy, do yourself a favor and get the PDF. To quote John here:
“ If this is your first encounter with The King in Yellow then you are in for quite an experience. If you know it well then you are in for a revelation. And while it may be a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living god, it is a wonderful thing for The King in Yellow to fall into the hands of Ken and Sam—and now into yours. Hold it tight and it will never let you go.”