This is another one of those reference books that gets no cover-to-cover read, and so it’s one that wouldn’t otherwise get a review unless I pressed the issue. And so here’s that review.
Let’s just call this book for what it is: blade porn. There’s not a lot of detail in the text, but it’s a great quick reference with LOTS of pretty pictures. The basics are here, covering era / time period, region / nation, general usage, and some brief detail about what differentiates a given blade from the rest of them in this book. Brief overviews of a given historical era or soldier type are also offered. For example, you can find a quick entry on the Greek hoplite or the Japanese samurai so as to put their weapons into context.
Some might think of this book as a good starting point to learn more about blades of all types. I think of it as my holiday wish list. :P