Defending Your Castle: Build Catapults, Crossbows, Moats, Bulletproof Shields, and More Defensive Devices to Fend Off the Invading Hordes by William Gurstelle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I didn't love this book, but it isn't because it is bad. I feel that it was misleading in how it was advertised. I own three other William Gurstelle books (Backyard Ballistics, The Art of the Catapult, & The Practical Pyromaniac) and have looked at all of his others. The three I own are project books and that certainly how this one is written and appears, but unfortunately its focus is on devices that are not only impractical [because no one really needs a potato or carbide cannon, but they are fun to build] but also nearly impossible [moat and steel door]. There are also several times where he really stretched his theme of protecting your home from ancient invading hordes to include applications that weren't relevant or devices that you would protect against rather than build.
Gurstelle has always focused on the science and where appropriate the history behind the devices, but in this book his focus is really on the military history and not on the projects. He may not be a historian and I'm sure that such a book would not do as well as his project books, but there is a still a community of fans that would read it and a new audience he might be able to tap into. Instead this book does a poor job or seaming the two together. I wish I knew whose fault that was because I could very well see it being a problem on the publishing side of things.
In the end this book is not his best, but it is still good and I still list his books as my favorite project and demo books.
View all my reviews