12 March, 2012

Review: Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress by Shelly Mazzanoble

Ladies: think you know all there is to know (or that you'd ever want to know) about Dungeons and Dragons? Think again.

Shelly Mazzanoble is a girl's girl all the way through, so when a coworker suggests that she play D&D, she accepts out of politeness, secretly wondering what kind of nerdy torture she's in for. In spite of all her preconceived stereotypes - or maybe it's because of them - she finds herself not only enjoying her first night of adventuring but actually looking forward to more.

Written for women whose only experience with D&D was to use it to hurl insults at the nerds at school, this book gleefully tramples the old stereotypes of acne-riddled, dark-cloaked teenage boys huddled in Mom's basement saying weird, voodoo things like, "I'll cast magic missile."

Equal parts how-to guide and tongue-in-cheek (and out of cheek) confessional, this book goes where only a few women have gone before in the world of the most popular roleplaying game.

From creating a character to the rules and proper etiquette of playtime all the way to themed snacks (Magic Missile Meatballs!), Shelly tackles magic, adventure, and, yes, dungeons, for the benefit of girlfriends and wives everywhere. And she does it all in heels and a fresh layer of lip gloss.

While I don't quite fit her girly, fashionista-in-training mold (being a rather proud geek myself), Shelly's humor is impossible to resist. I first found Confessions wedged between two game rulebooks at the bookstore. After reading the first page, I was laughing to tears while the other customers stared.

Already an avid D&D player before I bought the book, I have read it again and again just to enjoy the roleplaying fun Shelly experienced. I have to say that it is one of those must-have (or at least must-read) guides for any gal who has ever felt even a flicker of interest in getting her game on.

I highly recommend that you read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress. No, I insist you read it. You will not be disappointed and you may even find yourself hankering for a dungeon to cast your own magic missiles in.

Sound off on your own thoughts on the book in the comments below. You can visit Shelly's author site here. And announce your geekdom by liking or tweeting this post!


  1. Some of the best table-top gamers I know are women: they make awesome characters.

    1. Very sweet of you, Adam. I, for one, am happy to hear it. The guys always seemed to like my RPG characters...at least, I'm hoping that's what they were laughing about every time I said something. ;)


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