Candlewick Press is bringing two books tied to Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy role-playing game launched in 1974, to the U.S. market. Monsters and Heroes of the Realms: A Dungeons & Dragons Coloring Book will publish in September, and Dungeonology, the latest book in the ’Ology series, will follow in November. The titles were created under license from Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast.
Kings Road Publishing is releasing the two titles simultaneously in the U.K., where Kings Road’s Templar imprint is the longtime publisher of the ’Ology books. Studio Game, Kings Road’s newly formed gaming imprint within Studio Press, is publishing the coloring book.
Dungeonology is the 13th book – and the first licensed title – in the ’Ology series. “Part of what has made the ’Ology series successful with readers of all ages is how thoroughly they immerse the readers in a fantasy world,” says Candlewick executive editor Sarah Ketchersid. In Dungeonology, the character Volo, a traveler, storyteller, and guide, takes the reader through the Forgotten Realms, a campaign setting within the D&D world. “While it follows the typical ’Ology format, with high production values, intriguing novelties like pull-out letters and gatefold maps, and an immersive reading experience, it will also hold special appeal to D&D fans who will find never-before-revealed information about aspects of the Forgotten Realms.”
The series began in 2003 with Dragonology, still the best seller, and the most recent was Dinosaurology in 2013. More than 13 million ’Ology books have sold worldwide across the series, and more than 6.3 million copies are in print in the U.S. When related titles such as guidebooks are included, the latter figure rises to nine million.
The Dungeons & Dragons coloring book, meanwhile, features illustrations from the franchise’s official rulebooks depicting monsters and characters from the various classes and races that inhabit the Forgotten Realms. It joins Where’s Waldo?: The Coloring Book and two volumes in the Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes series on Candlewick’s list, with more to come later this year.
Dungeons & Dragons’ first publishing spin-off was The Monster Manual in 1977, followed by a variety of additional reference books. The first novel in the D&D-based Dragonlance Saga came out in 1984 and the first hardcover novel, The Legacy by R.A. Salvatore, in 1992. Warner Bros. is currently developing a series of films based on the franchise.