If you are a fan of Nintendo, it's hard to miss the awesome The Legend of Zelda series. With incredible games like Ocarina of Time, Breath of the Wild and its upcoming sequel, and the many off-shoots like Hyrule Warriors, it can be hard to catch up on all the lore. Don't sweat it; there is plenty of literature out covering the stories and history behind this amazing franchise. Here are some of the best Legend of Zelda books to pick up for fans and soon-to-be-fans alike.
The history of Hyrule
The best way to get to know the series is by picking up Hyrule Historia. This massive text is cast in hero-green with iconic gold lettering in a solid, hardcover text. This book covers almost anything you need to know about Hyrulian lore from the dawn of the series up until The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This book is home to the original Zelda timeline and covers the long history of the battle for the Triforce.
The GOAT of Zelda games
If you don't have time to play all of the games, but you still want to catch up, Akira Himekawa has crafted a series of Manga comics to get you up to speed. While each series starts as a volume by volume update, eventually, they become a legendary collection. In this collection, readers can enjoy the Ocarina of Time manga series in one package. No need to search for every volume; it's all here in a complete paperback. Join Link on his journey through time to save Hyrule from the evil Gannondorf.
Two classics in one
This legendary collection contains two classic Legend of Zelda favorites: Majora's Mask and A Link to the Past. This manga compilation covering two different stories. One follows young Link's journey following the events of Ocarina of Time, while the other tells the story of a different Link, who is searching for his lost uncle on a stormy night. While the video games inspire these comics, the author adds unique details to the narrative, providing a whole new experience for the series' fans.
Legends from the handhelds
If you aren't familiar with the Legend of Zelda titles from the Nintendo handheld series, this is a great way to enjoy the stories. In the iconic "Celda" style, readers can join Link on his journey shrunken down or his time at sea. With amazing drawings and charming dialogue, this is a great compellation to have in your collection.
All the Links
Are four heads better than one? Find out in this retelling of the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. In this adventure, Link not only has to get his four personalities to focus on rescuing Hyrule and Princess Zelda, but he must face a more than worthy adversary — Shadow Link.
Talk about a throw way back — all the way to the Gameboy Color era. Here we have a simple compellation of Link's adventures with Din the Oracle of Seasons and Naryu, the Oracle of Ages. With detailed drawings and clever dialogue, this manga is a great pick, especially if you missed out on the games.
Get to know it all
Want to know everything there is to know about Hyrule? The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia has it all. With a Triforce of Wisdom Blue cover and the series signature gold lettering, this is one beautiful hardcover book. It's the perfect choice for Zelda fans who want to read up on everything that makes up Hyrule's world, from the beasts to weaponry. This index will tell you pretty much anything you need to know across nearly every Legend of Zelda main title.
Deluxe with a nostalgia twist
If you are a real Zelda enthusiast and want a copy of that Encyclopedia, this may be the one for you. This deluxe edition release not only contains everything you need to know about the series, but it also comes as the icon original NES cartridge. It even has the classic NES sleeve! If you are into collecting Zelda memorabilia, this one is a great choice.
Think back to a time when Nintendo Power magazine was a thing. While the magazine came with information on new titles, hardware, and game tips, it also included a comic for the Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. If you don't remember it or missed out, now's your chance to dive in! This comic follows our hero Link through the events of the classic SNES title.
Looking for something less comic and more prose? This book takes an insightful look at the Legend of Zelda series and its effects on us as players. Explore the themes, lessons, and experiences on a deeper level and maybe find out why the series is such a colossal success.
The Legend of Zelda is known for its stunning visual and evolving art-style. Princess Zelda, Link, Gannondorf, and the other Hyrule residents are in a constant state of revolution, and each game has a look that is unique to the title. Cast in Triforce of Power Red, and with the signature gold lettering, it's a great addition to your library.
The new kid in town
Since most of the Zelda collections were created before Breath of the Wild, and this game is pretty massive on its own, it's no surprise that the title has its own codex. Containing illustrations, historical goodies, and interviews from the development team, the Creating a Champion hardcover could round out your collection.
Go big or go home
If you love the series and Breath of the Wild, why not go big with the Hero's Edition of Creating a Champion. For a bit extra, you can get this sleek blue hardcover book and everything else that comes with the package, including a cloth-printed map of Hyrule, an art print of the champions, and a glass replica of a spirit orb.
For the kids
Get'em while they're young, or get one for yourself. This little paperback contains amazing artwork, puzzles, games, mazes, and of course, stickers! This official sticker book is a great item to pick up, especially for any budding Hero of Hyrule.
No more dubious food
With the latest Zelda entry, Breath of the Wild, came a cooking mechanic, and some times those dishes look so good, you might wish you could make them at home. Well, now you can! Aimee Wood's Unofficial Legend of Zelda Cookbook contains 195 recipes to tickle your pallet. The book even contains vegan and gluten-free dishes, so there's a little something for everyone. If you are feeling adventurous, grab this book and toss a few ingredients in your cooking pot.
The latest manga series
Like the other Viz Media LLC collections before, the latest in the Legend of Zelda series is a favorite: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Taking on a much darker tone than the other manga comics, this first volume introduces the Gamecube title's unique telling. Unfortunately, there is no compellation as the series is still on-going. Still, you can explore the series volume by volume right now.
If you are interested in the manga series but don't want to buy each book, no worries! You can grab them all in one fell swoop with the Legendary Edition Collection. This collection contains Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask/ A Link to the Past, The Oracle of Ages/ Oracle of Seasons, Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass, and Four Swords.
Choose your adventure
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Whether you are a longtime fan or a series newbie, there is something on this list for you. Nintendo games are always a great time. But sometimes, players want a little more out of the series, and these books can help you explore one of the greatest game franchises of all time. If you want to get to know everything about the history of Hyrule, we suggest the Hyrule Historia. This hardcover codex covers everything up to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, including the series timeline.
If you want to dive into the themes and story-telling aspects of the series, you can pick up The Psychology of Zelda: Linking Our World to the Legend of Zelda Series. For culinary enthusiasts, cook up some Hyrulian-inspired dishes with The Unofficial Legend Of Zelda Cookbook.
Finally, if you want to explore the Legend of Zelda series or get your kids excited about your favorite videogames without actually playing them, you can get almost the whole Legendary Collection in one package. The artwork is remarkable, and the books are very easy to read. Any of these picks would make a Zelda fan very happy.
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Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.
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