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Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the Dungeons & Dragons Game

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  665 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Most Dungeons & Dragons game players are men, yet storytelling and roleplaying come so naturally to women. So where are all the female gamers? The answer is - everywhere!
"Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress" is a smart, humorous examination of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game from a female gamer's point of view. The book delves into the myths and realities
Paperback, 177 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Wizards of the Coast
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  665 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Sarah Rosenberger
Nov 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cultural-studies
I think that the point of this book was to dispel the negative stereotypes that surround D&D gamers.

Brilliantly, the author chose to do this by cramming every single hideously pink page of this book with negative stereotypes about women (Women love to shop! Women love fancy shoes! Women eat a lot of chocolate! Women can't control their emotions!).

Genuinely awful.
Amanda Cook
Nov 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: girl gamers and/or their significant others, D&D players
My hubby bought this book after I showed some interest in wanting to read it. Now, I wish I had read it before this past weekend. Saturday was International Dungeons and Dragons Game Day, sponsored by Wizards of the Coast. I've played role-playing games before (and those, only very recently), but I've always been a little intimidated of D&D because of all the "math" involved and because it always seemed like a "boys only" type of game. My husband, however, is an avid gamer and has been since ...more
Book Lover
Nov 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!!
Not only is this woman completely insulting by utilizing pretty much every (often negative) stereotype about women to write her explanations, quickly turning from "girl power!" to ironically sexist, but she also comes across as being incredibly shallow and selfish. She heavily interrupts gameplay, sidetracks to completely mindless topics, and disrespects the rest of the players.

Quite possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. I still want to play D&D, but only because I am familiar with
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
In Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress, Shelly Mazzanoble sets out to do the seemingly impossible: introduce girly-girls to D&D. I will be the first to admit that I am not Mazzanoble's target audience. The girls she's talking to are the sort who fawn over shoes and purses, grab weekly mani-pedis in the summer, and down margaritas with their girlfriends. And maybe, just maybe, they wonder what the heck their boyfriends are doing when they go out to their "Dungeons and Dragons" nights and wha ...more
May 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
total disappointment- if only I'd read the Amazon reviews first. Here's the one that best captures the total letdown of this book for me:

Not Recommended for Anyone (Male or Female), January 14, 2008
By Shann S. (Texas USA) - See all my reviews

This book was not purchased by me or for me. My husband purchased this book for himself because he is interested in different views of his favorite hobby.

He made it to page 11 before he gave up.

He asked me to read it. I am a woman gamer. I am a girly-g
May 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately this book tried to introduce women to D&D by first assuming that all women are obsessed by fashion, celebrities and make up, then trying to explain how D&D is exactly like those things. On both points it is patently mistaken and we are left with 170 pages of unfunny remarks and coquettish self-obsession that try to cover these misapprehensions. Worse, the author obscures any useful information about the game behind tired remarks about shoes or cosmetics, producing a confuse ...more
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, D&D widows
Shelves: booksirecommend
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!!! If you know someone who plays D&D, or a friend, spouse, or significant other of someone who plays D&D, this book is for them. Written with a sense of humor, but with a point to make, this book is the best "Introduction to D&D" I have ever read! You'll laugh from beginning to end, but best of all, you will want to play the game after reading this.

Don't be afraid to let out your inner geek!
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I've read a little over half the book already. If this book had been published while I was in middle school -- I probably would not have fought so hard against roleplaying! Shelly writes in a very conversational style and really brings in the benefits of being a girl in a D&D game. Absolutely wonderful.
P. Aaron Potter
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: geek
Pure crap. Deeply, deeply condescending. My daughter, and all women, deserve better than this sneering, insulting junk. A perfect example of how badly WotC has lost its way.

Go read *anything* by Wil Wheaton instead.
Billy Candelaria
My girlfriend is still on hold of playing DnD. But all in all a good book to introduce DnD to new and experience girl gamers
Rachael Quinn
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
A little background here: Apparently, sometime around the holidays, I got a little drunk with my friends one night and agreed to play Dungeons & Dragons with them. Hubby is, well, he's a nerd and he was extremely excited by this prospect. For a couple of weeks, and I'm not trying to play into any stereotypes here whatsoever, he spent hours of every day in the basement, planning the game. I mostly cringed but didn't have the guts to back out because it made him sooooo happy. One night I sat t ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who doesn't take themselves too seriously, and is interested in RPGs.
As a girly-girl who RPGs twice a week, I demanded that my sister get me this for Christmas so I could see what the fuss was all about. Having read widely differing reviews on Amazon (from "You MUST get this for the woman in your life, D&D gamer!" to "It's all in pink, I'm so offended,") I was curious to see what the author had to say, despite the fact that I'm allergic to D&D itself (I'm more of a roll-and-keep kind of girl: 10-sided die, FTW! Ahem.) I quite enjoyed it, honestly: Mazzano ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: yes - 4stars for non-D&D players
For D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) players it's a quick fun read, that may even give you some ideas for geting friends into RPG's (role-play games).

I highly recommend this book to any woman who has had or does have a boyfriend, brother, son, husband, or friend that was in to RPG's. It demystifies the mystery that is Dungeons & Dragons, and the world of gamer geekdom. If you’ve ever been curious about the game, or just plain felt that you just didn’t get it.. give the book a read. From my e
Oct 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
As a female D&D player, I was happy to see a book like this - that is, until I read it. Instead of attracting women to D&D, I think that it just furthers many of the stereotypes about women - that all we care about is shopping and shoes and manicures and whatnot. I had to skim the last pages because I truly couldn't stand reading anything more that this author had written.
Jane Higginson
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
really enjoyed this it's a humorous fun quirky read,i could have done with reading it earlier on before I'd already come to know what a lot of the terms meant but still enjoyed it, I really like Shelly's sense of humour
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I always think geek girl/gaming books will be interesting, and realize mid-read that I'd rather just play the game and not sit around reading about it. That said, I get it - playing EQ2 for nearly 9 years now, I often feel compelled to explain all there is to a gaming world that most people don't get, haven't experienced, and won't be able to, for whatever reason.

I think her cause - getting more people, particularly women, exposed to D&D and Role Playing Games - is great. I grew up in the "
Lady Jessica
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a girl who recently started playing D&D, I thought this book would be rather useful. I admit to being somewhat of a girly-girl myself (always wears dresses, etc), but the girlishness of this was over-the-top. Let's just say I also spend significantly more time in the company of men than of women, as both a nerd and a bass handbell ringer. Did it contain any useful info? A bit. However, it also focused on a limited range of character types, and my druid was not one of them, so, no, not so ...more
Alice Urchin
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I got this book for $3 on Amazon and had pretty low expectations that the book somehow failed to meet. I ordered a bunch of D&D books and this popped up in my recommendations, so I basically just said, "Eh, why not!" and bought it. This book tries really hard to be cheeky but is actually just vapid. It's littered with stereotypically girly analogies (tons of references to shopping and manicures) that don't totally pan out, as the author seems so focused on the bubblegum pink girl power lady ...more
Dec 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-fifty-book
This is very cutesy-poo. A very quick read. Genuinely funny in places, mildly offensive in others. It claims to bust stereotypes about D&D players while capitalizing on them.

As for the "guide" aspect, unsurprisingly, this book is full of Duh for anyone who has played even a session of an RPG. It seems designed for gamer folk to give non-playing girlfriends.

I was a little disappointed that it didn't even mention that there are a wealth of RPGs out there besides D&D, but not surprise as i
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: rpg-books
I'm going to go half way on the star ratings as I'm not entirely sure if this was brilliant deadpan satire, horribly sexist, or if they really did honestly think that my sister's demographic was a viable market for D&D . Regardless, the book has some nice cute pictures, and it does discuss rules in a conversational way and I can always use a refresher on those. It's a nice curiosity for my bookshelf at any rate!
BG Josh
May 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I just discovered that I had not actually written a review of this book.

The target audience for this book is two fold. Vacuous girly girls who might be interested in DnD and misogynists who want their horrible opinions of women verified.

If you do not fit in those camps, I would just avoid this book.
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, non-fiction
So, the information on how D&D works was good and relatively interesting, but man, was the presentation shallow and vapid.

Did you know that all women love shopping, name brand shoes and handbags, and celebrity gossip? I sure do now! The excessive amount of pink didn't bother me as much as it did some other reviewers, but the general opinion of women was really icky.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Yes, she does type-cast women as shoe-loving shopaholics, but I think she does this on purpose. It makes the point that ANYONE can play D&D. All you need is a little imagination, some dice, and a basic understanding of the rules.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was not to my liking. But then I dont think it was written with me in mind. I didnt understand most of her references nor did the book give me any more insight into the D&D system.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was originally given this book when I was 8 or 9, right before I entered my first D&D game. At the time I absolutely loved it; I was used to being surrounded by males, mocked by other girls my age, and all the classic horrors of not being one of the "preppy" ones. Because of those reasons, this book really jumped for me; I loved hearing about other girls (or in this case, women) who not only loved D&D (and other geeky things), but still loved pink and girly things too! I loved being to ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
A cute, funny little book that introduces people- specifically women- to DnD.

I was having a conversation with a friend about something that happened during my DnD game, and casually asked if she even knew what I was talking about. To my surprise, she said that she always wanted to play DnD, in part because of this book. Obviously, I had to check it out (after, of course, I invited her to join my game)!

It was a very cute book, very tongue-in-cheek and silly. But it was also a book that didn't see
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, gaming
3.5 stars
A playful basic (and "girly") guide to getting started in playing D&D. Being a former gamer (no time to commit regularly anymore sadly) some of this was redundant but I do like how Shelly nixes some stereotypes of basement gamers, and how not all RPG gaming is LARPING (although she doesn't cover that that too is a type). The style of writing is light, playful and a bit humorous at times.
Sometimes her fashion and celeb rants get annoying though. I liked the RPG personality tests. App
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having played DnD for a few years now and just now having read this book, I can honestly say I wish I had read it before I had started gaming. When it's not showing the dramatized view of a "girly girl" it was very helpful in explaining terms, rules, and expectations of the game. Definitely recommend to someone who's just getting in; just worn them about the "girly girl" mentality and that it seems to be from an older edition :)
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Gaming is awesome, and I think more girls should game. If this book really speaks to someone on the fence, I’m glad it exists. However, I hate the way women in general are portrayed in this book. I don’t care about the pink splashed everywhere, but I really resent the tone that all girls are into fashion and brand names. For all that this book tries to dispel the D&D stereotypes, it sure feeds some of its own.
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About a million years ago, Shelly Mazzanoble had a short story published in a literary magazine called Whetstone. They paid her $50 which she used to purchase a keg and threw a great big party.

Motivated by her strong desire to curate menus for cocktail parties and her friends’ penchant for drinking free beer, Shelly has gone on to publish short stories and essays in Carve, The Seattle Times, Scary