I believe this book got three stars from somebody who ought to be locked up (and perhaps have torture inflicted upon them). I'm not here to give you all the reasons to buy this book. If you play 7thSea, you know it's essential.
I wanted to post a review here in case you don't know what makes 7thSea my favorite game of all time.
1) Drama Dice. You get dice in order to try things out of your character's ordinary reach. In short: be dramatic.
2) Cinematic style of play: Nothing is better than watching your friends swing from chandeliers or jump and fight between two out of control carriages. You can just about imagine every Swashbuckling movie in terms of 7th Sea's style of play.
3) Character Backgrounds and Arcana: These unresolved stories and Personality quirks give the GM all kinds of fun ways in order to get characters to fall in love with each other, avenge their relatives' deaths, foil their rivals every step of the way, and/or do the unthinkable in order to free themselves from horrific debts.
4) Brute Squads. This ought to be self explanatory...but how many times have you watched the heroes bowl their way through dozens of expendable extras before getting to the real deal?
5) Familiar Setting. The setting for the game is a brilliant twist on 1600's Europe, with all sorts of curious dramas from all eras of Europe's history. There are scheming Cardinals, Zorro figures, Emperors with power trips, Queens with privateer armadas, and Ivan the Terrible.
6) There are pirates. That's just awesome in and of itself.
7) There's some magic too, for those of you bent on wielding lightning, or teleporting, or bringing yourself back from the dead.
8) The system is simple enough to learn in a few hours, yet there is enough depth to character generation (and the host of other optional systems) to make it playable for multiple years.
I've had some of the best creative fun of my life playing this game. You might also.