Sorcery! Gamebooks
Location: Old World, Titan
References: N/A
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): John Blanche
Sorcery Spell Book.jpg
Cover illustrator: Maggie Kneen
First published: October 27 1983
Number N/A
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-006793-0
Previous Book: none
Next Book: none
Wizard (Series 1)
Advanced Fighting Fantasy Book
Function: Guide book
Location: Titan
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson &
Ian Livingstone,
Graham Bottley

Illustrator(s): John Blanche
Arion Games
Cover illustrator: Maggie Kneen
First published: May 26 2013
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-006793-0

The Sorcery Spell Book (also called The Sorcery! Spell Book) was a special spell book packaged with The Shamutanti Hills as the first release in the Sorcery! series by Penguin Books in the boxset entitled "Steve Jackson's Sorcery!" in 1983. It was written by Steve Jackson and illustrated throughout by John Blanche. The original release was unnumbered in the original Penguin series (ISBN 0-14-006793-0). It was then, for a very short time, published separately after the release of Kharé - Cityport of Traps until 1984 when Penguin migrated the Sorcery! books to Puffin Books. Interestingly, in those prints where it was produced to be sold individually (i.e. outside of the original boxset) its name on the spine changed to The Sorcery! Spell Book, the "!" being added after the word Sorcery!). It was subsequently incorporated, minus the illustrations, into the back of the four Sorcery! volumes when they were published by Puffin. When the Sorcery! books were reprinted by Wizard Books in 2003 and Scholastic Books across 2018-present, they followed the same pattern as the Puffin printings (although in the instance of the Wizard edition the illustrations did survive the transition). The book was republished by Arion Games in 2013 with additional material by Graham Bottley.



Fantasy adventure with a difference - for YOU are the hero!

If you have chosen to adopt the role of wizard
The Sorcery Spell Book is a must. For it contains the forty-eight spells you will need to enable you to challenge your foes and defeat your enemies using the magical arts of sorcery. Your mission will be fraught with danger but with these spells at your command you may yet succeed in your task - and live to tell the tale!

The Sorcery Spell Book - Back Cover


Title page of the original Penguin edition.


An introduction by Graham Bottley was added for the Advanced Fighting Fantasy release in 2013.

The Sorcery! Adventure[]

SORCERY! is a fantasy adventure in which You become the hero. It takes place in the lands of Kakhabad and your quest is onwards to the Mampang Fortress to find and retrieve the stolen Crown of Kings. As either a warrior (the simple game) or a wizard (the advanced game) you will choose your paths and encounter a wide variety of creatures, tricks and traps.

SORCERY! adventure will span four volumes. You must first cross the Shamutanti Hills and then, after a brief stay in the cityport of Kharé, you will make your way across the Baklands to the Zanzunu Peaks to find the Mampang Fortress.

Your success will depend to a large extent on your own skill as a wizard or a warrior. If the magical arts are your chosen weapon, this book contains the spells known by the sorcerers of Analand. You will have to memorize some of these spells - as would a real wizard - and the more spells you learn, the more successful you will be on your adventures.

The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.5

This section is omitted in all the printings where the spell book was included as an appendix at the back of the Sorcery! titles. It was also skipped in the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release.

Rules for Using Magic[]

During your training you have been taught a number of spells and incantations which you can call upon to aid you in your quest. The full list of spells follows these instructions.

Spells are identified by a three-letter word. Throughout the books you will be given the option of using spells to overcome problems and opponents.
The spells will be identified only by these three-letter words, so it is important that you memorize at least some of the codes.

Thus before you can start using your powers of sorcery, you will need to spend some time memorizing spells, as would a real wizard learning the magic arts. Obviously, you will not be able to memorize all forty-eight spells at once, but the more you use the book, the more familiar you will become with the most useful spells.

Try start by memorizing between six and ten spells (the best ones to start with are given below) and relying on your swordsmanship to fight some of the creatures you encounter. It is possible, with a little luck, to complete your quest with these spells, but your task will become easier when you are capable of using more spells.

Some spells also require the use of an artefact, such as a piece of jewellery or a magic ring. If you try to use a spell without possessing the correct artefact, you will be wasting your STAMINA, as the spell will not work.

Each time you use a spell - whether it is successful or not - it will draw on your reserves of energy and concentration. A cost, in STAMINA points, is given for each spell. Each time you use a spell, you must deduct this cost from your STAMINA score.

You may study the Book of Spells for as long as you want before embarking on an adventure,
but once you have set off, you may never again refer to it and must rely purely on your memory until your adventure is over. Nor may you write the spells down for easy reference. In a real situation where you may be surprised by a creature, you would not have time to start flicking through your Spell Book trying to work out the best spell to cast.

The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.7-8

The Six Most Useful Spells[1]

Code Effect Cost
ZAP Creates a lightning bolt which shoots from the finger tip 4 stamina
FOF Creates a protectice force-field 4 stamina
LAW Enables creatures to be controlled 4 stamina
DUM Makes creatures extremely clumsy 4 stamina
HOT Creates fireball which can be aimed at enemies 4 stamina
WAL Creates a magical wall to defend against physical objects 4 stamina
ZAP and HOT are strong attacking spells. FOF and WAL are good general-purpose defensive spells, whilst LAW and DUM will be useful if you get into a tricky situation.
Note that these spells will often be more powerful than you need in a given situation - they are not cheap in terms of STAMINA points - but they are good all-rounders. As you get to know more spells from the Spell Book, you will be able to choose more economical spells which will be equally as effective against certain perils.

Read through the list again, then cover up the "Effect" column with your hand. How many can you remember? When you can remember them by heart, you can begin your quest.

The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.8

All of this was omitted in the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release.

Hints on Using Spells[]

As you familiarize yourself with the spells in this Spell Book, your skills and abilities in the SORCERY! adventures will improve.

Learning the six basic spells will allow you to start playing with minimal delay. These spells will get you out of most difficulties, but they are expensive (in terms of STAMINA points) and you will often find it necessary to rely on your limited powers of swordsmanship, particularly with weaker creatures, in order to avoid running dangerously short of STAMINA.

Other spells are more economical but will be given less often as options, thus relying more on your memory and skill as a wizard. The most economical spells of all are those which require magical artefacts, which must be found on your adventure.

Remember that there are heavy penalties for guessing spells! If you choose a spell code which does not represent a spell, or if you choose a spell for which you do not have the required artefact, you will lose extra STAMINA points. In some cases, death will be your penalty!

Finally, remember that not all spells will be used in the first adventure. Some will not come in until the second, third, or fourth adventures. A few are never used at all! As you get into these later books, your six basic spells will be given less often as options. The spells are arranges "to some extent" in their order of usefulness in the Spell Book listing - but this is not a hard and fast rule. An adept wizard should be able to complete the first adventure without too much difficulty but the going gets progressively rougher in further instalments.

You will soon begin to make your own discoveries about the spells themselves. There is a certain logic to the way they are arranged, the options that are given, and their codes. But these discoveries you must make for yourself. Experience will make you more skilful with magic. All this is part of the art of sorcery.

The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.9

Omitted in the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release.

The Spells[2][]

The Spells.jpg

Each spell comes with an explanation of usage and a stamina cost. In the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release there is an additional explanation showing how the spell works within the rules of the RPG.

Sorcery Rules[3][]

A new section added in the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release by Graham Bottley.

Covers and Illustrations[]


The cover of the book was designed by Maggie Kneen.

The book became incorporated into the other Sorcery! volumes from 1984. It was never independently produced by Wizard Books or Scholastic Books, but however was published separately by Arion Games in 2013.

In the US printing the title used red metallic foil.

The Sorcery Spell Book Cover Variants
1983 1984 ???? 2013
Sorcery Spell Book.jpg Sorcery Spell Book2.jpg SorSpellUS.jpg SorceryAFF.jpg
Boxset Edition Stand-alone
US Edition Arion Games
£3.951 £1.752 $USX.xx £9.00

  1. No price was given for the 1st or 2nd Impressions on their own. They were sold along with The Shamutanti Hills as part of the original two book box release titled "Steve Jackson's Sorcery!".
  2. Price of 3rd Impression (by Penguin Books). A key difference between this cover and the original are the words "The key to Sorcery! - the epic fantasy adventure series" on the second cover. The back covers were the same design but the wording differed. The first paragraph was very similar with the exception of referring to "The Sorcery! Spell Book" in the second print, as opposed to "The Sorcery Spell Book". The big difference was a second paragraph added to the reprint of this book which acted as a blurb. Interestingly Maggie Kneen, the cover illustrator, was not mentioned on the back cover of the second reprint.


The illustrations were by John Blanche and consisted of 48 full page illustrations (one per spell) and one minor repeated illustration. The artwork did not survive the spell book being added as an appendix to the Puffin editions of the Sorcery! titles. The artwork returned (minus the minor repeated illustration) for the Wizard edition (albeit with 2-3 pieces of art per page on a smaller page size) before disappearing again for the Scholastic release.

All of John Blanche's art (full page and minor) is present in the 2013 Advanced Fighting Fantasy release.

Further Notes[]

  • An advert featuring The Sorcery Spell Book as a separate item to be published is on the back of issue 1 of Warlock.



See Also[]


  1. The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.8
  2. The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.11-107
  3. The Sorcery Spell Book - pg.101-111 (Advanced Fighting Fantasy edition)