★★★★★ Enchanting Mandala Mazes by Elizabeth Carpenter—with illustrations by Aurélie Ronfaut—is a beautifully crafted book for adult maze enthusiasts. The book features 30 illustration-based mazes in which Carpenter has cleverly hidden a path between two symbols from nature, like hummingbirds and flowers. The maze solver will traverse calming images containing stars, twining vines, majestic lions, and more. Each mandala maze has been printed twice, so that puzzlers have a repeated chance to solve them, as well as to color in the images once each maze has been successfully navigated through to the end.
While solving mazes can sometimes be a frustrating—and fruitless—process, the idea behind Carpenter’s mandala mazes is that they provide a calming influence even as one seeks to solve them. Mandalas are historically used as symbols of inner peace and oneness with the universe, and that symbology has been admirably replicated in this collection of mazes. Carpenter has been creating mazes for over 25 years, and the workmanship is really evident here. Puzzlers with an appreciation for the art of maze-making can read Carpenter’s introduction, in which she discusses how each mandala maze is crafted by first starting with the image, and then slowly removing lines at natural points throughout the illustration until the maze is completed. For those who would rather not seek to solve mazes themselves, Enchanting Mandala Mazes makes a beautiful gift for any puzzle enthusiast. The book’s cover is embossed with gold foil and would serve as a striking addition to anyone’s coloring book or puzzle collection.