There are 3 versions of earthdawn: Earthdawn published by FASA, Earthdawn Second Edition published by Living Room Games, and Earthdawn Classic published by Redbrick. This is the Second edition book.
I own all three, and I think that this one is the weakest. If you have the original earthdawn game, look at the cover. Gorgeous, isn't it? Now look at the cover of Second Edition. Gakk! LRG may have actually improved the rules of the game. I don't really care/kaer. For some reason, they decided that the art of Earthdawn needed to be replaced so they switched it out for this "anime" trash. I use quotes because it isn't even anime, its just stupid.
Now to be fair, Redbrick's version has cover art that's not much better. But in any case, I can't reccomend this book. They kept all of the annoying historical anomalies (splitting the rules into a main book and a companion, etc) and interjected their own view of events quite strongly (e.g., the barsaive at war and barsaive in chaos adventures seem amateurish compared to the FASA products). It feels like they are more interested in writing about their own Earthdawn campaign than describing the beautiful world brought to us by FASA.
Redbrick is better.