I have bought several xml books and this one has educated me, taught me and interested me the most. There's no doubt the Wrox technical books are a match to the Oreilley in terms of readability and thoroughness. This book is a little peculiar in that it is written by several people, each contributing a separate chapter. As an introduction, it probably wouldn't be too helpful (although that wouldn't be a problem for someone with a programming background). The strengths of the book (at least what I've read so far) is the discussion of sax v. dom, the section on business applications on edi (really interesting for me), and the great reference source in the back. Can you believe I have xeroxed the css list of command options in the back--amazingly useful? The variety of writers give a fresh perspective, which can be bad and good. With the exception of the first few chapters, which give a good overview, the rest of the chapters are a grabbag of subjects, including 4 case studies. These were very useful in learning xml. It also discussed WAP, which may or may not be useful, depending on how much enthusiasm there is for that standard. For variety's sake, I also bought, XML Unleashed, a bulky book with not as much organization, but just a lot of code (unlike the professional xml book, which really explained almost everything well). XML unleashed is helpful, because its topics really don't overlap with professional xml. It discusses SMIL, parsing xml with java xml tools on the market, using asp with xml and different subsets of xml (vml, and a variety of other specialized languages specific to one discipline. Unleashed is good because it contains discussions (albeit rather brief) of several different languages. Professional XML sticks to explanations and analysis, a lot of microsoft stuff (but not asp, and not too much stuff that linux lovers would want to reject the book. Finally I want to mention another book which I used as a first tutorial, Just XML by John Simpson. It's the best written of the three, although a little bizzare humor sometimes. It was written in late 1998 so some things may not be up-to-date (however simpson does a good job of emphasizing the things that weren't likely to change). This would be a good book for people starting, or if the book were available used. It would also be good when simpson publishes the second edition (later this year).