Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Rating : 3.0/5
Number of Pages : 297
Series : #1 Histories of Middle Earth
Format : Mixture of Fantasy and Non-Fiction
Reason for Reading : My love of all things Middle Earth

The first in the Histories of Middle Earth series by JRR Tolkien edited by his son Christopher Tokien. This is a collection of Tolkien's early drafts of stories that make up The Silmarillion. It follows Eriol (a wandering mariner) as he is told stories of the Valar, Valinor and the coming of the Eldar (Elves) and Man. The tales cover the very early mythology behind Middle Earth with extra information not in The Silmarillion to expand on the knowledge found there.

Each tale contains notes and a commentary by Christopher as well as notes as to the notebook it was found in, how it was written and extra parts added or subtracted. It also contains exra poems by JRR Tolkien connected to the main tale, lore and alternative drafts for the readers consideration and explains the finer points and how it all links together. It is also interesting to see how the names develop and change throughout the drafts as well as some of Tolkien's languages.

This was a great start to the series and part two promises to have more interesting stories. I loved reading more about the gold and silver Trees in Valinor as well as the Silmarils and it was an excellent glimpse into Tolkien's writing style and thought processes. It's fantastic to see how Middle Earth began and I am very much looking forward to reading more in the series.

6 comments:

Elena said...

You'll love BOLT II then. The Tale of Beren and Luthien (where Sauron was a giant CAT), The Fall of Gondolin and most of the other core stories of The Silmarillion.

Glad to see another Tolkien fan.

Kailana said...

I really need to read more books in this series!

Chris said...

I want this one badly! The other one I want is Tales from the Perilous Realm. I don't know if it's even be released yet though.

Elena said...

I've seen a hardcover edition of Tales From The Perilous Realm available in local bookstores. It's Alan Lee illustrated to boot. I can't wait until I can buy it.

Here's the information on it:
Format:Hardcover

Published:October 20, 2008

Dimensions:320 Pages, 6 x 9 x 1.46 in

Publisher:Harpercollins (uk)

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10:0007257546
ISBN - 13:9780007257546


All of the above information has been taken from the chapters.indigo.ca page.

mariel said...

I've got the first four of these books, but think I should reread the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales before reading them. Tolkien still amazes me, the scale of this world that he created is remarkable!

Nymeth said...

I need to stop neglecting Tolkien. Starting with Tales from the Perilous Realm, which I actually own.