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“The Silmarillion”: Another Round of Tolkien!

September 11, 2009

FINALLY getting to writing this post! I recently read “The Silmarillion”! My sister bought me a copy of the book in paperback about a year ago, and I finally read it last month. I was expecting the dull history that had been described to me, but I found that the book was filled with all of the  adventure, danger, romance, and action that I’ve come to expect from Tolkien’s other works.

Who knew there was a powerful treasure BEFORE the One Ring? “The Silmarillion”, if you haven’t read it, chronicles the history of Middle Earth LONG before the War of the Ring. It begins with the creation of Middle Earth itself, and the origin and rise of Morgoth (remember the Balrog of Morgoth in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?) and the creation of the Elves, right up to the forging of the Rings and the end of the Second Age.

A little bit of background on the book.  Tolkien worked on it throughout his life, but he died before the story could be completed. Christopher Tolkien, his son, collected and edited “The Silmarillion” and published it posthumously. I was originally put off the book, partly at the recommendation of a teacher who told me that it was “boring”, and partly due to the fact that it’s not entirely J.R.R. Tolkien’s work; Christopher Tolkien had to fill in some gaps to complete the story. However, I give the man credit; he managed to keep to the spirit of Tolkien’s writing style. There are parts of the book that were also published separately as individual books (i.e., “The Children of Hurin”). Like much of Tolkien’s works, this is definitely not for those of us who are easily distracted. This book is LONG. And long-winded at points. I have to say, though; it’s quite a bit more complicated than “The Lord of the Rings”. (Granted, LOTR was divided into three books.) It won’t leave you bored.

 For those of us who sat through “The Lord of the Rings” films and said, “Where did Sauron come from?”, “What’s Numenor?”, “Who are the Valar?” and “How old is Gandalf, anyway?”, those questions are answered in “The Silmarillion”. This is DEFINITELY a book I would recommend, and a book that NO die-hard Tolkien fan should ignore.

Thanks to Erin for “The Silmarillion”, and Hai for the illustrated copy of “The Children of Húrin”!

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