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The must-have companion to the epic masterpiece The Lord of the Rings

The Silmarillion is Tolkien's first book and his last. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The Silmarillion was begun in 1917, and Tolkien worked on it, changed it, and enlarged it throughout his life. Edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, the book finally appeared four years after the author's death.

Praise for The Silmarillion

"Essential reading for Tolkien lovers and an important book." -- Baltimore Sun

"A creation of singular beauty . . . magnificent in its best moments." -- The Washington Post

"The tale of Middle-earth before and during the coming of the humans . . . richly filled with magic, heroic deed, and wonderful resonant names . . . a fantastic book in every sense of the word." -- The Seattle Times
Edition: PB
ISBN: 9780345325815


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Jan 08, 2019

Copied from "People of Middle Earth": Honestly, I learned so much about writing and understanding the world around me by reading these books from Tolkien. Getting this break down of how the world of Middle Earth ran made things so interesting. As I started to get more and more into history, so much of his world building, and the wars going on between Sauron and the free people of Middle Earth, or the wars between the Elves and Morgoth, or (I could continue) were such clear parallels to what was happening in Tolkien's world.... and they are still such clear parallels to what is happening in today's world. We always talk about how Dystopian novels are a way of warning us about the path we're following, and how our future might turn out, but we forget that a lot of Fantasy novels are also reflections of people today, and how we need to get our acts together.

SCL_Justin Sep 04, 2018

I have tried to read this so many times and I have finally completed it. And it was worth it. While it is more of a myth cycle that doesn't get into the details of adventures in the way the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings do, I found that to be a soothing experience.

Immortal beings rise and fall and their cities are raised up and crumble. Sauron is barely mentioned because in the first age we're dealing with the more powerful Melkor who ends up being judged and cast out after a war that devastates and reshapes the world.

What I loved about the book this time was the distance of it all, that we're learning of the origins of things so many generations before what I think of as Middle Earth. It changes your perspective and sort of minimizes the epicness of the War of the Rings. These things have happened before and will again.

Jul 25, 2018

Many readers are lead to The Silmarillion after reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and wanting to know more about that world. While it suffices for that, I have also noticed a number of LOTR and Hobbit fans find the style of the Silmarillion to be too inconsistent with either of the two more popular books. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend The Silmarillion to anyone without offering the caveat that it is not a single story book. It is an epic, spanning tens of thousands of years and leading up to event's hundreds of years before The Hobbit. The book doesn't convey an adventure or series of adventures, it'as more a history of Middle Earth and most of it's creatures. For that reason, I actually enjoy it more than LOTR or Hobbit. After I initially read it, I went out and found copies of Unfinished Tales, the Lays of Beleriand and Morgoth's Ring (which I would recommend to those wanting to know more about Middle Earth but without the medieval epic prose) to delve further into the histories of the various peoples of Middle Earth. The Silmarillion is similar to books like 'The World of Ice and Fire' by George RR Martin, or 'The Hyborian Age' by Robert Howard, which convey the history of their respective fictional worlds and give context to the primary stories within them. If you enjoy that sort of background it will add to your reading of said main adventures, if you don't, you won't miss out anything by skipping them entirely.

Jul 21, 2018

Read through this book for only 2nd time in my life. So essential if you want to find out the origins of Aragorn/Strider's family, where wizards came from, why the wood elves of mirkwood are so different from those in the realm of Galadriel. Why is Elrond called "Half-Elven"? Where do the elves go once they sail away to the west? This book will explain those origins and so much more! Granted, the names can be hard to pronounce, but there is a pronunciation guide in the back! Also and index of names, since many of the characters are referred to in both Noldorin, Sindarin, possibly Vanyaran and in the tongue of men and dwarves. Some stories I did have difficulty getting through, due to subject matter, particularly the story of Turin Turambar. All in all, the darkest, most intense of all the books on middle-earth, yet most rewarding, since everyone loves a good prequel!

Aug 30, 2017

If your seriously interested in the Lord of the Rings saga this is a must read. I studied the first several chapters and looked up so many terms in order to understand it, but it was worth it.

Aug 01, 2017

I recommend this book to die hard Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans. It gives a detailed backstory to the history of the different settings, has beautiful illustrations and maps.

Apr 19, 2017

Not for the faint of heart, nor for those who are intimidated by a long book. I personally think that The Silmarillion gives us a wider view of Middle-Earth, beyond the War of the Rings, but I loved LOTR and The Hobbit too. Again, not a book for the casual reader, but if you're a Tolkien nerd (like me :) and looking for more on Middle-Earth, give this one a try.

Oct 03, 2016

This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It tells you about ALL the parts in the Lord of the Rings and more!

Aug 24, 2016

I liked it for sure, but it certainly more dry than Lord of the Rings. I also wish there was more than one map in the back of this book. I think I will only read this once because it doesn't quite get into the parts of LOTR that I liked the most.

Jun 26, 2016

For anyone looking for more stories and history of the Middle-earth in which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit take place, this is a good place to start. Tolkien begins with a creation myth, then summarizes the various deities and holy figures of his reality. What follows is the First Age tale of Elves, Dwarves and eventually Men roaming Middle-earth and even Aman across the Sea, while they fight the Dark Lord Morgoth, who has stolen the Silmarilli, three precious jewels wrought by the Elves, and who seeks tyrannical dominion over their home. Tolkien's prose flows and resonates like no other; however, readers should not expect the same character development or narrative quality as in The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion is first and foremost a feigned historical account.

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Add a Quote
Feb 02, 2015

"Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me , and to question the power of Melkor, master of the fates of arda. Therefore, with my eyes thou shalt see,and with my ears, thou shalt hear, and never shalt thou move from this place until all is fulfilled to it's bitter end."-Morgoth

Jul 23, 2014

“Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumour of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable on-blazoned, cast a shadow over him like a storm cloud." - Chapter 18: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin


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