book cover for The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien

384 pages

A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, THE SILMARILLION is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before THE HOBBIT. Tolkien considered THE SILMARILLION his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world and of the the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in THE LORD OF THE RINGS look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. THE SILMARILLION is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy. This second edition features a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien describing his intentions for the book, which serves as a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages of Middle-earth.
  • The constant switching between fictional dialects made this very difficult to read.
  • I can't actually recall what happened in most of the book. Some of the characters seemed to go off in tangents that didn't impact the rest of the book.
  • The section on the Rings of Power and the third age was the best bit. It pretty much summarised the opening to the Fellowship of the Ring but then skipped everything up to Frodo throwing the ring into Mount Doom. It was also the only section where I could really work out what was happening.