Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Jacket

The Silmarillion is J.R.R. Tolkien's tragic, operatic history of the First Age of Middle-Earth, essential background material for serious readers of the classic Lord of the Rings saga. Tolkien's work sets the standard for fantasy.  Beginning with the Music of the Ainur, The Silmarillion tells a tale of the Elder Days, when Elves and Men became estranged by the Dark Lord Morgoth's lust for the Silmarils, pure and powerful magic jewels. Even the love between a human warrior and the daughter of the Elven king cannot defeat Morgoth, but the War of Wrath finally brings down the Dark Lord. Peace reigns until the evil Sauron recovers the Rings of Power and sets the stage for the events told in the Lord of the Rings. This is epic fantasy at its finest.


I am a fan of the epic.  I want my drama to be high, my heroes to be admirable, and my villains to be despicable.  I love beauty and truth and (wow, I feel like I'm about to quote Moulin Rouge), and The Silmarillion has it in spades.

The first story is the creation of the world, and oh my word, it's beauty kills me.  When I read it, I feel like my eyes are wobbling back in forth with emotion, like an anime character.

And then Tolkien goes on to build this world where I want so badly to live, where there is peace and creativity.  But it doesn't last.  There is evil in the world, and slowly, throughout stories of heroes and villains and fate, it crumbles.  Kingdoms are overthrown.  My favorite characters are killed.  BAD THINGS HAPPEN.  And I get so crazy invested in Tolkien's world that it makes me unbearably sad.

I just want good things to stay, okay?

Anyway, The Silmarillion is crazy good.  The story of Beren and Luthien is one of the best.  If you like Lord of the Rings and can't get enough of Middle-earth, then this is the book for you.

Five out of five trees of Valinor.

Release Date: January 1985
Reading Level: Ages 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL TOL

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