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Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth

von John R. R. Tolkien

ISBN: 0261103628

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In this "follow-up" to The Silmarillion and LOTR you find a literal treasure chest of knowledge concerning tales of Middle Earth. The Tale of the Children of Hurin is one of the best stories I have ever read, the essays on the Istari and the Druidain reveal two of the mysteries in LOTR, and The Battle of the Fords of Isen and Cirion and Eorl will give you good insight on the troubles of Gondor and Rohan in the Third Age. It also contains two rarely mentioned parts of LOTR; one being Aldarion and Erendis, a tale concerning a King of Numenor, and the other tells of the entire hunt for the Ring as seen by the enemy. I recommend this book to any Tolkien fan. You will read this book time and time again and simply revel in the quantity of information it gives you.

This just keeps on amazing me...
The best thing about Tolkien is that he's written stories for every possible human mood. Want some light entertainment? Read The Hobbit. Want a great, dark and overwhelming epic? Well, LotR is your choice. And so on. You can't say "LotR is Tolkien's greatest work" or "Silmarillion is his finest achievement", because they're both just parts of the great perfectness. Simply, Middle-Earth is his best work and greatest achievement, everything it contains and everything you imagine it to contain.

That's why I've grown to adore Unfinished Tales more and more with every reading. Of all books published under Tolkien's name, it paints maybe the clearest picture of Middle-Earth's different aspects. There are Old Testament-style myths, exciting adventure stories, intelligent and interesting essays, more romance and human feelings than in his other works. I guess for an ordinary reader it can be a bit confusing that so few of these Tales are ready and whole. Christopher Tolkien has had to explain much, but for a die-hard fan like me that makes it all more interesting. Between the lines you can easily read facts about the way Tolkien handled his world, and that way is unique in litetarure. A very, very essential book.

Unfinished, but not unremarkable.

When JRR Tolkien died, he left a massive amount of material that, for various reasons, had not been published. Some of this material was sufficiently comprehensive and consistant with published materials that Tolkien's son, Christopher, was able to compile it into 'The Silmarillion'.

But there were also several stories, polished, but not quite complete, which pertained to the events in 'The Lord of the Rings' -- things like the story of how Isildur lost the One Ring; like what, exactly, were the Wizards: who sent them and why? Questions like 'How did Galadriel and Celeborn come to rule Lorien?' and 'Just what happened at the Fords of Isen when Saruman attacked Rohan and Theoden's son, Theodred, was slain?'

All these questions and many more are addressed in the many unfinished tales that are to be found in this book: tales from all three of the ages of Middle-earth; from heros such as Tuor and Turin in the First Age, to Bilbo and Gandalf in the Third. Almost every tale is told in a different style, but each is satisfying, up to the point where it breaks off: then frustration and speculation set in, but also a deep appreciation for the scope and grandur of Middle-earth and the man who created it.
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> Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth
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