The War of the Jewels: The Later Silmarillion, Part Two

J. R. R. Tolkien, Author, Christopher Tolkien, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $30 (488p) ISBN 978-0-395-71041-8
J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Silmarillion (1977), published four years after his death, continued the saga of the mythological kingdom of Middle-Earth, begun in his epic trilogy Lord of the Rings. Christopher Tolkien, son of the English novelist and medievalist, here reconstructs the evolution of The Silmarillion using his father's manuscripts and notes and adding his own extensive commentaries and annotations. Picking up where this massive study left off, he reprints the entire text of the unfinished Grey Annals (begun around 1930, reworked in the 1950s, and largely incorporated in The Silmarillion). Amid momentous battles and heroic deeds, we learn how Hurin the Steadfast, released after 28 years of captivity in Morgoth's fortress, journeys among the forest people of Brethril, spreading disaster, and follow the exploits of his son Turin Turambar and daughter Nienor. Included also are J.R.R. Tolkien's discussion of his characters' motives, his detailed maps of imaginary realism, and his essays on the origins and meanings of elvish words and the Dwarves' elaborate gestural language. For hard-core Tolkien devotees and scholars. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/05/1994
Release date: 12/01/1994
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