“Every version of the story in the book is incomplete, but under Christopher Tolkien’s steady editorial hand, the fragments assemble themselves to give us an impression of the whole. What makes this possible is the grace with which he handles his long-accustomed dual role of guide to both story and history. His preface and annotations are openhearted and engaging. He leads the reader pleasantly through the greater landscape of Middle-earth in the First Age, and strikes as clear a path as possible through the wilderness of Tolkien’s lifelong attempts to get the story finished and published. With eloquence and diligence and care, the son reconstructs and retraces the father’s journey, pursuing the tale through draft after draft as Tolkien pursued his vision of Middle-earth; as Beren, lost and hunted, followed the sound of Lùthien’s voice as she sang in the shadowed forest of Doriath.” — NPR.org
“A good introduction to LOTR fans nervous about taking on The Silmarillion, and also gives longtime fans a fascinating look at the Tolkiens’ myth-making process.”— EntertainmentWeekly.com
“A beautiful book.”— San Antonio Express-News
About the Author
J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.
ALAN LEE was born in England in 1947. Inspired by Tolkien's work to pursue his chosen path as an artist of the mythic and fantastic, he has illustrated a wide range of books including Faeries, The Mabinogion, Castles, Merlin Dreams, the centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. He is a winner of the Carnegie Medal for his illustrated edition of The Illiad.