The Silmarillion raised so many questions that Tolkien fans almost felt cheated when the book came out in 1977. Fortunately, Christopher Tolkien foresaw the readers' hunger for more material about Middle-earth would not be quenched and he promised in the foreword to publish some related material when time permitted. What came next was Unfinished Tales, a less-than-satisfying collection of stories and notes about the heroes and kings of the three Ages. But the disappointment didn't lay in the quality of the stories. Rather, it was only their various states of incompleteness, even though some tales (like "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields") were truly fully formed. The book is most valuable to people who want to know more about the histories and heroes of Middle-earth. People looking for Hobbit-lore will be disappointed. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien reveals more about Hobbits than Unfinished Tales. But there are exciting moments and awesome scenes, such as when Ulmo rises out of the sea before Tuor, and when Isildur realizes that the One Ring has betrayed him to his doom, which stand alongside the most memorable passages of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Unfinished Tales shows us Tolkien at his best when he was doing nothing more than just writing out his thoughts concerning various peoples and events only mentioned in The Lord of the Rings.
141 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?