The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

Book - 1983
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"Majestic . . . Readers of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" will find in "The Silmarillion" a cosmology to call their own, medieval romances, fierce fairy tales, and fiercer wars that ring with heraldic fury . . . It overwhelms the reader." -- "Time "
The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in "The Lord of the Rings" look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. "The Silmarillion" is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.
"A creation of singular beauty . . . magnificent in its best moments." --" Washington Post "
"Heart-lifting . . . a work of power, eloquence and noble vision . . . Superb " -- "Wall Street Journal "
Publisher: London : Unwin Paperbacks, 1983.
Edition: 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780048232304
0048232300
Characteristics: 439 p. :,geneal.tables, 1 map ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Tolkien, Christopher

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N13m4nd
Jan 21, 2020

A straightforward description of this book doesn’t do it justice. The short version: The Silmarillion is a history of the world that serves as the setting of the Lord of the Rings. The long version: this is a rich and fully-realized mythology, the backstory to the events of Hobbit and LOTR, adventure tales, melancholy tales, romances, tragedies, biographies (of fictional characters), monsters, heroes, gods, kings and queens, traitors, travelogues (of fictional lands), and all told with gorgeous and memorable use of language. (Tolkien was, after all, a professor of English and language.) The book is not without its flaws, though. Silmarillion was not written as a unified whole, for one thing. After Tolkien died, his son collected fragments of works and whole tales, massaged them together, filled in some gaps himself, and made a whole and unified narrative out of these parts. While I don’t feel that any segment of the book is bad, there is a fair degree of repetition where two versions of the same stories were included in different forms as ostensibly different tales. But my feeling is that each telling is beautiful enough in its own right that I don’t mind. Back to the short version: I’ve read LOTR five times, but The Silmarillion ten times.

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Luvnmusic95
Dec 27, 2019

Not difficult to read but not terribly easy either. This book had my brain really working and imagining picture to the words which spells out "good book" for me. I had a little trouble following the time line in some parts but it eventually came together for me. I may need to read this book again.

LPL_IanS Sep 03, 2019

More history than novel, this beautiful and poetic history of Middle Earth was the literary jewel (Silmaril pun) of Tolkien’s eye. Driven by a vengeful oath, the Eldar leave paradise to wage tragic war on Morgoth, a fallen god. Think Old Testament populated by Elves, Dwarves, dragons, and orcs.

Read if you like: epic scope, beautiful but unhurried writing, Middle Earth

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JimJava007
Jun 09, 2019

Want to play the SILMARILLION drinking game? Take a shot every time Tolkien uses a superlative adjective to describe someone. Just once, I wish he would've introduced an elven king who was just an OK fighter and *sort of* knew his way around a forge.

This book is awesome. Amazing. Stupendous. Fantastic. Okay, I'm running out of adjectives now... But seriously, this book is amazing. I already liked The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but The Silmarillion is what turned me into a complete fanatic about Middle-earth and pretty much everything Tolkien wrote.
The Silmarillion is written differently than most of Tolkien's other works, but tough it out-you will not be disappointed. This is what Tolkien spent his entire life working on-and with good reason. This book has everything. Tragedy, romance, epic quests, battles, heroes and heroines, hidden cities, villains, and probably more that I'm forgetting. Moments when all hope is lost, and moments where it shines as bight as the Silmarils. And when all hope seems gone, just remember Hurin's battle cry: Day shall come again!

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avocadotree
Apr 11, 2019

None of the chapters are too long and its very rich and satisfying. Definitely took me longer to read this than the other books, but I'm not in a rush to leave this world either.

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l0r0zc0
Mar 15, 2019

If you enjoyed reading the appendices in the LOTR trilogy, you will enjoy The Silmarillion even more so. It is packed with lore, on lore, on lore.

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GMorry
Feb 20, 2019

I have read JRR Tolkien's LOTR trilogy and the Hobbit several times, and I am a HUGE fan. That being said, I could not finish this book, and I have tried a couple of times. The Silmarillion is not so much a story as an impenetrably dense and shockingly boring (IMHO) history of Middle Earth, filled with dozens and dozens of legendary characters and place names, with no plot to speak of. The Silmarillion reads like a cross between the bible and an Ikea catalogue. "And then VILTO and HEMNES crossed the RÖNNSKÄR, and spake unto BILLY, whose family came from the hills of FRÄJEN, along the rocky shores of the rivers MALM and TISSENDAL..."

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schmegu_at_hcplc
Jan 08, 2019

Copied from "People of Middle Earth": Honestly, I learned so much about writing and understanding the world around me by reading these books from Tolkien. Getting this break down of how the world of Middle Earth ran made things so interesting. As I started to get more and more into history, so much of his world building, and the wars going on between Sauron and the free people of Middle Earth, or the wars between the Elves and Morgoth, or (I could continue) were such clear parallels to what was happening in Tolkien's world.... and they are still such clear parallels to what is happening in today's world. We always talk about how Dystopian novels are a way of warning us about the path we're following, and how our future might turn out, but we forget that a lot of Fantasy novels are also reflections of people today, and how we need to get our acts together.

SCL_Justin Sep 04, 2018

I have tried to read this so many times and I have finally completed it. And it was worth it. While it is more of a myth cycle that doesn't get into the details of adventures in the way the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings do, I found that to be a soothing experience.

Immortal beings rise and fall and their cities are raised up and crumble. Sauron is barely mentioned because in the first age we're dealing with the more powerful Melkor who ends up being judged and cast out after a war that devastates and reshapes the world.

What I loved about the book this time was the distance of it all, that we're learning of the origins of things so many generations before what I think of as Middle Earth. It changes your perspective and sort of minimizes the epicness of the War of the Rings. These things have happened before and will again.

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climbTheStairs
Oct 03, 2016

climbTheStairs thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

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jorjatupper
May 02, 2016

jorjatupper thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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blue_cheetah_1726
Dec 30, 2015

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Chinderixx
Feb 02, 2015

"Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me , and to question the power of Melkor, master of the fates of arda. Therefore, with my eyes thou shalt see,and with my ears, thou shalt hear, and never shalt thou move from this place until all is fulfilled to it's bitter end."-Morgoth

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fudgeburger
Jul 23, 2014

“Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumour of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable on-blazoned, cast a shadow over him like a storm cloud." - Chapter 18: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

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