The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration and source of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing; he worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to a final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the RIngs look back and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part.
The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, "The History of the Silmarils," the three great jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them and set them in his crown, 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 people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all the heroisim of Elves and Men, against the great Enemy.
The book includes several other, shorter works beside The Silmarillion proper. Preceding it are "Ainulindale," the myth of Creation, and "Valaquenta," in which the nature and powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is "Akallabeth," the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age; completing the volume is "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion.
This new edition of The Silmarillion contains the revised and corrected "second edition" text and, by way of introduction, a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, which provides a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages. It also contains almost fifty full-color illustrations by the artist Ted Nasmith, many of which appear for the first time.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Series:||History of Middle-Earth Series|
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Lexile:||1150L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||14 - 18 Years|
About the Author
A native of Goderich, Ontario, Ted Nasmith spent much of his young life on the move and lived for three years in France. He has illustrated several Tolkien calendars and Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth but is perhaps best known for his work on The Silmarillion.
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.
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.
Date of Birth:January 3, 1892
Date of Death:September 2, 1973
Place of Birth:Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)
Place of Death:Oxford, England
Education:B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919
Read an Excerpt
The Music of the Ainur
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. But for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and increased in unison and harmony.
And it came to pass that Ilúvatar called together all the Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed; and the glory of its beginning and the splendour of its end amazed the Ainur, so that they bowed before Ilúvatar and were silent.
Then Ilúvatar said to them: ‘Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void. Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilúvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased.
But now Ilúvatar sat and hearkened, and for a great while it seemed good to him, for in the music there were no flaws. But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Ilúvatar; for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself. To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren. He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Ilúvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Ilúvatar. But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren.
Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straight-way discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound. But Ilúvatar sat and hearkened until it seemed that about his throne there was a raging storm, as of dark waters that made war one upon another in an endless wrath that would not be assuaged.
Then Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled; and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty. But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery. Then again Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity. And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Ilúvatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came. The other had now achieved a unity of its own; but it was loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated; and it had little harmony, but rather a clamorous unison as of many trumpets braying upon a few notes. And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.
In the midst of this strife, whereat the halls of Ilúvatar shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved, Ilúvatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilúvatar, the Music ceased.
* * *
Then Ilúvatar spoke, and he said: ‘Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor; but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Ilúvatar, those things that ye have sung, I will show them forth, that ye may see what ye have done. And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.
Then the Ainur were afraid, and they did not yet comprehend the words that were said to them; and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger. But Ilúvatar arose in splendour, and he went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur; and the Ainur followed him.
But when they were come into the Void, Ilúvatar said to them: ‘Behold your Music!’ And he showed to them a vision, giving to them sight where before was only hearing; and they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it. And as they looked and wondered this World began to unfold its history, and it seemed to them that it lived and grew. And when the Ainur had gazed for a while and were silent, Ilúvatar said again: ‘Behold your Music! This is your minstrelsy; and each of you shall find contained herein, amid the design that I set before you, all those things which it may seem that he himself devised or added. And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tributary to its glory.
And many other things Ilúvatar spoke to the Ainur at that time, and because of their memory of his words, and the knowledge that each has of the music that he himself made, the Ainur know much of what was, and is, and is to come, and few things are unseen by them. Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together; for to none but himself has Ilúvatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past. And so it was that as this vision of the World was played before them, the Ainur saw that it contained things which they had not thought. And they saw with amazement the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar, and the habitation that was prepared for them; and they perceived that they themselves in the labour of their music had been busy with the preparation of this dwelling, and yet knew not that it had any purpose beyond its own beauty. For the Children of Ilúvatar were conceived by him alone; and they came with the third theme, and were not in the theme which Ilúvatar propounded at the beginning, and none of the Ainur had part in their making. Therefore when they beheld them, the more did they love them, being things other than themselves, strange and free, wherein they saw the mind of Ilúvatar reflected anew, and learned yet a little more of his wisdom, which otherwise had been hidden even from the Ainur.
Now the Children of Ilúvatar are Elves and Men, the Firstborn and the Followers. And amid all the splendours of the World, its vast halls and spaces, and its wheeling fires, Ilúvatar chose a place for their habitation in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the innumerable stars. And this habitation might seem a little thing to those who consider only the majesty of the Ainur, and not their terrible sharpness; as who should take the whole field of Arda for the foundation of a pillar and so raise it until the cone of its summit were more bitter than a needle; or who consider only the immeasurable vastness of the World, which still the Ainur are shaping, and not the minute precision to which they shape all things therein. But when the Ainur had beheld this habitation in a vision and had seen the Children of Ilúvatar arise therein, then many of the most mighty among them bent all their thought and their desire towards that place. And of these Melkor was the chief, even as he was in the beginning the greatest of the Ainur who took part in the Music. And he feigned, even to himself at first, that he desired to go thither and order all things for the good of the Children of Ilúvatar, controlling the turmoils of the heat and the cold that had come to pass through him. But he desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envying the gifts with which Ilúvatar promised to endow them; and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be a master over other wills.
But the other Ainur looked upon this habitation set within the vast spaces of the World, which the Elves call Arda, the Earth; and their hearts rejoiced in light, and their eyes beholding many colours were filled with gladness; but because of the roaring of the sea they felt a great unquiet. And they observed the winds and the air, and the matters of which Arda was made, of iron and stone and silver and gold and many substances: but of all these water they most greatly praised. And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.
Now to water had that Ainu whom the Elves call Ulmo turned his thought, and of all most deeply was he instructed by Ilúvatar in music. But of the airs and winds Manwë most had pondered, who is the noblest of the Ainur. Of the fabric of Earth had Aulë thought, to whom Ilúvatar had given skill and knowledge scarce less than to Melkor; but the delight and pride of Aulë is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery; wherefore he gives and hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work.
And Ilúvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: ‘Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of thy clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwë, thy friend, whom thou lovest.
Then Ulmo answered: ‘Truly, Water is become now fairer than my heart imagined, neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain. I will seek Manwë, that he and I may make melodies for ever to thy delight!’ And Manwë and Ulmo have from the beginning been allied, and in all things have served most faithfully the purpose of Ilúvatar.
Table of Contents
|Preface to the Second Edition||x|
|I||Of the Beginning of Days||35|
|II||Of Aule and Yavanna||43|
|III||Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor||47|
|IV||Of Thingol and Melian||55|
|V||Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie||57|
|VI||Of Feanor and the Unchaining of Melkor||63|
|VII||Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor||67|
|VIII||Of the Darkening of Valinor||73|
|IX||Of the Flight of the Noldor||78|
|X||Of the Sindar||91|
|XI||Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor||98|
|XIII||Of the Return of the Noldor||106|
|XIV||Of Beleriand and its Realms||118|
|XV||Of the Noldor in Beleriand||125|
|XVII||Of the Coming of Men into the West||140|
|XVIII||Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin||150|
|XIX||Of Beren and Luthien||162|
|XX||Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad||188|
|XXI||Of Turin Turambar||198|
|XXII||Of the Ruin of Doriath||227|
|XXIII||Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin||238|
|XXIV||Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath||246|
|Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age||283|
|I||The House of Finwe|
|II||The Descendants of Olwe and Elwe|
|III||The House of Beor|
|IV and V||The House of Hador and The People of Haleth|
|The Sundering of the Elves|
|Note on Pronunciation||310|
|Index of Names||313|
|Appendix||Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names||355|
|Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North||366|
What People are Saying About This
"A creation of singular beauty... magnificent in its best moments." The Washington Post
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What can you say about a book that literally creates an entire world starting with God and the Void, the creation of the angels, the dawn of life and ending thousands of years later after covering the foundation stories for nearly all Anglo-German myths? You'd have to say it was the work of the world's premiere literary genius. Then when you read it, you'd find that the language matches the material the way harmony complements melody. This is simply one of the most amazing and beautiful books in English literature. The stories and the poetry will stay with you forever. Its sweep is so enormous, it makes Tolkien's own "Lord of the Rings" seem like a campfire story. If you love fantasy, you must read it.
More than just back-story for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion stands on its own, with many fantastic and, yes, tragic, stories from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien. This has been a favorite of mine for many years, and I recently downloaded the Nook version. My biggest disappointment with this version is the omission of the map. It seems to me that the ebook format has much more potential for hyperlinking than what is currently offered. For example, when a geographical reference is made in the text, hyperlink it to the map!
I finally finished this book, after picking it up and putting it down a couple times. Thats the trick, if you can make it through the first 50-80 pages then you will really like the book after finishing it. Those first few chapters are a little hard to read because of all the different names and places etc. But the majority of the book is easy to read and very informative into the background of the LOTR world, before the 3rd Age. It is basically a history of the world Tolkein created for the LOTR series. But there is some action in it, with some great stories of characters more amazing than those of LOTR. It really helped me understand the movies. I plan on reading The Hobbit and then the LOTR series. I recomend this book to anyone who appreciates and enjoys the amazing imagination of JRR Tolkein.
No lies saying this is the Bible of Middle-Earth. If you are a Tolkien fan, than this book is definitely for you. The first page had me extremely intrigued about the beginning of Tolkien's brilliant world. It tells of many stories, beginnings, and ends that are captivating for fantasy-loving readers. It is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone interested in adventure and knowledge of Middle-Earth.
Lord of the Rings fans will fall in love with the Silmarillion. This book takes the reader back to the beginning of time, before Middle Earth as we know it, and gives a whole new depth to the original Lord of the Rings story. There are a lot of new characters as well as new parts of Middle Earth to remember, but the tales will keep you engrossed. I can't say enough about this book! This isn't just for Tolkien fans either, all fantasy fans will love this book. I CAN guarantee this will become a favorite part of your library collection!
The book is highly interesting for major Tolkien fans, such as myself. I would definitely recommend it if you noticed the reference's to a past history in The Lord of the Rings. But if you are a casual reader who is looking for another book like The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit then this book is not for you. I began reading this book a long time ago, but had to put it down. I had only read the Lord of the rings once, and was not that interested in the history. But a few months later after I had reread the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit I picked the book up again and read it. Some of the reviewers here have called this a fantastic novel, it is not. Fantastic it is but I cannot call it a 'novel' as a novel imply s a singular plot with character development. This book does not have almost an character development. To some it may even seem boring. Some the story reads much like a history book, but a oddly interesting and majestic history book at that! If you have read the History of Middle-Earth and haven't had a chance to read this book, buy it. Now.
I haven't finished this book yet, but what I've read has been fabulous. It's a fun challenge, like I said before. If you're looking for an easy-to-read Elvish love story, then just rent it from the library and read the chapter on Luthien and Beren. But if you're serious about understanding the details of Tolkien's imaginary world and love detail - like me, then you'll love this. It has been so much fun and now the hinted-at ancient tales in Lord of the Rings are finally making sense - which is so exciting.
The Silmarillion, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is an excellent novel. The book makes the world of The Lord of the Rings so much more life-like when it accounts the history of Middle-Earth, or Arda, and when you realize that many figures in that history are mentioned in other books that take place in the world of Arda. I love how it explains how Sauron came to be and how it mentions elven characters from The Lord of the Rings, which truly makes them feel ageless. In addition, Tolkien put two appendixes in the back of the book. One of them features names and events in the book, and offers page numbers for reference and gives translation of any foreign names. The second appendix has elvish words and parts of names with their translation, possibly so you can go through the book and translate names yourself, or even make your own elvish names. Any true Tolkien fan should own this book.
If you are a LOTR fan, I highly suggest this book. It can get confusing though so I would suggest a physical book over the nook book so that it is easier to flip back to the index and family trees because it is needed!
The Silmarillion is an amazing story, though not for the literary lightweight. But this particular edition is beautiful. It reads well, with large print and fabulous illustrations. It fits with the large, illustrated trilogy and Hobbit editions and they make a lovely set. If you like collected beautiful books, then this is a great one to add to your collection.
By Lifthrasir; Bookmaster I am an extreme fan of Tolkien, so im going to be a little biast. But, turn away my biast, and youll see that even though its thick, it is truly awesome. Here, we see more allegory: God, cration of angels, heaven, and the earth; also, the rebellion of Satan and his angels. But, even if you arent a religious person like I am; if you love the classics (by classics, i mean Homers Iliad and Odyssey) and if you love fantasy and if you love Tolkien, this book is for you. Buy it. Its a great book.
You CAN enjoy Tolkien's later writings without this, but with it you will have a much better understanding of everything that was to come after it. Even though it wasn't published until long after the big hits (The Hobbit, and The Lord of The Rings), it is the "Genesis" of it all! Tolkien's son Christopher has compiled and edited a bulk of JRR's old writings to give us a window into the past. This book has tied up all the loose ends in my mind and given me a much fuller perspective on the later writings.
"And they lie ye that say that we of our part do not honour the valor of foes". Having accomplished the errand of his master Glaurung went about laying waste and denying the Orcs their plunder. I was going to say something profound but in the face of this work I am reduced to mere plagirism. Nothing further.
I am re-reading the series and wanted to read this first. This reads nothing like his books. It's like notes expanded. Good stories, but almost dry. Still worthwhile, perhaps reading it more times will help. Unfortunately the maps and charts that would have help the read, were found at the end of the book. Checking those out as you read might help clarify all the names/places, etc.
This book is so wonderfully written and the struggles in the book are so wonderfully thought out and portrayed. This is probably my favorite fiction book of all time, I recently just read it a second time and I think I loved it more than the first. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read.
You see, I made the mistake of not reading this before I read Hobbit and the LOTR. So when I read those, I got a bit confused. Anyway, some of the stories are really cool, like Beren and Luthien, and some are really sad(and a bit gross),like Turin Turambar and Niniel. the part that I was most familiar with was of the account of the events with Isildur and the beginning of the third age. Anyway, a great thing to read if you want to get into Tolkien and LOTR.
This work covers the first age of middle earth. If you have read the triology but have not read this you are missing out. It is a prequel covering the background back to the first age which covers the rings history; and how we got to the great confilicts of the third age. The trilogy of the Lord of the Rings covers the third age of middle earth only. This work fills it all in a good read
For fans of LOTR, this is an essential collection. I say 'collection' for that is what it is. Be forewarned, this is not a singular narrative, like The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. It is a collection of tales from earlier times, a quintessential back-story to the Hobbit / Lord of the Rings. Not even finished in Tolkien's lifetime, it was compiled and edited by his son. But don't let that put you off; if you appreciate the depth of the other works, you will love this. It spans the beginning of time up to the 3rd age laid out in Hobbit & LOTR, all laid out in epic proportions, in varying styles, some vague & remote, some immediate and passionate. Highlights include the two other unions of elves and men, (adding poignancy to the story of Aragorn & Arwen), the rise of Sauron from the servant of Morgoth (first Dark Lord), and the coming of the Istari (wizards). These are just a few of the tales that entertain on their own merits and illuminate the many references in the 3rd age works. Perhaps not for everyone, yet this almost Biblical style tome will surely please any serious Tolkien or fantasy fan.
Tolkien considered this book his best work, and after I read it, I could see why. The book starts off with Illuvitar who created Middle Earth. The Valar are his angels, and one angel who is named Melkor or his more common name Morgoth. The Silmarillion is about how Morgoth takes over Middle Earth and tells how the elves and men fight back. It gives you a very good perspective on Middle Earth. If you are a Tolkien fan, I highly reccommend this book.
Nerds unite! No, seriously though As a fan of all genres I must say that this book is a fantasy like none before or since! Dune, anything by L Ron Hubbard, and even the Star Wars saga (yeah I said it) all wish they reached this level of imagination, vivid and complete detail, and beautiful prose--with a dash of poetry--but none come close *Amen*
Tolkien considered the Silmarillion to be his finest work, and it does not disappoint. A must read for any LotR fan as it expands the world of Middle Earth while containing great stories of its own. In many ways this work has even more depth and grandness than LotR, and more spiritual/Christian parallels. Despite this, though, and contrary to many reviews, this is still an easily accessible book, with characters and stories easily ralatable to and highly engaging. Tolkien has created a fantasy world that has no parallel in any literature.
My Fiancé and I met when I sat down next to her before a class. She was writing in Tengwar. We bonded over Tolkien, and today, though we're at long distance, we keep close by reading each other this book over the phone every night. The wordcraft is absolutely beautiful, and the stories are interesting and meaningful. Tolkien (a very devout catholic) would be very angry to hear me say this, but I prefer it many times over against the Bible as a source of meaning and of meditative thoughts about life and history. Sorry, Tolkien, but a book exists independent of its author once it's complete! If you haven't read this book, do pick it up. If you've tried and failed, get a friend or loved one to read it with you, aloud. Make a habit of it, and you'll both look forward to reading together. It really is worth the effort.
A very hard read, but worth it, for a Tolkein fan. I'm 13, but I was able to read it, albeit with some difficulty. It's impossible to keep track of all the names and places, especially when each has 3 or 4 different names for the different languages and nations. I'm definitely going to be rereading it a few times, (though maybe not immediately). I have not even half way grasped the concepts, characters, plots, and places Tolkien has created in this book. Although not half as exciting as The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, it gives those books more depth and history to look into. This is not the book to read if you want an exciting plot, or good, well developed characters, this book has too long of a timespan to get into character development. But for those who want to learn more about Tolkiens world of Middle-Earth, in addition to the worlds of Aman and Numenor, this is the book. Excellent!!
The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien should be considered a history book. Tolkien’s development of ten-thousand years of made-up history leaves the majority of people unwilling to finish the book and most likely confused and with a headache. Tolkien narrates the majority of the book, only having a couple of scenes with dialog. The story also shifts points of view several times, discussing individually the large magnitudes of characters that were in the book. This book was not intended to be a light read, and many people are discouraged from reading it when they see the size of the book and the level of difficulty. Tolkien makes several biblical allusions in the Silmarillion in order to help develop the story and the world of Middle-Earth. He establishes the creator of elves and men within the first book, and begins to tell the tale of the Silmarils in the Quenta Silmarillion. His use of diverse characters helps to add a three-dimensional approach to the book. Tolkien also describes the characters when introducing them, which helps add diversity to the image that he’s portraying, but can also confuse the reader. Tolkien also used an immense amount of imagery to describe his world and the events that occurred. This worked very effectively, but also caused for some confusion in those who couldn’t understand the colloquial language that he used. There were moments when the phrasing of sentences were difficult to comprehend, and that took away from the pure genius of the book. Overall, the Silmarillion is an essential read for any Lord of the Rings fan. It is very well-written and develops the made-up history of a made-up world to perfection. Not recommended for the average person however. ~Note: I was forced to write this for an English Project. Don't downvote or upvote plox~
Think of it this way. LOTR is a flag flying at half mast with a breeze. But now, the Silmarillion comes along flying with a full gale blowing and shes at full mast. That is the difference. This book is history, but Tolkien never makes it boring. It is the richest boldest sadest lovliest and the most epic powerful writing that you could ever find. Like a needle in a haystack this type of writing is very hard to find. Really this is the essence of Tolkiens heart of writing. If what i have said does not persuade you to atleast borrow this book then I aint sure what would! Yeah you have known Sauron but you have yet to read about his former master and the greater evil