|Hardcover, 189 pages|
Published 2000 (originally 1955)
Acquired February 2011
Read August 2013
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Reading this as my last installment on my The Lord of the Rings voyage is even more of an anticlimax than the second half of The End of the Third Age; the whole thing is polished off with a series of facts and figures. I'm glad this book exists in the abstract: it reveals the staggering amount of thought Tolkien put into his fully-realized fantasy world, which was definitely a first and probably never surpassed (who would have guessed how Shire pronouns would contribute to the perception of Pippin in Minas Tirith?). But I don't know if it actually needed to be published. Well, I'm sure it did, but it definitely didn't need to be read by me.
I know there are people who loved this, but it reads like a less realistic if more consistent version of the History of the Kings of Britain. Which king went to which mountain range to fight which raider when is chronicled lovingly. I did like the snippets of the Aragorn/Arwen romance; too bad that couldn't have been in the actual book.