Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Silmarillion (book review)

The Silmarillion, by JRR Tolkein, is the story of the Elves of Middle-Earth and how they came to be. The book goes into vivid detail when explaining all the battles and activity, and the reader can visualize clearly what happens. There were many characters and groups, and many events took place at once, in different places. The book starts with Iluvatar(The Creator), making the world. Then, Iluvatar created Elves, and later, Men. There were also less powerful, yet still very strong smaller gods, the Valar and the Maia. Unfortunately, one of the Valar turned to evil purposes, and this was Melkor. Throughout the book, Melkor (also known as Morgoth), plagued the lives of the Elves and Men. When Morgoth stole an Elf's most prized creations, which were three brilliant jewels, the Silmarils, it was too much for them to accept. Some of the Elves went to war against him, and soon others were caught up in the struggle. After many battles and deaths, finally the Elves, Men, and Valar were victorious against Morgoth.

I enjoyed this book very much, but it was considerably harder to read than Lord of the Rings. It also took me much longer to read. The first couple chapters reminded me a little of a creation myth, but that resemblance left as I got further into the book.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.


Rhinoa said...

Yay you, not many people seem to finish it. I don't know why though, it has some great stories. If you liked it try The Unfinished Tales as well, I think I preferred it overall. I have the Histories edited by Christopher Tolkien to read hopefully next year.

Becky said...

I loved this book--probably even more than Lord of the Rings. Not that it was a quick read, mind you, but I felt it was deeper. It was like a 'sacred' text of sorts for those characters, that world. It was very mythological. Very satisfying. And the style was a cross between sacred and Edith Hamilton, in my opinion. Especially the beginning.

Chris said...

This is a Tolkien that I haven't read yet and I'm really looking forward to it! One of these days I'll get around to sits in waiting along with the hundreds of other books on the shelf :p I loved your review of the book. It sounds quite beautiful. Have you read Children of Hurin yet?

Nymeth said...

I haven't read this one yet even though I love Tolkien. I guess I was discouraged by the fact that several people told me it was so dry. Your review really makes me want to give it a try though!

Fence said...

I always think that The Silmarillion is really more of a collection of myths than one story. I didn't enjoy it the first time I read it, but I think I was too young, because when I reread it, year later, I found it much much better.

Jean said...

Chris beat me to it. I was going to ask about Children of Hurin, too. Have you read it? I've never read The Silmarillion, but my kids found it harder to read than other Tolkien they've tackled.

CoversGirl said...

This is one of the challenge books I'll be reading this month (for the TR Challenge) so I'm glad to hear it's a good read!

Carl V. said...

I'm so glad you made it through this and enjoyed it. I would have to echo Becky's thoughts and say that I like this one even more than the LOTR books, but only because it ties into those tales and gives so much background history of the world and the people. The first part definitely mirrors the story of creation and does so in such and interesting way. I love how Tolkien was able to marry these ideas with the myths of elves, dwarves, etc. It is a beautiful story.

Debi said...


I will try The Unfinished Tales! Thanks.


Debi said...

Chris(and Jean)--

I haven't read Children of Hurin yet, but I think I might.


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