The Silmarillion by J. R. R. TolkienThe Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Silmarillion

byJ. R. R. Tolkien

Paperback | January 31, 1999

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Designed to take fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings deeper into the myths and legends of Middle-earthThe Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It 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 tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Númenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings.This pivotal work features the revised, corrected text and includes, by way of an introduction, a fascinating letter written by Tolkien in 1951 in which he gives a full explanation of how he conceived the early Ages of Middle-earth.
J.R.R. Tolkien is best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 60 languages worldwide. He died in 1973 at the age of 81.Christopher Tolkien is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the publication of his father'...
Title:The SilmarillionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pagesPublished:January 31, 1999Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0261102737

ISBN - 13:9780261102736

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read. If you have been following the trilogy, this is a must read.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Edition I won't go on about the content, but needless to say it's incredible! I bought this edition to match the Hobbit and LoTR paperback box set done in similar colours and they look wonderful on my shelf together.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The Silmarillion is amazing. A wonderfully rich and detailed history of Middle-Earth, sure to please fans eager to learn more about the magical world. This collection of stories and history is a lasting testament to incredible imagination of Tolkien.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lear the beginning of Middle-Earth If you ever wonder how was the beginning of Middle-Earth this is the best way to learn it. Bit complex to read but 100% worthy. Rich in language, history, fantasy. I just got hooked to amiddle-Earth after reading The Silmarillion.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard Follow along with the audio book if youre having trouble
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Buckle up This is a tough read. I would recommend following along with an audiobook if you are having trouble.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silmarillion Great book; I really like it even though its long
Date published: 2017-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Honestly one of my favorite Tolkien titles.
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silmarillion A bit over-long and lengthy at times, but all in all a worthwhile read
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expands LOTR world but tough read I love Middle Earth so thought be great to learn more. Interesting items in the book but very tough to get through; not easy to read. Took me a couple of tries and doubt I would read it again
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Excellent book - but not as accessible as LOTRs, so not everybody's cup of tea.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story Very good story that explains everything you'd want to know about the lord of the ring universe. Just a little hard to read though.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great #plumreview. Awesome book. Wish he had made more in the similar format.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, but not for everyone #plumreview I loved reading the Silmarillion because of what it added to the LOTR trilogy. However, it can be a little hard to get through at times and seems a little like a very long history textbook.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not for everyone This book feels like you're reading the bible for LOTR. It's not easy to read. Not as entertaining as other books from the LOTR universe.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mystical Worldbuilding & Epic Tales A bit of a tough read due to the distance from the characters - but think of it as a recitation of history, which is what it is, and it's magical and poetic. This book is inspiring to me. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tolkien Can be tough at times, but this creation story of Middle Earth is pretty good.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent book Even though I found it to be a bit of a hard read it is still one of my favourite books. It tells of the creation of Middle-Earth all the way to the Third Age. I've read it once and am planning on rereading it because there was so much information that I know I didn't get it all. Definitely an excellent read!
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very Dense This book adds a ton to detail to the stories of Middle Earth. Well worth the read for any diehard LOTR fan.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Complete your knowledge of Middle-Earth Mythology Any fan of The Lord of the Rings would be amiss not to add this to their collection. A history that recounts everything from the creation of Middle-Earth, to the beginning of the Third Age; it tells tales of an immensely grand scale.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rich mytholgy, but the mass market paperbacks wear and tear easily. The Silmarillion is not a story like the Lord of the Rings, but a collection of stories that predate that story. But The Silmarillion does much more than provide a backdrop for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit- it is a rich mythological epic spanning centuries. Poetic and grand. you may want to invest in a good hardcover; the black Harper Collins mass market paperbacks wear and tear easily.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful This book provides stunning details into Tolkien's world, far beyond what we were given in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Although, at times, it can be confusing as Tolkien changed his mind on a few key points, names, dates...etc. it is nonetheless riveting and insightful. I keep mine on hand while rereading his other works so that I may check back and connect the dots!
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Great and epic! A must-read for Lord of the Rings fans.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unbelievable book I did not expect the level of detail and descriptions. This felt so much more like something I would read in a school than for fun.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from very interesting this book provides an exhaustive background to the lore of middle-earth - the story of luthien is my favourite. but at some points it feels a bit like reading a textbook.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A True Example of a Real Classic I bought this from the Wellington Indigo, last year. It is truly a wonderful book. The reading is not necessarily easy, but very rewarding. Anyone looking for an explanation of how the rings were formed, or why a hobbit was chosen to carry the "one ring to rule them all, this is the book! Seriously, so much is explained about elves, the Valar, and the rings. The other stories are great too, makes Tolkien's world 3-Dimensional.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Difficult but Worthwhile The Silmarillion is much more difficult to read than Tolkien's other works and doesn't have the same narrative flow the others do. However if you are a Tolkien fan and want to learn more about the lore of Middle Earth then it is definitely a worthwhile read.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from For the hardcore fan I LOVED the lore of this book and the depth of information that it provided on Tolkien's world. As a huge Tolkien fan this was engrossing for me and I still look back to it for reference when I reread Lord of the Rings. The only reason I gave it four stars is because it may be a bit of slow read for anyone who's looking for the classic adventure of Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Not a good book to start with of course but it's great for any big fans of Tolkien that want to know more about his world.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not for Faint of Heart This is a really deep dive and will not appeal to anyone but the most hardcore of Tolkien fans.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Immersive #plumreview This books delves the depths of middle earth, but I'd have to say that it's probably only for the hardcore fan.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but ... I found this a tough read, and I'm a big fan of LOTR and the Hobbit. Perhaps what's missing is a story - this reads more like a history or non-fiction book than a novel. For fans only, and even then, caveat emptor.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For the Tolkien fan! Sometimes hard to follow, but it shows the brilliance of Tolkien!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I'd been warned that this was dry but I got so into this. The language is beautiful and Tolkien paints a picture of the origin of Middle Earth.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tolkien for the more-than-casual fan! A classic example of Tolkien's fantastic writing. The Silmarillion is detailed, at times painstakingly so, but if you are a diehard Tolkien fan who finds yourself wanting more, this is a great book to start delving into Tolkien's extended world, especially the history behind the creation of Middle Earth.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get into... Don't get me wrong it is an interesting read into the history of the elves and how Middle Earth progressed to the Lord of the Rings age however I just found it very hard to get into. May try again at some point but right now was a little disappointing for me. Great as reference material though.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I didn't like this as much as the original series as to be expected, but it was great insight as someone who loves Tolkien's world and is more interested in the background. Definitely recommend to any avid LOTR fans, but it isn't a good book to start with.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult but worthwhile read for fans It's a difficult book to get through. At times I wasn't sure if I could finish it, but in the end I feel it was worthwhile and adds much more depth to Tolkien's other related works, which we all adore. So if you are a die-hard LOTR fan, don't skip this one!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Epic History of the Elves Now, sadly, Chapters doesn't have the ideal edition of The Silmarillion listed in their system (that's the one with the mountain on the cover by Harper Collins) but The Silmarillion is incredible. A bit tricky to get into, but well-worth the effort.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tales of MIddle Earth for the devoted I am not sure how many times I have read this book but it has to be over five. I just love reading about the earlier ages of Middle Earth - long before there was a Frodo or even a Gandalf. You can piece together how it was that the alliances and kingdoms were formed well before the events of Lord of the Rings takes place. This book is sort of like the Book of Genesis in the bible - it explains the world's origin and lays out the creation of all the creatures in it. It also deals with the fall of the Noldor - a subrace of elves that love to craft items of exquisite beauty and power. For those familiar with LOTR, think of Galadriel and you get an idea on the potency of these people. Their greatest craftsman, Feanor, creates the Silmarils - three gems with unparalled allure and embued with the light of creation inside - and everything goes great until the main villain, Morgoth, decides to steal them and take the gems back to his frosty domain. The Noldor are very proud and decide to chase him with their armies despite a ban on leaving the Western Lands from their deities. The Noldor commit crimes against their fellow elves and find themselves in a hostile land, exiled and without friends. The book mostly deals with the tales that follow this exile, as the Noldor try desperately to get their Silmarils back as well as surviving Morgoth's constant forays into their kingdom. These are truly epic battles with hosts of superpowered elves versus regiments of balrogs and dragons. The only down side to the book is that it reads somewhat like a book of myths - more like a account of events than a true novel (which it is not). Don't expect it to be like LOTR - it is more like Robert Graves' books on Greek myths. Having said that, if you are at all curious about the origins of those powerful beings from LOTR such as Galadriel, Elrond, Sauron or even the family tree of Aragorn, this book is well worth reading. It is only about 300 pages for the narrative part (the rest being appendices) so it won't take you all year either. Recommended for the earnest Tolkien fan.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written! When reading this book I had to constantly remind myself that it was fiction. It was so detailed and the world he created was just amazing! How could one man have such an imagination?!
Date published: 2009-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My all time favourite book just got better! For years I have enjoyed my mass market paperback edition of The Silmarillion. I kept seeing this lovely illustrated hardback edition on Chapters on-line, but I never found a copy in store. I was reluctant to spend $30 on a book I already had without at least seeing it to know if it was worth the expense. Finally, I decided that I would get a copy before it went out of print, as this 2004 edition is now 5 years old. My copy arrived today, and I am not disappointed. It is beautiful. It is printed on heavy white stock that really brings out the details in the wonderful paintings. It also comes with a fantastic full colour fold out map. The cover is hardback with extra heavy board. This is most certainly the edition that I will enjoy reading the most. While I may not carry it to work on the bus because of its size, weight, and quality; those attributes will encourage me to sit in the most comfortable chair in the house to experience all that this edition has to offer! If you love Tolkien, but haven't read The Silmarillion yet, this is the edition to get. The maps and illustrations will draw you in to this prequel to all things Middle Earth. Another way to enhance your enjoyment of this book would be to read along to the Silmarillion Boxed Set of CDs with The Atlas of Middle-Earth by your side!
Date published: 2009-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must for die-hard LOTR fans Huge LOTR fan? Love Tolkiens work? Then you'll enjoy reading more of the history of Middle Earth in this great novel. Some find it harder to read, but I still loved it.
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Mythology told as a history. Enjoyable for any lover of myth despite whether or not you've delved into the works of Tolkien. For those who simply exist to consume all things Tolkien, you will find the history of the first three ages of Arda (and even before it) fascinating at the least.
Date published: 2008-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best from the best! The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien is the best book by this highly acclaimed author. Unfortunately it is not all that it could be. Tolkien was not able to complete the book in his lifetime, so many parts read more like chapter outlines than like a real legend. I hope that someday someone can realize this book in its full glory by bringing together all the separate bits that are found in 'Unfinished Tales', 'The Book of Lost Tales', some of the History of Middle-earth books, and 'The Children of Hurin'. These tales of the Elves and the Valar in the elder days and the coming of Men into Middle-earth are engaging and griping. Tolkien shows us how the Earth was formed, how evil came into the Earth, how both Elves and Men fell from grace, then fought to regain what they had lost. Meet Feanor and discover why he is the greatest Elve to ever walk in Arda. Meet heroic Men like Tuor and cursed men like his cousin Turin. See the Elven Kings and Princes in all their glory and all their shame!
Date published: 2007-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best of Tolkien Lore This is by far the best book Tolkien has ever written. If you liked the Lord of the Rings then you will LOVE this book. It answers any and all questions lingering after reading LOTR or the Hobbit, provides an amazing history of Men, Dwarves, Elves, Wizards and Gods of Tolkien myth.
Date published: 2007-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A terrific read Ever wondered what happened before "The Lord Of The Rings" began? Here's your chance to find out exactly what happened when. This book tells the full story of the First Age of Middle-earth, from the very beginning to the very end. Read about the earliest days of the Elves, follow their quest to destroy Morgoth, and a whole lot more. Of course, not everyone loves history, even fantasy history. But this book is enthralling in a peculiar way. If you have a love for fantasy, this book just might keep you amused for days.
Date published: 2007-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Historical Treasure! This book was like one big book of the history of the first age of J.R.R. Tolkien's World. It gives a great deal of description and detail and the names and meanings are amazing. Although confusing at times, it is definately worth it to read it if you love this author's work!
Date published: 2006-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Qualifies As "Myth" This, though purely fictional and based in a land of Tolkien's imagination, is absolutely qualified for the title of "myth". The detail and sheer size and breadth of this volume approaches the storytelling one would expect in the Bible or some other ancient tome. Although confusing at times (everyone has two or more names), the number of outstanding moments is countless. Although thoroughly tragic, as wars and histories tend to be, in the end, it celebrates the glorious beauty of life, as well as the triumphant victory of Good over Evil. One will often recognize the characters in "The Silmarillion" as being chillingly like ourselves: accompanied by the words of wisdom, yet continuosly ignorant of them; going forward despite all obstacles; courage in the face of unconquerable fear; the stunning power of love. Although fictional in its basis, the Silmarillion is, at the end, a breathtaking portrayal of the human spirit, and truly worthy of the title of "myth".
Date published: 2006-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rocks Although this book can get a little(not oo much) confusing sometimes, it doesnt bother me. I can understand confusing stuff better than most people. The book rocks and if you enjoy this. You should read Unfinished Tales. Its less confusing thanthe silmarrillion. So even if you dont like it, Read unfinished tales. But still read this book. It helps a lot if you know what happened before.
Date published: 2006-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was amazing!!!!!! This was the only history book I think I have read that I have actually was definately well written and well thought of. Tolkien was a pure genious!!!!!!!
Date published: 2005-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Literary Ambrosia There are few literary works that can compare to the Silmarillion. It is in fact a history of middle earth, which Tolkien had been writing over the span of his entire life. It is full of depth and contains a richness that leans towards the biblical. The downfall of the men of westerness is both tragic and uplifting. They were tempted by ever lasting life and went to claim it by force, this mirrors the story of Eve’s temptation at the tree of knowledge. The serpent is beautifully represented by Sauron(able to take on a fair form and a sweet tongue). I do not think that there will ever be another author with the same dedication and damn good story telling then John Ronald Tolkien.
Date published: 2005-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Freakishly Amazing I'm only 11, and read this book. It was freakin amazing! Just getting past the huge words, it was the best book you could read!!!!!!!!!! Too bad Tolkien died.
Date published: 2005-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very sad and darkly beautiful This book was absolutely amazing. I have read it many times over, and I think that it is very sad, especially the parts about Beren and Luthien, and Turin Turambar. At first, it was hard to keep track of all of the names, but I think that this book is just so well written that it's definitely worth it. The names and languages make everything more real. I suggest that you read this after Lord of the Rings, because it is very complex. But it is definitely the most interesting history book I have ever read.
Date published: 2004-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book was completely amazing, sad but so well written. I loved it, and re-read it over and over. By far the best book I have ever read. If you like elves, this ones for you!
Date published: 2003-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Uplifting and Refreshing This book is beautifully written and one of Tolkien's best pieces of work. If you are a fan, I strongly recommend this!
Date published: 2003-05-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from History of the Elves The Silmarillion is a story of the history the elves. It's truly a history book and Tolkien’s writing style in this book greatly differs from the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The book at times was quite overwhelming, as the list of characters and places was forever ending. The book should be read in conjunction with the accompany appendices. I only recommend this book for the “true” Lord of the Rings fan.
Date published: 2003-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fictional history the silmarillion is a great book, but what some people obviously don't remember is that it's a history book, even though the subject matter is fictional. it was written as a history and thats the way it reads. However, as far as history books go, this one is beautiful.
Date published: 2003-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Silmarillion The Silmarillion is a beautiful work of art written by Tolkien. The amount of thought and scrutiny he put in to his literature is remarkable and makes this an intensive read. The Silmarillion has almost a biblical feel and this is what makes it a timeless fundamental in the world of fantasy literature. I can understand how some people can be overwhelmed by this book it takes a lot of deep thought and complex comprehension to understand; especially with the large index of names, languages, maps and family trees. I recommend for anyone desiring to read this book to first read The Hobbit, then The Lord of The Rings, then The Silmarillion and then to read once again the Lord of The Rings; you will be surprised on how much you missed the first time round.
Date published: 2003-01-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Blah Blah Blah This book is very poorly written.I almost fell to sleep! If you want a good snore read this!!!
Date published: 2003-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from confusing but a core of gold The book has a little too many characters, but on the other hand the elfish history requires many names and places to put readers in the world of Valinor and middle-earth. The story is excellent. (Beren and Luthien is especialy good.) Read it to complete your middle-earth imagination. After reading Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and this, middle-earth becomes ssssoooooo real.
Date published: 2002-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the silmarillion I have read the hobbit the lord of the rings and the silmarillion.I loved them.After reading the lord of the rings I didn't know if he could top it but the silmarillion was along with all of the others the best books I have ever read.
Date published: 2002-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best! this book.... its absulutley exellent! if you loved the lord of the rings your going think this one is GREAT! highly recemended!
Date published: 2002-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heavy 'The Silmarillion' is the first book I read by Tolkien. It seems that most people have read this after 'Lord of the Rings'...I can see why. I found myself flipping to the index of sorts in the back of the book to figure out who, what and where he was talking about. It made for a slow and sometimes confusing read. I would have been lost without the map and the index. The story was however, interesting and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more than I did if I had read it after 'Lord of the Rings'. I recommend this only to great fans of 'Lord of the Rings' or those who are very interested in starting to read Tolkien's stuff, simply because the book is not a breeze and might seem pointless to someone who isn't very interested. On to 'The Hobbit'...
Date published: 2001-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Silmarillion After reading Tolkien's three major works, "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Silmarillion" (in that order), I can definitely say that my favourite is "The Silmarillion". It's a beautifully written tale of the first days of Middle-earth, it's creation, the awakening of the elves, the coming of men, heroic tales of Feanor, Turin and Beran.. and war against a great enemy. Rebellion and ruin, triumph and tragedy, battles and great voyages... Wonderful!
Date published: 1999-08-25

From Our Editors

The Lord of the Rings is literary myth built upon literary myth. Before Frodo and the company of dwarves make their classic journey in that trilogy, there’s a great many more stories to tell. The Silmarillion is the account of the Elder Days, an earlier age that sets the stage for the more popular books. For a better understanding of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, read the many myths included in this great work.

Editorial Reviews

'How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?' The Guardian'Demanding to be compared with English mythologies. at times rises to the greatness of true myth.' Financial Times'A creation of singular beauty. magnificent.' Washington Post'A grim, tragic, brooding and beautiful book, shot through with heroism and hope. its power is almost that of mysticism.' Toronto Globe & Mail