The review you’re about to read is a revised version, written in December 2016. I decided to rewrite it because, when I read this book, my interest in the Tolkienverse had just started. I had watched the movies and I loved them, but that was about it. I did not know more about him or the reason behind his works. Back then, I liked the book very much but now I love it, and, if you decide to keep reading, I might just tell you why.
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion is a compilation of individual texts written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and edited and published by his son, Christopher Tolkien. Initially, J.R.R. wanted it to be an English mythology, but it became so complex that he could never finish it. It tells about the creation of Middle-earth and the events that took place during the First Age, which is prior to the events narrated in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Also, it is supposed to have been translated from Elvish to the common tongue by Bilbo, which is awesome.
The tales of the First Age when Morgoth dwelt in Middle-earth and the Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils to which are appended the downfall of Númenor and the history of the Rings of Power and the Third Age in which these tales come to their end.
It is divided in five sections. The first section, Ainulindalë or the Music of the Ainur, tells of how Ilúvatar created everything: Middle-Earth, and the Ainur, spirits who would later be known as Valar and Maiar. It also tells how Melkor, the wisest Ainur of them all, rebelled against Ilúvatar. The second section, the Valaquenta or the Account of the Valar, narrates how Melkor turned some of the Valar and Maiar against Ilúvatar. Amongst them were Sauron and the Balrog. (Those who know The Lord of the Rings know who I’m talking about). The third section, Quenta Silmarillion or the History of the Silmarils, is the largest part of the book and encompasses the tales of how the three jewels, the Silmarils, were created, and the series of tragedies that ensued because of them. The fourth section, Akallabêth or The Downfallen, tells of the rise and fall of the kingdom of Númenor, home to the Dúnedain. The final section, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a description of what happened during the Second and Third Ages: the forging of the rings of power, including the one ring forged by Sauron, and its passing to Isildur. These events are told in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Rings.
All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.
“But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while they still endure for eyes to see, are ever their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.”
I enjoyed this book when I read it, despite having to look at the appendix because I kept forgetting who I was reading about, but after I finished it, the more I thought about it, the more I understood it, and the more I loved it. So, if you’ve read/watched The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, if you love fantasy and enjoy Middle-Earth lore, this book is definitely for you.