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The Atlas of Middle-Earth Paperback – 1 Jan 1993

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade); Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395535166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395535165
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 20.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,976,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Maps illustrate the battles, journeys, cities, and territories described in Tolkien's fantasy series, as well as his mythical land's history, climate, population, and languages.

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First Sentence
ILUVATAR SENT THE VALAR to order the world, preparing Arda for the coming of his Children - Elves and Men. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By muttmummy on 26 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous book!
All the maps are line drawings in simple tones such as black and brick colours - don't expect funky digital maps or a wealth of colours; that, however, does NOT detract from the excellence of this work! In fact - it is a bonus in my view: makes the maps clearer and more precise: it's also a nicer "feel".
I have sat and studied some of these maps for ages - and they really bring to life the travels of Frodo, Bilbo and the Fellowship in great detail. You get info right down to climates of the regions! I was enthrawled for who knows how long on the Moria maps (my favourite Tolkien place!) and it really gave depth to the extent of the journey the Fellowship took.
This is simply a MUST, not just for staunch Tolkien fans but as a trusty companion to the LOTR books for any reader (along with a Tolkien dictionary/encyclopedia).
You will be so glad you invested in it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By magdalene42 on 10 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to confess to being something of a Tolkien nerd. For me, this atlas is essential, and I am prepared to put in some work to get full use and maximum information out of it. However, this is also the reason I am only giving it 3 stars - because although it met all my expectations on one level, with its detailed presentations of many areas of Middle Earth and of the main characters' journeys, I can see that for a general reader, making best use of it could be somewhat difficult.

This is not because of any lack of ability on the part of the author. The late Karen Fonstad was a professional cartographer and she devoted quite a few years of her (far too short) life to developing atlases of imaginary worlds, including Ann McCaffrey's Pern and the Forgotten Realms of AD&D fame. She knew what she was doing. However in the case of this edition of this particular atlas, she is let down by the almost monochrome colour scheme to which the maps are restricted (brown, black and beige ... really could not be less helpful if it tried!) and also by some very dodgy proofreading.

'Erresea'? Where is that? And 'Aqualonde'? These two mistakes occur on the same map, p.7 of this edition. That's just careless.

I appreciate that providing full colour maps would probably have driven the price of this book up too high, but it's still a pity that neither those, nor some more effective proof reading, could be provided before the latest edition went to press. Perhaps it's not much to hope for that a future edition might address at least the misspellings. Unfortunately the maps themselves seem destined to remain almost impenetrable to anyone who is not, well, something of a Tolkien nerd.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Craig Manton on 14 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
Clearly the result of many year's work and research, the Atlas of Middle-Earth has all the background info on Tolkien's world that a person could ever want, ranging from the very creation of Middle-Earth to the Fourth Age. Put simply, if you are a fan of Tolkien, this must have a place on your bookshelf.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Omally on 20 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite simply a masterpiece. Any Tolkien fan will love using this Atlas to explore Middle Earth, thanks to the stunning detail and ease of reference. Normally, when reading a book, one gains enjoyment from building an image of the landscape in one's own mind; this Atlas does not detract from that enjoyment, rather it enhances one's own imagination and makes all of Tolkiens' works much more enjoyable, which is hard to believe!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Jackson on 12 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would really love this book if it was in coffee-table format and printed on art paper. The actual book is certainly very good value at the current price, but I would gladly have paid more for better quality paper.

There is a good level of detail in all maps but I would have liked even more in some of them.

Tolkien's Geology and Earth Science knowledge may have been somewhat confused but Ronstad's Geography and Cartography skills are great at bringing breadth and depth to the experience of (re-)reading Tolkien's works.

Recommended.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "verbelenhans" on 18 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Beautifull illustrated maps, with interesting comments and notes. Things you hadn't even thought about are in it, climate in middle-earth, a map from menegroth, moria, ..., an endless list of beautifull, unseen maps. Only downside I think is the colors of the maps. There isn't much color, and this gives it an authentic touch, very nice. But sometimes you can't clearly see what is meant with what arrow since the means of making different arrows are limited. But everything else makes it definitly worth to be bought. The Climate of middle earth, rock types, average speed of the fellowship per day, ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hill Walker on 11 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Karen Wynn Fonstad was a professional cartographer and it certainly shows in this truly magnificent atlas which could potentially have been called Atlas of Ëa although she does actually focus most of her excellent geographical scholastic skills on Middle Earth. She has brought a dimension to Tolkien which I can only drool over. How I ever missed this work, I will never know (I've just received my copy from Amazon). She has elaborated to an extraordinary level of cartographic detail which only Tolkien himself could possibly have envisaged (although I would have liked to see more on Númenóre perhaps).

Here's a short list of some specifics to whet your appetite if you need convincing: the Gates and Falls of Sirion, Menegroth, Echoriath and Gondolin, various representations of Belegaer including one with a Great Rift running north to south (perhaps analogous to Earth's mid Atlantic rift...), Buckland and The Marish, Helm's Deep, Tol Brandir, Udûn and the Black Gate... even the back cover's adorned with a fabulously detailed map of the Hithaeglir!

She also presents various notable journeys including those of the Elves from Cuiviénen, Turin and Nienor, Beren and Lúthien, Frodo and Sam as well as the voyages of the Númenóreans and the Dwarves' migrations. Add to this all the major battle scenes and a panoply of realms and kingdoms plus thematic topologies of climate, landforms, vegetation and population and you have before you an extremely well written document which I feel illustrates Tolkien's work admirably and, with some knowledge of the choice of extant commentaries, without equal. Treat yourself and get a hardcover copy because if you're a die-hard Tolkien fanatic, I can guarantee you'll otherwise wear it out!
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