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The Roots of the Mountains: A Book that Inspired J. R. R. Tolkien Hardcover – 1 Nov 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Inkling Books (1 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587420287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587420283
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,034,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Bobley on 9 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
After the tale of their great battles and victory over the Romans, recounted in 'The House of the Wolfings', the kindreds of the Goths living in the forest of Mirkwood flourished for many years, until new enemies invaded their lands and shattered their peace. We meet their descendants here, in 'The Roots of the Mountains' several generations later, after they have been driven from their old home and split apart in their flight from the overwhelming numbers of vicious 'Dusky Men' - the Huns who are pouring westward and killing and enslaving the peaceful communities they encounter. A lost portion of the House of the Wolf that had found a new home, in the beautiful valley of Silverdale, is set upon anew by the ever rising tide of Huns and they are driven to take refuge in a starker and harsher stronghold they call Shadowy Vale. But even there they have no peace of mind. Marauding parties of their enemies are getting closer. Then the small and shrinking splinter of the Wolf kindred have a stroke of luck and discover where the rest of the Goth folk are living, in another lovely dale just across the mountains and they hatch a plan to reunite the kindreds and persuade them to join the fight.

Like the previous story, The Roots of the Mountains features a stable and harmonious community under threat of destruction. There are loving families, noble heroes, fearless heroines, romance (2 romances in this case) and a fierce battle. The fantasy element is less pronounced here than in The House of the Wolfings. There is a hint of foreseeing, but the gods are not in evidence (though the kindreds consider themselves to be related to the gods) and there are no cursed hauberks or any other sort of magic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The bridge between medieval romance and Tolkien 7 April 2008
By Matthew Schwarz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
William Morris wrote a number of early fantasy (a generation before Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings) that are characterized by a rich, archaic prose. His books are heavily influenced by medieval romances, and fall much closer to such than to the modern post-Tolkien fantasy (or the swords-and-sorcery genre that dominated the mid-20th century). The Roots of the Mountains takes place in an early north-European setting - reminiscent of Viking Scandinavia, or pre-Christian Britain or Germany. As the subtitle of this edition implies, this book kind of reminds one of the human parts of the Lord of the Rings (maybe a Rohan without elves, hobbits, or orcs involved) - indeed, Tolkien admitted Morris as an influence.
The language is a little difficult, although therein lies much of Morris's charm - unlike modern fantasy authors (and, worse, Sci-Fi channel programs), Morris does not use modern language and "feel" in his fantasy, but creates a medieval/fantasy atmosphere with his very choice of words (using many words that went out of fashion with Chaucer).
The story itself is an engaging adventure involving love, battle, and a more pastoral setting of people who live closer to the land than most of us do today.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Worth the effort 8 Mar. 2014
By A.K. Frailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people would think this is a difficult book to read, but it was worth the effort in that it was the inspiration behind Tolkien work. You can see a lot of Morris in Tolkien's work.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Roots of Fantasy Fiction 6 April 2008
By E. Kysela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is more for those who are interested in the history and drama of the battles a lost people than magical rings or wizardry. Morris gives fantastic descriptions of his locales and the action in this novel and the prequel (The House of the Wolfings) is vibrant with energy. The two stories are basically about the cross purposes of love and loyalty. The novel can be confusing to keep track of the characters as at various points the same character will be referred to with a different name. Overall I think it is a thrilling adventure which stands on its own, not only as a foundation stone for further creations in the medium.
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