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4.6 out of 5 stars38
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2003
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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on 14 December 2007
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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on 20 June 2009
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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on 12 August 2011
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.

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on 18 October 2005
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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on 10 June 2013
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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on 11 October 2010
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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on 12 August 2011
I believe that the Silmarilion and the Lord of the Rings are amazing books and I wish that the Simarilion was created to the size and scope of the Lord of the Rings. Whilst I consider the Hobbit not as good as the others I was facinated by the lands of Middle Earth and the lands of the eras of the Silmarilion. Given that the Silmarilion covered much much more than Lord of the Rings I could not get my head around Tolkein's concepts of Beleriand, Numenor, the undying lands and many places - that is until I acquired the Atlas of Middle Earth.

The Atlas even shows the Earth (Arda) when it was conceived by Tolkein before time and then as it was in the subsequent ages. What is also very good is that it also has the storylines alongside the maps. I have often wondered when I looked at the map of Middle earth and Mordor in Lord of the Rings where Beleriand and Numenor were in relation to it. (Basically, off the map to the west). Also, the maps follow all the journies in detail of Frodo and Sam for example. One can easily see where the epic battles took place, where Minas Ithil, Minas Tirith, Osgiliad, Rivendel, Moria, Isenguard and many others places are and in relation to each other. The glossaries are also very good.

This book is a must if you really want to know the "world" of Tolkein
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on 11 February 2010
This book was very comprehensive,I don't know much about the Tolkein books but I love the films and the poetry. I previously bought her dragonlance map book and it was brilliant. This is incredibly detailed and tells you things you didn't even know or think of and includes some interesting information about the journeys the characters made.It was bought as a gift for my Tolkein loving Boyfriend and he was very impressed. Easy to understand even for me and my limited knowledge of the books and very nicely illustrated.
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on 3 September 2012
This Atlas of Middle Earth was fantastic. For a Lord of the Rings fanatic this is perfect. I have read and reread all the works of J.R.R Tolkien and to see maps when your reading is exciting and interesting. This book is detailed and split into several sections to help indicate what age of middle earth your viewing. This is well worth buying for any fan of the books. This will be a treasured item and a fantastic companion for The Silmirillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
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