on 8 May 2005
Although there are several guides to JRR Tolkien's languages, these tend to be rather general and concise, designed more to give a taste of the work the Professor put into his epic tales. 'Gateway to Sindarin' has far more detail, and treats the Sindarin language in the same way as a French grammar reader would treat its subject matter. Personally, as someone who uses Sindarin frequently for contributions to a fan website, this made the book invaluable. It is well-written, clear, and with its appendices / word lists as well, this book finally gives all the information a student would need about Sindarin in one place.
The in-depth analysis of grammar, consonant mutation etc, might not be the best place for a beginner to start, but any serious student of Tolkien's languages should not be without this book. However, the opening section on the history of the Elvish languages in itself gives a great insight into the amount of time and labour Tolkien put into creating his world.
Finally, the linen binding has an almost ethereal, 'elvish' quality about it; just a small detail that struck me as adding to the book's desirability.
on 12 April 2011
This book lives up to neither its title nor its promise.
For anyone who knows anything about J.R.R. Tolkien's invented languages, this book is not a reliable 'Gateway to Sindarin'. Rather, it is an unacknowledged mishmash of Noldorin of the 1930s (from 'The Etymologies'), Sindarin of the 1950s (from 'The Lord of the Rings'), and numerous inventions of David Salo himself.
It is therefore misleading to call this book 'A Gateway to Sindarin'. It would have been more accurate to call it 'An Introduction to David Salo's Reinterpretation of Tolkien's Gnomish-Noldorin-Sindarin language'.
I urge all would-be purchasers to NOT to buy it.