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Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Middle-Earth brought to life, 18 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Real Middle-Earth: Magic and Mystery in the Dark Ages (Paperback)
JRR Tolkien's creation of Middle-Earth is a cacophony of fiery Dragons swooping across the skies, monsters haunting the marshes, Elves firing poisoned arrows, Wizards casting healing spells and omens foretelling stories of the Kings of old. All that now remains are the remnants left in folk memory, fairytales and myths and legends, with our belief that has all but disappeared. This book is a study of the Dark Age containing historical and archeological knowledge, which ultimately reconstructs before your very eyes the imaginative world of our past. This insight of a past culture and belief helps us to explore the past, comparing it to our current scientific age where we tend to approach our lives with a more rational perspective. We however still hunger to connect with our ancestors as the love of fantasy fiction in books and films are still strong, being a genre that is universally loved and cherished. This is an historical account of a past culture that is just as magical and enchanting as Tolkien's fictional version, but one with a deeply engrained and more poignant connection with us. Brian Bates' research covers not only Old England but also right across Europe, from the Celts to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings beginning two thousand years ago. The Norse mythology and tales that the author re-tells, makes this a most fascinating and gripping read that brings the past vividly to life in full color. In the fantasy genre generally there is always something solid and factual behind the creative imaginings, which ultimately adds to its authenticity and realism. This book is a truly intriguing, mesmerizing read that opens a window onto our past and even if you are someone who doesn't tend to read much historical works I grantee that you will enjoy this especially if you are interested in myths, legends, fantasy and authors such as the creator of Middle-Earth himself. A fantastic read that is complimented by some lovely photographs, this is a most singularly unique and must have volume for any bookshelf.
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