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on 27 March 2017
It's a magnificent book.
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on 1 March 2010
This is the third such release of John Howe's map of northwestern Middle-earth (with commentary by Brian Sibley). It was previously published in both a soft cover format and in a boxed set from Harper Collins containing the map of Bilbo's adventures from the Shire to the Lonely Mountain There and Back Again: The Map of The Hobbit and a map of Tolkien's Beleriand from the Silmarillion West of the Mountains, East of the Sea: The Map of Tolkien's Beleriand and the Lands to the North- each illustrated by John Howe (who is tied with Pauline Baynes as my personal favorite painter of Middle-earth).

John Howe is without question one of the most successful illustrators of Tolkien's works and was selected along with Alan Lee to work on both Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings films as well as the two part adaptation of The Hobbit now in pre-production. Howe has amazing gift for capturing the soul of Tolkien's characters in his paintings, and also a fantastic eye for detail- this is apparent in the maps he illustrates as well. The map included in this book is gorgeous and would be suitable for framing (if it weren't for the fact that it is folded to make it fit within the book). I would give this product five stars without hesitation if it weren't for all the crease marks on such a lovely piece of art. Maybe someday the publisher will make the map available rolled up in a tube, until then this is the best example we're going to get of John Howe's take on Middle-earth.

This "book" is all about the art. Brian Sibley's commentary is really just a companion piece to accompany it, and as has been commented on previously, the text will not reveal much that a serious reader of Tolkien doesn't already know, but this was not the intent of this product- it's all about the beautiful, giant, folded up map that you get inside. If you love maps or if you love Middle-earth buy this product. It will look great on your shelf and the binding should last you a lifetime (half a lifetime if you have small children or pets with access to your library). You won't be disappointed, but beware, you WILL want to hunt down and purchase the other two maps that go with it!

If you want something with more detail into Middle-earth's geography or to trace the journey of the Fellowship to Mordor, I highly encourage you to check out The Atlas of Middle Earth, by Karen Wynn Fonstad The Atlas of Middle Earth(this is the definitive work on the subject) or Barbara Strachey's The Journeys of Frodo Journeys of Frodo: Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", a fantastic read with detailed maps covering every single step of Frodo's quest to Mount Doom.

Hope this help,

Namarie!
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on 27 May 2010
First of all, if you're after a book of definitions, opt for JEA Tyler's Tolkien Companion or, perhaps David Day's Illustrated Encyclopaedia or Bestiary.

The size, title and blurb of this book simply suggests a map, wonderfully painted by John Howe, along with a brief narrative, also with pencil illustrations by Howe... and this precisely what you get.

It's a simple task to remove the map (provided in a small pocket inside the rear cover) unfold and frame - I have done this and it looks quite wonderful.

All in all this is an item for someone who is already familiar with Middle Earth and who would enjoy pouring over a map of places thay've already visited in their minds eye.
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on 14 March 2013
I brought this a while ago but each time I get the map out for reference whilst reading snip bits of the book, I enjoy the way it makes the whole story plausible. Subjects are written in most areas short and to the point . Would recommend this to any Tolkien fan as a must to add to their collection of books.
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on 11 December 2012
There is so much depth to The Lord of the Rings, so much to know so much to love. And this is part of it.
It's like a small pocket book but it is hardback and good quality.
It is so interesting and detailed, you have to buy it for yourself to know. Any fan should have this really.
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on 1 February 2013
making people write long reviews on ggod they receive is in my opinion expecting a lot. surely just a simple word comment is enough??
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on 19 August 2009
Disappointing. I know the book wasn't expensive, but there wasn't a single definition or explanation of a name that wouldn't already be known by any reader of the Hobbit and LOTR.

The binding feels good and the cover looks great (hence the one-star rating), but the inside is a real let-down. The map itself is nothing special - a useful addition might have been a tracing of the routes taken by the various characters.

I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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