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Best and most detailed guide into Prof. Tolkien's masterpieces
on 8 December 2016
I'm a great fan of the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales and now I am in the end of The Book of Lost Tales part 1. This book is one of a kind, yet unfortunately it is a very specialised book. Only people who are already introduced to Prof. Tolkien's universe will understand what this book is about. The Book of Lost Tales, similarly to The Unfinished Tales, has two perspectives: the analytical, external observer's perspective, and the story itself. Here we have a details insight of how Prof. Tolkien conceived the whole world he invented, from it's most primitive origins in the form of poetry regarding dreams and fairies, through the evolving perspective of elven immortality and their tragic estrangement and fall from grace, to the first conception of the silmarils and the characters that take part and shape the stories we know from the Silmarillion.
The original drafts of what would become the Silmarillion unfold the stories as a device of another story: a sailor with apparent ancient saxon roots named Eriol finds himself in an Island called Tol Eressëa (an alternate Britain), where he meets the exiled fairies (later transformed into the elves) known as the Noldoli (early version of the Noldor). There he learns about their history and how they left the immortal lands of Valinor only to find themselves trapped in their bittersweet destiny in Middle Earth.
The stories in this book are well different in many aspects, yet the main motifs are the same, and they are very detailed, as unfortunately they never made into the Silmarillion. There is, for example, a detailed description of how were the silmarils created and how were the houses of the Valar, the position of the Trees of Valinor and a description of the Solosimpi (Teleri) havens when the Noldoli/Noldor left.
If you are a fan of The Silmarillion, definitely give this book a try. Courtesy of Christopher Tolkien, I think a massive amount of effort was put into this book, first of a large collection. I will surely read the others.