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on 7 February 2018
I love my book. If you haven't read The Silmarillion and consider yourself a Tolkien fan, you are doing yourself a disservice by not reading it. It is full of life, and wonderful characters and stories. I would describe this novel as the backbone to 'The Lord of The Rings' and helps to set the events described in the latter, in context. The drawings really help to elevate the story and serve as a visual guide when imagining what the scene described might have been like. Highly recommend!
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on 10 April 2017
Deep, captivating, tragic, epic, violent... these are just a few words that describe the stories of the silmarillion. To those familiar with the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, be warned that the silmarillion is more grim and shocking than what you might have come to expect from Tolkien, but this does not at all hinder its greatness.
Would absolutely recommend to any Tolkien fan or fan of fantasy/literature in general.
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on 11 August 2017
I first read the Silmarillion 25 years ago and found it hard to follow. I have always loved the writing of Tolkien and the mind that conceives of the struggle of good over evil in its many complex and extended life forms. I have revisited this book now and it flows. The prose is of course masterful and the imagination awe inspiring.
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on 13 November 2017
This book is amazing. It covered the entire history of Tolkien’s creation. It is not an easy read as it reads more like a history book rather than a novel and takes a little work to understand names and places, but some very useful family trees and maps are included to aid the reader.
It’s by far my favourite book of the year so far and I certainly look forward to rereading it in years to come.
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on 5 December 2012
If you have read LoTR, you MUST read this right now.

The Silmarillion comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of Eä, the "world that is". Valaquenta, the second part, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural powers in Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over the Silmarils which gave the book its title. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings.

The earliest drafts of The Silmarillion date back to as early as 1925, when Tolkien wrote a 'Sketch of the Mythology'. However, the concepts for characters, themes, and specific stories were developed starting in 1917 when Tolkien, then a British officer stationed in France during World War I was laid up in a military field hospital with trench fever. At the time, he called his collection of nascent stories The Book of Lost Tales Part One. These stories comprised an English mythology intended to explain the origins of English history and culture (as Greek mythology explains the origins of Greek history and culture).

Many years after the war, encouraged by the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien submitted an incomplete but more fully developed version of The Silmarillion to his publisher, but they rejected the work as being obscure and "too Celtic". The publisher, George Allen & Unwin, instead asked Tolkien to write a sequel to The Hobbit, which became his significant novel The Lord of the Rings.

But Tolkien never fully abandoned The Silmarillion. In fact, he regarded it as the most important of his works, seeing in its tales the genesis of Middle-earth and later events as told in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He renewed work on The Silmarillion after completing The Lord of the Rings, when he greatly desired to publish the two works together. But when it became clear that would not be possible, Tolkien turned his full attention back to preparing The Lord of the Rings for publication.

In the late 1950s he again began work on The Silmarillion, but much of his writing from this time is concerned not as much with the narratives themselves as with the theological and philosophical underpinnings of the work. During this time he wrote extensively on such topics as the nature of evil in Arda, the origin of Orcs, the customs of the Elves, the nature and means of Elvish rebirth, and the "flat" world and the myth of the Sun. Serious doubts had entered about some of the fundamental aspects of the work that had gone back to the earliest versions of the stories, and it seems that he felt the need to solve these problems before he could produce the "final" version of The Silmarillion. In any event, with one or two exceptions, he never did much work on the narratives in the remaining years of his life.
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on 14 December 2013
This is a review of the product itself, and not the actual 'Silmarillion' which, in my opinion, is excellent.

Unfortunately, I feel rather let down by the actual physical product.

It describes itself as a 'Gift-set' but there is really nothing about it that sets it apart from a bog-standard Audio CD Set.

The item comes in a single, and rather plain, plastic case, and all 13 CDs sit in one spindle. And that's it. There is nothing else to it. No little booklet, no sleeve, no interesting art-work, nothing that really warrants this being labelled a 'Gift-set'.

I think that they could have made a little extra effort to embellish the finished product, but it's clear that no thought has gone into making this a 'gift' item.

Still, if you are buying this for yourself, or for a fan of Tolkein's work, the content is what matters most. The Silmarillion is a hard to follow at times, but is overall an excellent account of much of what happens long before The Lord of the Rings.

This particular audio version is well narrated with good audio quality.
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on 14 May 2014
The Silmarillion is truly indispensable for any Tolkien fan. I need not spend vast amounts of time praising it here when so many others have done so.

If you are not new to Tolkien's legendarium ... if you've at least read "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings", then "The Silmarillion" seems like a next logical step (or possibly "Unfinished Tales").

It would do well to have the maps included at the front and possibly included in the Table of Contents as well for the Kindle edition. Maps are indispensable with Tolkien's works...so should be given their due importance in any edition. As it is, there is at least one map, but it's tucked away in the chapter concerning the Noldor in Beleriand. If you bookmark this map from the offset, it will make the read easier.

Better maps would increase this star-rating for the Kindle edition.
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on 17 April 2018
Exceptional book which outlines the creation of Middle Earth, one of my favourite books that I have read. The story telling is very good and brings a new light to what you may have thought of Tolkiens world. The confusing bit of this book is remembering the Elvish names as they are very similar to one another but this shouldn't be too much of a problem because the rich story telling and character development will help in this.
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on 9 April 2016
Tolkien's greatest work in my humble opinion, and a good effort of martin shaw narrating the often difficult prose due to the fact that this was published in near note format by Tolkiens son. There are about 5 classic stories all intertwined in Tolkiens story of the first age in middle earth, it is much darker than his later work but also more heroic. So many great characters so you could see them all being box office smashes if someone had the resource and time to put them together.
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on 28 March 2017
Excellent book, albeit a bit hard going in places. It covers all the early history alluded to in the Hobbit and Lord of the rings. Well worth reading for fans of the other books.
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