The forerunner to "Lord of the Rings", "The Simarilion" fills in the background which lies behind the popular work, and gives the earlier history of Middle-earth, introducing some of the key characters.
In the beginning Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Ilúvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before himTolkien wrote the heart of this material very early in his career, and continued to work on it throughout his life. It fell to his son, Christopher Tolkien, to edit it into book form, and such proved the unquenchable public appetite that he subsequently oversaw 12 volumes of The History of Middle-Earth. This edition features 20 highly evocative colour plates by Ted Nasmith, themselves worth the price of admission, while reinforcing the sense of a historical work are genealogical tables, an extensive index, appendix and colour map. Far removed from the genial style of The Hobbit, this is Tolkien at his most formal, his prose austere, poetically beautiful, his storytelling capturing the epic scale, high drama and melancholy wonder of myth. These stories of elves and heroes and old gods are quite literally the foundation of the entire modern fantasy-publishing revival, and are therefore essential reading. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The whole book is a work mayor fantasy, created by J.R.R. Tolkien and it has been for all of us possible to read it, thanks to his son Christopher. The book should be read after having been read "The Hobbit" and The Lord of the Rings in that order, because if not its reading it could a bit difficult. Doing it this way you can feel as if you live each one of the histories like something that was made for us to know, but somehow didn't fitted in the previous books.
Now let's take this classic book and let's add it illustrations... Can someone request for more? This edition overcomes the previous by arriving to 45 marvelously painted illustrations, made by Ted Nasmith. Some of the paintings are awesomely real. They caught my eyes from the very beginning. It's a pity that some paintings made by Nasmtih, like the ones entitled "Eärendil Searches Tirion" and "Luthien Escapes the Treehouse" haven't been included in the final edition. On the other hand it was a big surprise to see the high-scaled map of this one. Not even the illustrated edition of LOTR has such a big and wonderful map.
To tell the truth it's a privilege to have this book in my bookcase beside the illustrated editions of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".
Once again thanks Tolkien for give us such a wonderful world to live in, and thanks Mr Nasmith for put it into images.
"The Silmarillion" is one of those books that gains GREATLY from rereading - this cannot be said enough. At first read it is a confusing selection and notes and names with little real story. Later sections (especially Beren and Luthien but also Turin) have a more connected story, are closer to the Tolkien we have all grown to love.
This disjointedness is the Silmarillion's greatest weakness and one of the reasons I cannot give it five stars (although I would rate it that way for myself). The other is that only true Tolkien afficando's are going to enjoy it. Anyone who loves Tolkien will probably love this - they will enjoy an opportunity to see the back history of Middle Earth, to some of the legends and Elder Days mentioned in the Lord of the Rings. Thus for those that have read Tolkien, this will be a great book.
My other complaint with this book is that I doubt Tolkien would have ever published it. He spent such effort polishing his work, I do not think he would have published something as disjointed as this. And although I am glad to see it, that also detracts from the pleasure.
Anyhow, the Silmarillion is an interesting collection of myths and legends of the Elder Days of Middle Earth - of the War of the Jewels. It is tragic and reminiscent of Norse mythology and great for those interested in the Lord of the Rings. For everyone else though I would say don't bother.