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The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  115,184 ratings  ·  4,087 reviews
Designed to take fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings deeper into the myths and legends of Middle-Earth, The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The S ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1977)
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Sarah Jones Any online retailer (Amazon,Ebay, etc.)

It is also available on so if your not into online shopping they may have it at your local…more
Any online retailer (Amazon,Ebay, etc.)

It is also available on so if your not into online shopping they may have it at your local Barnes and Noble.(less)
Catch-22 by Joseph HellerThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienUlysses by James JoyceMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleHoly Bible by Anonymous
The Most Begun "Read but Unfinished" (Initiated) book ever
11th out of 1,470 books — 9,534 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
15th out of 2,299 books — 15,868 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 20, 2012 Gundula rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious fans of Middle Earth
I had tried to read The Silmarillion multiple times in the past and had basically given up, but I finally realised that I was attempting to read this book the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I read and reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story of course, but still a story. Now, while The Silmarillion is partially a story, it is (at least for me) first and foremost a religious type document, a biblical, mythological account of the Elder Days of Middle Earth. So this time, I rea ...more
The Crimson Fucker
Ever since I joined GR I’ve been putting off the writing of this book’s review… but since I’m high as fuck on cold medicine I feel like I can do it so here suffer thru it!:

Along long time ago a little 3rd world kid with an afro became fascinated of what he read on the internet about some British writer named Tolkien… he wanted his books… it became his obsession… so he embarked on a quest to find his books and read the shit out of them… but alas! The book was no where to be found on his dumb litt
How To Build A Truly Convincing Fantasy World

1. It's all about the language. Make sure your world's language is convincing, and you're pretty much there. Conversely, if your language sucks then everything else will.

2. Your book can't include more than a few sentences in your invented language without losing your audience. But it can include plenty of names. So what people will really judge you on is the quality of the names.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be g
Sauron was become now a sorceror of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.
Ah, Sauron, Maia of Aulë—beyond doubt the singularly most enthralling antagonist whom I encountered as a young reader, possessing all of the malevolence and dark charisma and naked power of Satan, but unhobbled by the multi-aspectual morphology of Christian theology and popular c
Though I had many near-misses with The Silmarillion throughout the years (having been introduced to Tolkien's universe by discovering The Hobbit in my school's library in 5th grade), I finally slogged my way through it during the summer after my sophomore year of college. The first two years of my undergraduate degree were rather gruelling, and I wanted, more than anything else at that time, to just read a bunch of books I wasn't required to read. After making my way through The Complete Sherloc ...more
The first fantasy book I ever read and still my all-time favorite. That said, it's not for everybody. It's been compared to the Old Testament, and that's still the best analogy; if you think that Moses leading his people out of Egypt is the stuff of grand drama, then this is the book for you, Tolkien fan or not. If you don't, then you probably ought to give The Silmarillion a pass, no matter how much you liked Tolkien's other work. This is not Lord of the Rings Plus; it's quite literally the Old ...more

In my humble opinion, The Silmarillion is the greatest work Tolkien almost finished. It is by far more difficult to read than The Lord of the Rings (which I already expressed my love for earlier in the year after completing my re-read) or The Hobbit but its greatness is found in the way it mixes together epic fantasy, mythology and linguistics to create a grand tale of creation and destruction.

Part of what I love so much about Tolkien's entire Middle Earth story is that there is a cycle as to ho
Peter Meredith
Warning, this book is for Tolkien junkies only. It is not for casual readers of Tolkien... not--the Hobbit was kinda fun, wasn't Bilbo cute--sort of readers. In fact I believe it might be prerequisite that in order to enjoy The Silmarillion, one must have read The Lord of the Rings a minimum of three times. I am one such dedicated dweeb so I love it.
Chad Warner
Mar 04, 2014 Chad Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Chad by: Adam Boch
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I love this book more each time I read it. Full of tales of the history and cultures of Middle-Earth, it tells its own engaging legends, and also adds depth to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion contains greater good, darker evil, fiercer rivalries, and vaster armies than those books. Tolkien, a Christian, included many parallels to Christian theology, including themes such as God’s sovereign plan, the consequences of pride, the Fall, divine judgement, and good and evil.

A lot of people complain about the complexity of this book, but I think they just need to grow up and/or learn how to read more effectively.

I found it to be one of the best books I have ever read. The back story it provided to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books was highly entertaining, and the style of writing was so beautiful it could have been poetry.

I highly recommend it to anyone that can take something a little more complex, but if you are a less advanced reader you might want to st
It's not really a review, more of an extra long recap (way spoiler heavy) links to each post are here.
Heavy Spoilers below.

Look. Here's the deal with The Silmarillion.

If you're not a huge Tolkien nerd, you're probably going to throw your hands up in disgust, swearing and tearing your hair out after the first two pages.
Even if you are a huge Tolkien nerd, if you generally skip past the songs in LotR and the Hobbit or can't handle creation myths - you will probably end up like the people in the
Final rating: ★★★★★★/★★★★★

So, i finally finished Silmarillion. I thought it would take me longer than 5 days, but i have never been so wrong. What had driven me to read this was the movie adaptation of Hobbit, and since i have never read anything of Tolkien before, i decided to do it now :D. I am glad i did, because this book is epic - really epic and amazing.

The history of Middle Earth was full of tragic stories and tragic families, and especially tragic love stories. Most of them ended trag
This book was probably not the way to be introduced to the LotR world. I'd never seen any of the animated movies. The new movies hadn't come out yet. I'd never even picked up any of the books. Then this book was assigned as part of the course I was taking.

The prolgue about the creation of the world was beautiful and amazing. And it fooled me into think the rest of the book would be just as good.

Parts of it read like the Bible. "And so-and-so begot so-and-so. And so-and-so..."

The rest of it was
The Silmarillion is one of those books that I’ve meant to read for years, literally. It is, according to some, the book that separates casual Lord of the Rings fans from truly hard-core Tolkien lovers. My first girlfriend confessed to preferring the Silmarillion over the Lord of the Rings, which she was unable to finish.
[info:]murpheyslaw likewise holds that the Silmarillion is the preferable work, being more true to Tolkien’s desire to create an epic that the Lord of the Rings is. Or something
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Ionson
Sil remains my all-time favorite story. Many find it dry and antiquated. I understand what they are saying, but I see it in the light of being Tolkien's true treasure-trove without any of the "bridge-building anachronisms" of LotR.

This is the core mythology of his creation, and it generates the truest feeling of the Faerie Realm above all others.

[Note- for those who are set to read it for the first time, I encourage you to get Children of Hurin and hold onto it. Sil covers the tales of Hurin/T
Jul 01, 2014 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans; fans of mythology and ancient/medieval epics
Recommended to Werner by: My wife, as a Christmas present
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Note, July 1, 2014: I edited this review just now to correct a typo; I'd written "Gondor" when I meant "Gondolin" in one place. (Pretty big geographical and chronological difference, despite the similar spellings!)

For once, the Goodreads description of this book, and the breakdown of its constituent parts, is quite accurate. It may not sufficiently convey the fact, though, that what Tolkien wrote in an array of handwritten notebooks, going back as far as 1917, while it lays out the basic back-st
Paul Callister
Sep 12, 2007 Paul Callister rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Tolkien thought this was his greatest work, and I agree. In it he develops not characters but millennia of history and an entire cosmology as well as some very touch individual stories (love stories really). The Simmarillion is really an acquired taste, but so worth the effort and so deep.
Brandon Pearce
May 18, 2008 Brandon Pearce rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone over the age of 14
Shelves: inkling
A must read for any Tolkien fan. This one lays out the foundations of Tolkien's amazing world. Here are a few thougths on Tolkien's theory and purposes.
When Owen Barfield read poetry, he would at times come across a passage which would impress him very strongly. It would cause what he called a “felt change of consciousness”. As he began to make an in depth inquiry into this phenomenon, it grew into an epistomology: a theory of knowledge, and meaning. Barfield was a member of the inklings and a
Stefan Yates
Let me start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my overall experience with The Silmarillion. So, you might ask, why not give it a perfect rating? Hopefully, I can explain that in the rest of this review.

The Silmarillion is a beautifully written book. It is actually a collection of several works of J.R.R. Tolkien edited and combined into one book by his son, Christopher, and published posthumously. The five works combined in this book are Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallab
I first read The Silmarillion when I was young and foolish -- well, perhaps not, but definitely young and unprepared for it. I come back armed with a better knowledge of how to approach it. It isn't a story in the same way as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are. It's closer to the myths that so fascinated Tolkien, closer to Norse sagas and the Old English Beowulf. It helped to see it in that way, to approach it in the same way as I would a Norse saga -- and I can't help but think that Tolkien w ...more
3.5 stars

Reading this volume had the same feel for me as reading the Old Testament—it is the background material for a whole system of thought. I guess that reveals my religious leanings—Middle Earth is where I hope my spirit goes when I die. But seriously, reading this historical background document to Middle Earth reminded me very much of a summer when I was a teenager when I decided to read through the whole Bible, with the thought that if I could understand the whole thing I might find somet
Jason Koivu
The Silmarillion reads like a foreign language history book. In the modern sense, it is plotless. There is no single narrative with a main character to fall in love with or a satisfying conclusion. This is the history of Middle Earth. You've been warned.

Therefore this is easily argued as being for hardcore Tolkien fans only. If you are absolutely in love with the world the author created and wish to immerse yourself entirely in it, put everything down and read The Silmarillion! All others shoul
I’m somewhat dubious of my ability to review this work, but I’m going to do my best. _The Silmarillion_ is the work of Tolkien’s most often viewed with apprehension by readers and, I think, the one most unjustly maligned. It has the reputation of being the most difficult of his published works and I guess this is not without reason, though I think it is often a position based more on preconceptions than due to the inherent value of the work itself.

I’ve read _The Silmarillion_ many times prior t
Jan 11, 2015 Shii is currently reading it
Buddy-read with Markus!
Christopher H.
I originally read The Silmarillion shortly after it was first published in 1977, and while I remember enjoying it, I don't remember being terribly impressed. Clearly, I am a different reader now than I was then. This is an amazing book on so many levels, and I actually believe that I have read it at just the perfect time in my life. First, I have always enjoyed Tolkien-the-poet, and this extensive mythology that he has created with The Silmarillion just sheds ever so much light on his poetic inf ...more
A fantastical fantasy book. No. THE FANTASTICAL FANTASY BOOK.
You can't describe a work of a lifetime. You just can't. Because that's what MIDDLE EARTH is. A LIFETIME WORK. No one can compete with that.
Any Tolkien fan needs to read this. Is just beyond words.

"...en medio del llanto resplandece la alegría, y a la sombra de la muerte hay una luz que resiste..."


WOW! después de leer tantos libros, uno cree que ya nada te puede sorprender, El Silmarillion es OTRA COSA! es punto y aparte. Ade
I read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in 1976 and have prized it above all since then, yet I didn't finish reading the Silmarillion until 2007, 30 years after having received the first edition as a gift from my freshman English professor.

All that I valued about LOTR was multiplied tenfold by Tolkien's history of the creation if Eà, and early ages of Arda, the world in which Middle-earth exists. If you read the Lord of the Rings and particularly enjoy the sense of history that Tolkien convey
Evan Leach
Unlike The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion is not a typical fantasy story. Covering thousands of years, the Silmarillion tells the story of Tolkien’s universe from its creation to the end of The Return of the King. This is both the history and the mythology behind Middle Earth, told in a high (or baroque) style that will endear it to some readers, while putting others to sleep.

img: Silmarillion 1

The trick to the Silmarillion is to approach it as the author intended. If you're looking for a novel
Robert Beveridge
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (Ballantine, 1977)

In the sixties, something changed. Perhaps Mother Church realized that people were turning away from her; perhaps a cadre of teachers decided the younger generation needed to get in touch with its cultural roots; whatever. We ended up with a course in either the religion, literature, or both departments at many universities: The Bible As Literature. Seems they decided that the definition of "literature" (as it all too often is) is "something t
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Would this book have been longer if Tolkien finished it? 4 23 Jan 24, 2015 04:25PM  
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Novel Books &...: Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Silmarillion - Informal Buddy Read; Start: November 1, 2014 127 193 Jan 05, 2015 12:41AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien: Group Read January -March 2015 1 28 Dec 30, 2014 06:44PM  
Are orcs really evil? 14 169 Dec 21, 2014 06:09PM  
Silmarillion Illustrated 13 113 Dec 13, 2014 07:34AM  
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
  • The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created A New Mythology
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  • The Worm Ouroboros
  • A Tolkien Bestiary
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  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
  • After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
  • Finding God in the Lord of the Rings
  • Czas Pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #4)
  • Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2)
  • Phantastes
  • The Journeys Of Frodo
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English langu
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...

Other Books in the Series

Middle-Earth Universe (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
  • The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
  • The Children of Húrin
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)
  • The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, #3)
  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-earth, #4)
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe) The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

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“It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.” 143 likes
“Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.” 85 likes
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