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The Dark Powers of Tolkien

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A compendium of villains of Middle-earth.

The vast fictional universe of J. R. R. Tolkien contains many dark terrors to challenge the forces of good. This compendium of villains includes battle timelines, genealogy charts for creature races, striking illustrations, and well-researched commentary on the evil forces that dwell in Middle-earth. The unique, heat-burnished cover
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Thunder Bay Press
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Brenda Corral
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick Read, great illustrations but es para Otakus
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-r-r-tolkien
* review to be posted soon *
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. Traces the conscious and perhaps subconscious inspiration to Tolkien's work.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read with some stunning illustrations
Jocelin Willshaw
Another David Day book another average review, once again I find myself torn between aesthetic and the quality of writing. Whilst The Dark Powers of Tolkien is a visually stunning book adorned with wonderful illustrations and an embossed faux leather cover it isn’t much more than a handheld walk through Middle Earth’s darker landscapes.

It does offer some interesting parallels between Tolkien’s lore and possible inspirations including Norse and Greek mythology but many of the points are quite sh
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book initially stirred my interest when it promised to focus on the evil characters from the Legendarium. As an avid Tolkien fan and devotee of Melkor (the name is tattooed in Quenya Mode Tengwar on my forearm), I felt this book would be a good read. David Day, however, immediately ignores Tolkien's disdain for allegory as he stretches to draw parallels between Tolkien's mythology and the Judaeo-Christian mythos. Day seemingly cannot wait to re-write the Ainulindalë in a fashion all too simi ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book about Tolkien and his Middle Earth saga that I've read. David Day illuminates both the sources to Tolkien's inspiration as well as Tolkien's own creative originality. Reading it has motivated me to read some of the myths that helped inspire Tolkien for myself. The artwork and timelines in the book are worth the price alone. I'm not sure if there is an electronic version of the book, but this is one that you need in your hands. Even the cover work is attractive and far super ...more
Charley Robson
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another lovely piece of work by Mr Day! While it won't contain anything that long-standing fans won't already know, the X Of Tolkien series continue to be a gorgeous little companion set, outlining key people, themes, and sources of inspiration for the Professor and his world.

This one is a particular favourite for me, as it covers some of the most contentious - and simultaneously intriguing - parts of Tolkien's mythos; evil, and its manifestations. Everything from orcs to trolls to Morgoth himse
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book I've gotten from David Day about Tolkien's Middle-Earth (the first being The Atlas of Middle-Earth). Both come with wonderful illustrations and great information. This is a bit more in-depth out of universe than the previous one which was mostly all in-universe.

Reading up on some of the influences, mythologies, and legends that Tolkien used to create the various monsters/realms/ideas behind his writing was fascinating.

This is a fast, quick, engaging read for anyone interested or
Susan Ferguson
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, paperback
A very interesting look at sources for Tolkien's evil beings in The Lord of the Rings. I was unaware of all the possible sources (mythology from all around the world) and found it instructive. The book is very well researched and no broad sweeping mistakes concerning the Lord of the Rings. The only quibble I had was where he claimed the Istari all had long white beards - where Gandalf's was originally grey (Greybeard was one of the names he was called).
Worth the read.
A beautifully illustrated book that takes a look at the Dark Powers in Tolkien's Middle-Earth books. David Day also makes several comparisons between Tolkien's "bad guys" and various mythologies throughout the work, some of which are rather superficial. If you are a Tolkien fan, you won't find anything new in this book, but the illustrations and timelines are nice.
Lance Johnson
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is beautiful, but the writing is slightly simpler than I had hoped. It was still quite good, but it was more like a taster than a full on meal. The book is chock full of art, which is gorgeous. The connections to real life mythology and history are interesting and well worth reading. Overall, I recommend this book.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is now the third book I have read in this collection, and I have found them all incredibly interesting. This book looks specifically at the dark powers within Middle Earth, and it is interesting to know where Tolkien may have got his inspiration from. As I also enjoy reading about Greek and Norse mythology, this was a great read.
Michael Davison
Not great. Very basic information without almost any in-depth analysis. This is a good book if you’re someone who has never read any Tolkien material, otherwise it’s just a short book with lots of illustrations and charts. Not terrible, just not really worth the read if you’ve simply seen the movies.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief, yet comprehensive over-view of Tolkien’s villains, this book is great for a lazy Sunday afternoon for any fantasy fan or for readers wishing to deepen their knowledge of Middle Earth. I love this series of companion books and always look forward to the next ones!
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations are splendid as usual and what I appreciate about the later books (Heroes and now the Dark Powers) is that the author is going a bit deeper, investigating the possible sources and inspirations of Tolkien's creative genius. I found the Atlas disappointingly shallow.
James Miller
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid account of some of the myths behind Tolkien's works. At times more is assumed of the reader's knowledge than one might expect (Gyges' ring for instance is not general knowledge) and the pictures are of varying quality. Still it's good fun.
Jennifer McNamara
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Absolutely useful if you are interested in the origin of terms and the use of mythology. The illustrations and schemes are worthy.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
არსობრივად იგივე ითქმის, რაც ატლასზე, თუმცა ილუსტრაციები აშკარად უკეთესია ;))
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien
I give it a solid four for the art but there are numerous typos and errors in this book as well as it being pretty dry. If you're a long-time Tolkien fan you won't learn anything new here but it's worth getting it for the artwork. There's lots of beautiful illustrations I haven't seen before such as Orome the Hunter, Men of Atlantis, the Ringwraiths, and Glaurung.
The one drawing of the orc with dreads made me cringe but other than that all the artwork is lovely.
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Feb 08, 2019
Niels V. D.
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David Day (b. 14 October 1947 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian author of over forty books: poetry, natural history, ecology, mythology, fantasy, and children's literature. Internationally he is most notably known for his literary criticism on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works.

After finishing high school in Victoria, British Columbia, Day worked as a logger for five years on Vancouver Isla