Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two

(The History of Middle-Earth #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  6,985 ratings  ·  133 reviews
The Book of Lost Tales 2 (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2)
viii, 391 pp. "The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of th
Mass Market Paperback, 391 pages
Published April 22nd 1992 by Del Rey (first published 1984)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy Classics
259 books — 465 voters
The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Return of the King by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Middle Earth
139 books — 79 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,985 ratings  ·  133 reviews

More filters
Sort order
In the Book of Lost Tales, volumes 1 and 2, we have a more or less full picture of the earliest work Tolkien did in the development of his personal mythology that was to grow into the tales of Middle Earth. It was a mythology meant to provide his country England with something he felt it sorely needed, a foundation myth, and it was a vehicle which allowed him to explore and expand upon his own fascination with the world and stories of Faery and his love for the invented languages of his youth. T ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: tolkien-lotr
Finished at last! While I'm Tolkien/Middle Earth enthusiast, and this book is generally pretty insightful about the creation and mythology of the Elder Days, I found it a bit of a slog, honestly.

However, this book is (almost) redeeemed by the bits on the Fall of Gondolin (which is pretty compelling stuff!) and the Nauglarung (Necklace of the Dwarves.)

I'm hoping my enthusiam for the series stays high, overall; I'm diving right into Book 3 ,but if that's a slog, too, a break may be in order after
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book contains six stories found in the Silmarillion, but at the origin of conception. I skipped the commentary.

The Tale of Tinuviel:
This tells the story of Beren and Luthien, different from The Silmarillion, but no less pleasurable. Beren seeks Tinuviel’s love by approaching her father on his throne. The king and his Elves laugh him to scorn and the king tells him in jest he can have her if he goes to Morgoth (a rebellious deity in Illuvitar’s creation) and retrieves the Silmaril from his c
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the second in the set of five books in which J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, has collected and edited his father's unpublished works--or in several cases, unpublished earlier versions of stories that later were published in different form.

This volume consists of:

* The Tale of Tinúviel, a much longer and much different version than is published in the Silmarillion as "The Tale of Beren and Lúthien." While many of the elements of the story here are interesting, I do like the published v
This review will go over both of the Lost Tales parts

This is for those who just can't get enough of Tolkien's works. If you have not read or did not enjoy The Silmarillion, do not even bother reading The Book of Lost Tales. I would actually recommend reading The Silmarillion a couple of times before reading these books. The Book of Lost Tales seems to be a first draft of The Silmarillion. Lost Tales is more convoluted and probably drier, and is full of Christopher Tolkien's commentary (about the
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
As with Part One lots depth and early development of what would eventually become the Silmarillion, from brainstorming to outlines, to early and discarded drafts & entirely reworked ideas, all researched and expertly presented by Christopher Tolkien. As always great history into Middle Earth, but even more so into the writing process and the writer’s working evolution as they craft their unique story.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth #2), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor)
The Book of Lost Tales is a collection of early stories by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, published as the first two volumes of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, in which he presents and analyzes the manuscripts of those stories, which were the earliest form of the complex fictional myths that would eventually comprise The Silmarillion. Each of the Ta
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth".

This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as a Hobbit (one of
Marwan Emad
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another Tolkien Leaf in his Niggle tree. 5 Tales, I’ll be reviewing each seperatly.

1) Beren and Luthien (4/5)
I have read this Story over and over again in “The Silmarillion”, “Beren & Luthien” and now in “The Lost Tales”. Did I get bored? A Little. Did it stop me from reading it again? Hell No ! Did it slow me down a little bit? Definetly Yes. However this will forever be my favourite fictional love story I have ever read.

2) Children of Hurin (4/5)
Same as with “Beren and Luthien”, having r
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really tried to get through this. In all honesty, all of these “lost and unfinished” tales books have all the same stories in them. The tales of Turin or Beren and Luthien are all great stories, but I don’t need to read them five times.
Anna C
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien
Tevildo Prince of Cats is the best villain in the Legendarium. None other need apply.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
While The Book of Lost Tales 2 encompasses 6 tales, I'm going to spend this review focusing on two. Several of them are early drafts of tales (Beren and Luthen, and The Tale of Turambar) that are covered in more detail in The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. You may find it interesting to compare the first draft to the later ones, and how Tolkien's ideas grew over time. But if you're not a die-hard Tolkien aficionado, then I wouldn't start with this book. It's a tough nut to crack, and so ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the reason I read this book is because Richard Armitage, the actor who plays Thorin in The Hobbit, has read it. If he is fluent in Tolkien lores, then why can't I? :-)

The story that I wanted to read is actually the Nauglafring (Necklace of the Dwarves). But it was interesting as well to read a more thorough version (at least from the version told in The Silmarillion) of Beren-Luthien's and Turin Turambar's stories. I found out that Beren was a gnome (don't freak out yet, gnome here apparen
The story of Lúthien Tinúviel and Beren is probably one of my favourite of Tolkien's stories. And for that reason alone, I love this book. It presents several version of the story, esentially the same but with important and characteristic differences. And a different version still it the one found in The Silmarillion, but more on that book.

I think, on the whole, I like the stories in this book better than the stories in part I. But they're all connected and I think it is an important strength to
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Things I will never tire of:

1. Luthien being the biggest badass ever, no matter how many ways Tolkien writes it (she's the best character he's ever written- fight me if you think otherwise lol)

2. Turin and his family making the worst possible life choices (along with a reminder of why I lol every time someone says that Tolkien is 'too tame' or 'too PG' for them).

The Fall of Gondolin is my favourite piece that Tolkien has written. I'm not 100% sure why, but I find it fascinating and spectacular-
Nonethousand Oberrhein
Heroics of a young author
As the narrative frame of The Cottage of Lost Play continues from the first volume, it is time to “listen” to the tales of the big heroes of the First Age. Far more naive and chaotic, while at the same time more enthralling and sparkling than the Silmarillion’s mature storytelling, this earlier account of the known legends sheds a light on Tolkien’s working process and allows a different perspective of some those famous characters. Aside from the studious dive into the
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I liked the first Book of Lost Tales better, this one was still amazing. The stories in it not only give depth to the Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, but also as JRR Tolkien himself AND what being a human and an artist really means. Some of the work of both prose and poetry in this volume is equal in beauty to the most wonderfully beautiful pieces Tolkien himself published. Anyone who enjoys writing in any form should read these tales.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A J.R.R. Tolkien fan since my earliest adolescence, I have only in my middle age begun to read the notebooks his son Christopher has published in the 1980s and ‘90s as The History of Middle-earth. It is wise not to begin with these books. They do not draw us in to the great master’s enchanted realm as does The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and most especially (for me at least) The Silmarillion.

This, the second book of “Lost Tales” is no easy read, even for Tolkien geeks such as myself. The sent
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans only
Recommended to D-day by: Author I like
Shelves: non-fiction
I will give the same warning as Part One, The Book of Lost Tales is not for the casual Tolkien fan. These are early drafts of stories that later became the Silmarillion
Part Two of the Tales contains the more epic stories starting with the story of Beren & Luthien here called the Tale of Tinuviel. The earliest conception of the story is quite interesting; Beren is an Elf and Sauron (here known as Tevildo) is a giant evil cat!
The second tale is Turambar and the Foaloke and is the earliest vers
Viel Nast
the history of middle earth continues with the second part of the book of lost tales. Another “difficult” book to read and not be entertained! On the other hand the real Tolkien fan is able to watch how the stories evolved from early 1910’s when a young linguist tried his hand on writing. The stories changed, sometime significantly, during the years although the central core of the stories remained the same for more than fifty years. In the second volume we read the stories of Beren and Luthien ...more
Octavia Cade
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If this were just the stories, I'd probably give it four stars. Even bloody Turin is tolerable here (he's always bloody Turin to me, the least attractive character in all of Tolkien and yet the one we're all supposed to be obsessed with, apparently, given the mountain of appearances of his horrible self in the Tolkien money-making machine). Then there's "The Fall of Gondolin", and I was riveted at that one, the real stand-out piece of the collection; the image of Ecthelion, the Balrog, and the f ...more
Marko Vasić
If part one of The Book of Lost Tales was dedicated to Valar and to the World creation concepts, second part is dedicated to 6 pivotal stories for The Silmarillion substance. I enjoyed in the first version of the story of Beren and Luthien, where Sauron is mentioned for the first time, but in form of demon Tevildo - prince of cats. Also, tale about Turin is slightly different than the one in final version. The story about the fall of Gondolin is narrated in all its majesty and details. Also, ful ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I want to once again point you to Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor) and his podcast that walked me through this book (in 2 or 4 hour long lectures for each chapter).

I am constantly amazed at how thorough Christopher Tolkien's analysis of his father's work is. It's hard to imagine anyone being as complete and meticulous as him -- he may even have surpassed his father!

The Fall of Gondolin was fascinating. The different conceptions of Elves, Dwarfs, and Humans is fascinating. And it was fun to wa
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
As I have said in my review of Volume I, this stuff IS demanding, and you should be aware you are embarking on a collection on early drafts from the Professor, edited and commented by Christopher but still, in places, very hard to follow and digest.

As an hardcore Tolkien fan I enjoyed immensely the chance to revisit some of the Legendarium classics like Beren nd Luthien, Turin Turambar and the Naugarfring and learn more about how these epic tales first saw the light. However, the Fall of Gondol
Megan Chrisler
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I bought this book because I like LOTR, and I wanted to have a better understanding of Middle Earth history. You will get that in this book. However, the style is closer to Old English, so it's very boring to the average reader. So, if you enjoy Old English literature or are a hardcore fan of LOTR, I recommend this book. If you don't like Old English and only like LOTR for its fantasy elements, don't bother.
Christopher Wignall
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Book of Lost Tales Part One and Two are like reading the Terms and Conditions of purchase; yes, it gives you much more depth of context, but unless you're looking for specific details or enjoy that format of prose, there are diminishing returns on the invested time beyond "The Hobbit", "The Lord of The Rings" and "The Silmarillion".
Aaron Peterson
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Included within this two volume edition of early manuscripts is a poem called "The Song of Eriol", which I have long counted as a personal favorite. The writings within this compilation while often more academic than literary, still provide both insight and enjoyable reading for both the long time Tolkien aficionado, and fiction fan in general.
Shaene Ragan
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with Part I, this book has several incomplete tales with only bare sketches to finish it off, but that can be ignored due to the wealth of information about his world that Tolkien reveals. For this reason it is a must read for Tolkien fans, especially for fans of Legolas Greenleaf as this contains his first appearance in Middle Earth.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Long, and in an essay form, it took me a length of time to finish this one. By the end, I was ready to get to reading something else. But I was surprised how much I learnt from this one book, along with the first, twice as much. I will most likely have to read it again, because some of it just flew through the brain and never stayed inside it.
Jun 25, 2019 added it
I’m not exactly sure how I would rate this (which is why I’m not). The language could be stiff and a tad boring at times, which is understandable, since Lost Tales are centered around the earlier drafts and ideas of Tolkien’s stories, most of which end up in the Silmarillion.
I will say it was fascinating seeing the changes and also seeing where some of the drafts were going.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book of Lost Tales 2 2 11 Aug 05, 2013 05:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
  • Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created A New Mythology
  • The Map of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle Earth
  • Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings
  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
  • Tolkien's Ring
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
  • The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-Earth for Dummies
  • Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
  • The Tolkien Companion
See similar books…
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 lang

Other books in the series

The History of Middle-Earth (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)
  • The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-Earth, #3)
  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-Earth, #4)
  • The Lost Road and Other Writings (The History of Middle-Earth, #5)
  • The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #6)
  • The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #7)
  • The War of the Ring (The History of Middle-Earth, #8)
  • Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Four (The History of Middle-Earth, #9)
  • Morgoth's Ring (The History of Middle-Earth, #10)
  • The War of the Jewels (The History of Middle-Earth, #11)
“He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship.” 55 likes
“Each day before the end of eve
she sought her lover, nor would him leave,
until the stars were dimmed, and day
came glimmering eastward silver-grey.
Then trembling-veiled she would appear,
and dance before him, half in fear;
there flitting just before his feet
she gently chid with laughter sweet:
'Come! dance now, Beren, dance with me!
For fain thy dancing I would see!”
More quotes…