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The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two

(The History of Middle-Earth #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,464 ratings  ·  158 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)
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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
293 books — 502 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
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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
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
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
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
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian fantasy readers, Tolkien fans, C.S. Lewis fans
Wow! All I can say after completing this volume...and the that Tolkien had an incredible, complex, ultra-creative mind! "The Book of Lost Tales 2" was interesting in its slowest sections and downright epic in its faster ones! Indeed, it seemed to have a lot more action than the first volume. From an alternate telling of Luthien and Beren to the siege of Gondolin to Aelfwine, this is a must-read for any fellow Tolkienite!
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.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tolkien was such an amazing person 😭😭😭
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
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
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.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I won't lie. Christopher Tolkien's literary analysis of the background notes for his father's legendary works is not an easy or quick read. While the actual tales themselves are enjoyable fantasies from out of faerie land, innumerable end notes and discussion of fine points (such as the state of the hand written notebooks from which the current work is sourced, or his father's biography at the time he wrote in the aforementioned notebooks) is nothing less than a slog.

That having been said; Tolki
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 read
Cassandra L. Manna
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
As in Part I of The Book of Lost Tales, this book is a little difficult to read because it is drafted as an academic study on the evolution of the History of Middle Earth. I enjoyed it because it’s interesting to see how the legends of Tolkien originated and how much change went to into getting them to the final version. I did notice there were a lot of comments by the editor about what was “obvious” and “the only possible conclusion” which I found a little too personal and opinionated for an ac ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It took me like a month but I did it! I enjoyed the different versions of familiar stories - Beren and Luthien (though clearly JRRT was not a fan of cats, boo on him), the Fall of Gondolin, the Nauglafring, and the Tale of Earendel. I don't think I'll ever enjoy reading about disaster-man Turin and I did not care at all for Eriol's tale and the whole, let's try and make this England, glad JRRT seemed to let go of a lot of that as time went on.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Here Tolkien gets to his four epics. These are the stories that will whisper to and haunt him for the rest of his life. These versions are made to fit his frame story of Eriol being told the Faërie stories of old. That being said, unfortunately Earendil is only a few competing outlines which makes for an unsatisfying conclusion. The book tails off into the chaos of the divers notes and poesy Tolkien left behind.

We still get the early versions of Beren and Luthien, Turin Turambar, and The Fall of
Skylar Phelps
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
At about 250 pages in, I packed this one away in a box during a move and forgot about it... for 4 and a half years.

Only read this if you are a Tolkien addict with a yearning to become a middle earth scholar. Otherwise stick to the Silmarillion and you’ll be glad you did.
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 t
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. ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This was quite hard to get through. There are some interesting bits, but the stuff in between them is just a tough cookie. A must-read for die-hard Tolkien fans (the whole series is) but don't expect a compelling book that grips you from start to end.
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 version
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
Aditya Raman
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, escapist
Cristopher Tolkien has done an admirable job of putting together his father’s notes in an accessible manner. JRR’s initial conception of the world and mythology of the Lord of the Rings universe is laid bare and one can truly appreciate the sheer amount of thought that has gone into its conception to create a Saga that can rival those produced by certain cultures in their entire lifetime.

The stories themselves demonstrably create a sense of longing for a time long gone, fulfilling JRR’s purpose
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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

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)

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