Tolkien was a great storyteller. He weaved into his tales, tales from long, long ago, before the written word was discovered and the oral tradition held sway.
There are poems and heroic odes written, but based often on stories of the old gods and the forgotten world we can only glimpse at. Tolkien, in his marvellous books “The Hobbit”,”The Lord of the Rings” and the Silmarillion” give us a tantalising peep at some of the tales from our collective past.
Tolkien’s ring explores the range of sources which illuminated Tolkien’s mind and, with his wide knowledge of mythology, let him create a wonderful and complex fable, which speaks to us from the distant past. David Day has shed light on the sources of some of the Tolkiens fantasy. And he writes with style and grace.
The whole book is one to delight. It is well laid out and each chapter is complete in itself. There are no annoying half pages, and the reader can pause and pick up the story without losing the thread. Much of the book’s charm comes from the illustrations. I confess, I do like pictures, and in this book, they are an integral part of the whole, delicate and thought-provoking. David Day’s artwork adds immensely to the value of this volume.
For anyone who has enjoyed Tolkiens books – and there must be thousands of us who have followed the Hobbit on his extraordinary journey, this book will quite possibly make you want to reread the stories, and enjoy them with greater depth of understanding and a glorious feel for our ancient history. This is a book I treasure, and I can hardly wait to reread the Lord of the Rings.
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