The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is Tolkien's true masterwork, to my mind, but it should not be read until after you've completed Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion reads like the Bible, which makes it a little difficult to get into, but once you get a handle on the writing style it becomes extrondinarily enthralling. The stories of great heros and ancient villians have the mythic quality of a epic Norse saga; no surprise, since Tolkien's life work was studying Beowulf. The tales of Beren and Luthien, Aule and his dwarves, Feanor, Morgoth (Sauron? pfft!), and my personal favorite, Turin the Accursed - the scale and intensity of these stories would make any modern fantasy author green with envy.

Within you will also find the origins of many familiar figures of Middle Earth, including the elves, dwarves, and orcs; as well as the Valar, my personal favorite, of which Gandalf (aka Mithrandir) is one. Keeping a copy of the Silmarillion on your shelf is a badge of true geekdom.

Rating: 5 of 5
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Other books by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Category Title Author Rating Description
Fantasy Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
Ok, I admit it: now that LoTR has penetrated the popular consciousness, it's not as special to me as it once was.