The Fall of Númenor: And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth (Hardcover)
The Fall of Númenor occupies a really interesting space in Tolkien literature. Similar to The Children of Húrin or The Fall of Gondolin, it collects material that has hitherto been scattered across a wide range of other books into a single cohesive narrative. And like The Nature of Middle-earth, it functions as a useful yet concise reference book for its chosen subject - in this case, the Second Age.
Far from being dry, however, Númenor makes for an enjoyable read. Its stories span thousands of years of Middle-earth history, alternating between zoomed-out epics and closer character studies. Lord of the Rings fans and viewers of the Rings of Power alike will appreciate the deep dive into the forging of those great rings, the kings and queens of Númenor's heyday and its decline, and the triumphant yet tragic tale of Aragorn's ancestors, Elendil and Isildur. The stories are enhanced by beautiful full-color plates and pencil sketches by the renowned Alan Lee.— Kaley
J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings on the Second Age of Middle-earth, collected for the first time in one volume complete with new illustrations in watercolor and pencil by renowned artist Alan Lee.
J.R.R. Tolkien famously described the Second Age of Middle-earth as a "dark age, and not very much of its history is (or need be) told." And for many years readers would need to be content with the tantalizing glimpses of it found within the pages of The Lord of the Rings and its appendices, including the forging of the Rings of Power, the building of the Barad-dûr and the rise of Sauron.
It was not until Christopher Tolkien published The Silmarillion after his father’s death that a fuller story could be told. Although much of the book’s content concerned the First Age of Middle-earth, there were at its close two key works that revealed the tumultuous events concerning the rise and fall of the island of Númenor. Raised out of the Great Sea and gifted to the Men of Middle-earth as a reward for aiding the angelic Valar and the Elves in the defeat and capture of the Dark Lord Morgoth, the kingdom became a seat of influence and wealth; but as the Númenóreans’ power increased, the seed of their downfall would inevitably be sown, culminating in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
Even greater insight into the Second Age would be revealed in subsequent publications, first in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, then expanded upon in Christopher Tolkien’s magisterial twelve-volume The History of Middle-earth, in which he presented and discussed a wealth of further tales written by his father, many in draft form.
Now, adhering to the timeline of "The Tale of Years" in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, editor Brian Sibley has assembled into one comprehensive volume a new chronicle of the Second Age of Middle-earth, told substantially in the words of Tolkien from the various published texts, with new illustrations in watercolor and pencil by the doyen of Tolkien art, Alan Lee.
About the Author
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 60 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
"How, given little over half a century of work, did one man become the creative equivalent of a people?" — The Guardian
"Demanding to be compared with English mythologies… at times rises to the greatness of true myth." — Financial Times
"A creation of singular beauty… magnificent in its best moments." — Washington Post
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