The third and last of the elder Tolkien’s Great Tales, following The Children of Húrin and Beren and Lúthien, as presented by his son, gives readers a final glimpse at the author’s brilliance and method through the epic tale of the man Tuor and his coming to the hidden elven city of Gondolin, last of the great elven strongholds of Middle-earth’s First Age. The younger Tolkien includes several of his father’s versions of Tuor’s tale, with different lengths and in voices ranging from archaic to modern. Tolkien devotees will relish the chance to see the story evolve as Tolkien père alters names and rewrites events while preserving Tuor’s quest. All readers will appreciate the richly descriptive prose and the grand battle of the Fall. The book also includes material from elsewhere in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings so that readers have a sense of the events that came before Tuor’s journey, as well as the War of Wrath in which Morgoth, the great enemy, was finally cast down. This work is a fitting end to Christopher Tolkien’s labors as the steward of his father’s beloved works, and is likely to be cherished by Tolkien’s many fans. (Aug.)
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Presented for the first time as a standalone work, the epic tale of The Fall of Gondolin reunites fans of The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings with Elves, Balrogs, Dragons & Orcs and the rich landscape unique to Tolkien's Middle-earth. This brand new unabridged audio book is read by Timothy West & Samuel West.
Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable, is central to the enmity of two of the greatest powers in the world.
Morgoth of the uttermost evil seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city of his Elven enemies, while the gods in Valinor refuse to support Ulmo Lord of Waters' designs to protect it.
Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, and guided unseen by Ulmo he sets out on the fearful journey to Gondolin to warn them of their coming doom. Then Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs.
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An essential historical reference for Middle-earth fans . . . For enthusiasts, these glimpses into the burgeoning interconnectedness of Tolkien’s fiction are fascinating . . . Deep-lore delvers . . . will be rewarded with a thorough understanding of one of modern fantasy’s seminal works.”—Entertainment Weekly “As with the posthumously published The Children of Húrin and Beren and Lúthien, this entry has been painstakingly and, clearly, lovingly edited by his son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien. Taking place long before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the books fill in the historical record of those better-known stories . . . In detailing this vital — and indeed tragic — tale of Middle-earth lore, The Fall of Gondolin provides everything Tolkien’s readers expect . . . With apologies to Westeros, Narnia and whatever the Star Wars universe is called, Middle-earth stands as the most immersive and detailed fictional realm of our own age because of the different languages Tolkien — master philologist that he was — invented to describe it. Spending time in Middle-earth provides an opportunity to revel in his etymological derring-do . . . The Fall of Gondolin demonstrates yet again that Middle-earth boasts its own rich cosmology and history . . . [Christopher Tolkien’s] stewardship of his father’s legacy has been a tremendous success.”—Washington Post “The Fall of Gondolin is fascinating, both as a glance into the backgrounds that make Middle-earth such a vibrant landscape and for its insights into Tolkien’s earliest interests.”—Deseret News “Every Tolkien aficionado, and they are legion, will want to read this book, both for the story it tells and as a final collaboration between this legendary father-and-son duo.”—Library Journal, starred review “Gives readers a final glimpse at the author’s brilliance . . . This work is a fitting end to Christopher Tolkien’s labors as the steward of his father’s beloved works, and is likely to be cherished by Tolkien’s many fans.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review “A terrific novel that once again will transport readers old and new to the world of Middle-earth.”—Bookreporter.com Praise for Beren and Lúthien “Every version of the story in the book is incomplete, but under Christopher Tolkien’s steady editorial hand, the fragments assemble themselves to give us an impression of the whole. What makes this possible is the grace with which he handles his long-accustomed dual role of guide to both story and history. His preface and annotations are openhearted and engaging. He leads the reader pleasantly through the greater landscape of Middle-earth in the First Age, and strikes as clear a path as possible through the wilderness of Tolkien’s lifelong attempts to get the story finished and published. With eloquence and diligence and care, the son reconstructs and retraces the father’s journey, pursuing the tale through draft after draft as Tolkien pursued his vision of Middle-earth; as Beren, lost and hunted, followed the sound of Lúthien’s voice as she sang in the shadowed forest of Doriath.”—NPR.org “A good introduction to Lord of the Rings fans nervous about taking on The Silmarillion, and also gives longtime fans a fascinating look at the Tolkiens’ myth-making process.”—EntertainmentWeekly.com
Christopher Tolkien presents the final piece in a trilogy of Middle-earth stories his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, did not live to see published.
In what he assures us is the last installment, Tolkien returns to edit his father's work (Beren and Lúthien, 2017, etc.), this time with the tale of the secret city of Gondolin. Ulmo, the great sea god, visits a wanderer named Tuor and tells him his destiny: "O Tuor of the lonely heart, I will not that thou dwell for ever in fair places of birds and flowers....Now must thou seek through the lands for the city of the folk called Gondothlim or the dwellers in stone, and the Noldoli shall escort thee thither in secret for fear of the spies of Melko." Tuor makes it to Gondolin, where he marries the king's daughter and has a son, Eärendel. Meanwhile, the evil Melko, whom Ulmo was so worried about, is scheming to find the hidden city and destroy it. When the city's location is given up in "the most infamous treachery in the history of Middle-earth," a great battle ensues, and despite Tuor's valor, Gondolin falls. The history of Middle-earth is so intricately detailed and fully imagined, readers are lucky indeed that Christopher Tolkien is such an excellent editor. With a full glossary, additional notes, a family tree, and a list of names with descriptions, it is easy to keep track of who is whose son (Lord of the Rings fans will be pleased to note that Eärendel is Elrond's father) and which races of elves and orcs and goblins are which and live where. Tolkien also takes great care to explain where each version of the story comes from and pieces together its evolution, giving much-needed context. All this makes it easy to enjoy the tale itself, which is beautifully written, with lyrical descriptions of Ulmo, Gondolin, and even the dragons and Balrogs that devastate the city. Even the battle sequences are somehow lovely. The tone here is more like a fairy tale than the main Ring cycle, which is perfectly suited to its shorter length.
This gorgeous novel is a must for more than just Tolkien fanatics.