As Bilbo sets off on his last journey from Rivendell to the shores of the sea, he sings this last poem as his farewell to MiddleEarth before boarding a ship that will take him to Valinor with Gandalf, Frodo, and Elrond. The poem itself is not very long, with one stanza on each page.
This book is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous settings that show Bilbo on his way to Valinor. The illustrations begin with Bilbo at Rivendell. He talks with Elrond about making the last trip, and they make plans for travelling. Bilbo and the company of Elves pass through the Shire, where Frodo and Sam join them. They reach the harbor where Cirdan the shipwright is waiting to greet them. They say goodbye to Sam, Merry, and Pippin. The final illustration shows Bilbo reaching the shores of Valinor.
I read this book by listening to the audiobook, and really enjoyed the voice of the narrator and the structure of the book. Following a chronological and sometimes topical format, this book covers the lives of four of the most famous members of the Inklings. Starting from their childhoods and following them through both World Wars, their academic careers, and their writing, this book also includes details of their family lives and personal friendships right up until their deaths.
I already know a lot about these men, because Tolkien and Lewis are my two favorite authors, and I’ve already read other biographies about the Inklings. But I was really impressed with the depth of information and careful research in this book. There are some really wonderful details and anecdotes that bring these historical figures close to the reader. Continue reading →
Kullervo’s uncle murders his father, and Kullervo vows to find revenge. He grows up wayward and wild and without compassion for anyone except his twin sister. With the help of the magical hound, Musti, Kullervo escapes the murderous machinations of his evil uncle. Kullervo has set his hand against the whole world, and he ruins crops, creates a wasteland in the forest, commits mass murder, and generally reeks destruction wherever he goes. His story is tragic for everyone involved.
This short story, one of Tolkien’s very early attempts at rewriting myths, includes a great deal of poetry, a tragic plot, and the delicious rich language that characterizes all of Tolkien’s works. Most of the book is commentary, essays, and notes about the story, its Finnish roots, and its influence on Tolkien’s later writing. Continue reading →
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the effect that WWI had on two of my favorite authors, how their experiences translated into the stories they wrote, and how their faith in God was strengthened and established despite the horrors of war.
This is heartbreaking to read, because it gives such detailed personal accounts of the war, the suffering and fear they went through, and the terrible losses of friends and family. But it is also wonderfully interesting to learn about the history of that time, and the misguided Utopian philosophies that were shattered by the war.
I was impressed with the scholarly yet accessible writing style, and the way in which the historical and personal information was organized and presented in each chapter. This clearly explained how Tolkien’s and Lewis’ personal experiences were entwined in the larger story of the war, and the popular philosophies and political thinking of the time.