The Silmarillion – The Bible of Middle-Earth (Short Review)

Where elves are jerks, humans tragic, gods are cryptic and Morgoth is evil for the sake of it.

Seems like yesterday since I discovered the sensation that is the Lord of the Rings. Little did I know back then that a generation of two before felt the same joy in discovering the fantastic and amazing world of Middle Earth. And then it took me ages to finish the Silmarillion. For all its flaws, this book is basically an outline for Tolkien to build up his fantasy worlds and stories.

Forget character development because it cannot be found here. What you get instead is a template to tell your own stories. Yes, your own. The Silmarillion is a great inspiration for fantasy writers everywhere. Only going in with the right expectations can make you truly enjoy reading a history book like Silmarillion.

If I have to summarize the plot or talk about the main character, I couldn’t do it. Too many events, too many characters, too many tragedies, so much myth and poetry.

What happened before the Lord of the Rings? What happened before Sauron come to power? How did this world come to be? Where are the elves going and why are they so depressed all the time?

The Silmarillion will answer all these burning questions but it will do so taking its time. Going all the way back to the moment of creation…


I cannot give this book a proper rating. As a mythology book, it’s a 5/5 stars, as a collection of short stories, it’s a hit or miss and as for cohesive narrative, don’t expect this. As I mentioned, it’s a revised outline. It’s also intimidating. If Tolkien used this book as background information for the world-building of his real fantasy stories, what can we, the amateur fantasy writers, do to make our worlds believable?

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