The Battles of Tolkien is a fascinating book on many levels. It’s a book about books that ends up making you want to read the books that it’s talking about. Even if you haven’t read The Lord of the Rings you’re almost certain to know a little bit about its mythology. Maybe you saw one of the films and were curious about reading the books, but never got around to it because of cat videos or actual real-life responsibilities. The surprising thing about The Battle of Tolkien is that it is a deep dive into a detailed world; yet, the book is as appealing to non-Tolkien’s as it is to fans.
A large reason why The Battles of Tolkien can be enjoyed by a large audience is its layout and presentation. It’s flexible, compact and rectangular, with a red jacket that’s embossed/stamped with warriors on the front and back. The fact that you can bend the book makes it feel like you’re carrying around an Orc battle journal. For the record, I’m not, nor do I resemble Gandalf the Grey, I’m more Hobbit of suburbia-shire.
The art in the book is stellar. It varies from simple black sketches on part of one page; two-page color spreads with giant beasts, maps, family lineage and more. The illustrations, combined with the format of the book will draw in people who aren’t familiar with or haven’t read Tolkien’s work. By looking at the incredibly detailed illustrations readers who check out The Battles of Tolkien will be curious about the source material.
The book is broken out into various chapters that detail the battles and wars that helped create Middle Earth. The Battles of the Valarian Ages, The First Age, Wars of the Dwarves and more are in the book. It also explains the time table that Tolkien established and the length that it occupies within Middle Earth.
From that description it seems like something that might appeal exclusively to the geek crowd. However, it only seems like that, The Battles of Tolkien manages to broaden its appeal because at its core, it’s a well written, entertaining book; that just happens to be about other books. Granted that’s, other classic books that fans all over the world are fervent fans of and will immerse themselves in the battle history of. And The Battles of Tolkien by David Day will do just that for them and many other people too. As cool as this book sounds to young readers it might be too challenging, from a vocabulary perspective, to those in middle school.