|The Atlas of Middle Earth, Revised Edition|
Author: Karen Wynn Fonstad
Review by: CL7 Kali D'or
Order from amazon.com
Having not read The Lord of the Rings for too many years than I want to admit to, I realized as soon as I saw The Fellowship of the Rings, that I had forgotten a heck of a lot of information. The Science Fiction Book Club was having a sale when The Two Towers was released and this book was a bargain, so I ordered it.
There is quite an amazing stash of information in this one! Originally published in 1973, the Atlas has gone thru 3 publications and 2 revisions. It is well organized and easy to read. The Book is divided into categories that make it an excellent companion for any of the Tolkien books and as I was slogging wearily and confused through The Silmarillion, I was quite pleased to have the Atlas to refer to. Although I do have a copy of the Lord of the Ring (3 books cause one big one is too hard to carry around) and The Hobbit, and they all have some nice maps and illustrations, I found that it was very simple to trace the steps of any character in these books with just the Atlas close at hand.
The maps are very well detailed, and the plans and layouts of the places visited made pictures clearer in my mind as I read. There were so many epic battles referred to in all the Books, it was helpful to finally see them laid out on a map of Middle Earth, from the First through the Third Age. I especially appreciated the detail the author went into as she traced, step by step, and day by day, with dates on the maps, of all the members of the Fellowship, from the day they left Bag End until departure from the Grey Havens.
The book doesn't have pictures from the movies or images that we are familiar with peopled with actors and faces we know. Instead the pages are filled with painstakingly detailed maps, elevations, tables and charts and well written descriptions and time frames for each section. The research is obvious, and simply presented.
This book is an excellent addition to anyones Tolkien Shelf in their personal Library.
Title: The Atlas of Middle Earth, Revised Edition