Who am I?
Why did Kenneth love this book?
Tolkien is my all-time favorite author. The material in this book had appeared before, but was scattered all over in books published over several decades.
Bringing all this material together and organizing it in a more coherent fashion makes the stories come alive like never before and allows the reader to more easily situate them within the grand scope of Tolkien’s mythology. Moreover, the depth, beauty, and complexity of the writing demonstrate just how much more erudite Tolkien was than most of the hacks posing as fantasy authors today. You get a real sense of the history of Middle Earth.
When I started college, I majored in English because I had ambitions of becoming a Tolkien scholar. I was also interested in history, particularly that of Asia, which just seemed deeper and more mysterious than the Western history I learned in high school. But by the end of my first…