The Fall of Gondolin by JRR Tolkien
I was delighted when I heard about the release of this book because in Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien erroneously stated that it was going to be the last restoration of his father’s work he undertook. He changed his mind. And I thank him for it because this is a glorious tale, showcasing much of Tolkien’s brilliance.
Firstly though, many readers will have a pertinent question on their mind: is The Fall of Gondolin worth buying for those who have read The Silmarillion? It most definitely is.
There’s a brief section dedicated to this tale in The Silmarillion. In my edition, there’s only six pages of the story. And that’s it. It’s like a historical plot summary without the finer details of real storytelling involved as per the mythopoetic style Tolkien was using through the work. So, yes, this is absolutely worth reading because you will never have seen the full details of this story before. There is new material here, though it is largely unfinished and lacking the immersive powers his completed works possess.
So, whether or not you decide to pick this up depends on your level of dedication to the author. I knew I couldn’t miss it because it sounded so compelling. The plot is similar to Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Hurin in the respect that a powerful romance strengthens it. The lovers are Tuor and Idril. Idril is the daughter of Turgon, king of Gondolin. Tuor had been sent to the kingdom by Ulmo, one of the Vala, to encourage Turgon to initiate a pre-emptive assault on his enemy Melkor (Morgoth) The king ignores the advice and ushers in his own doom.
The beautiful city of Gondolin is sacked years later by an army of Morogth’s, comprising of dragons, balrogs and orcs. Tuor fights to save Idril through the siege and as a huge battle on his hands when he tried to defend her father, the king. Tuor and the survivors are hopelessly outnumbered and are forced to flee. The battle is vivid as the language artfully captures the intensity and drama of such an epic moment in the First Age of Middle-earth. Many heroes fall and many legends are made, several of which acute readers may remember brief mentions of in The Lord of the Rings.
As a huge Tolkien enthusiast, I know I speak for many other readers, when I extend my undying thanks to Christopher Tolkien for allowing his father’s unfinished work to be published. Although this work is far from a shining jewel, I can imagine how fantastic this would have been as I read the segments (and various drafts) of the story: I can see what this would have been. And, as ever, the artwork of Alan Lee brings the words to life. However, this is the very last we will see of it. Christopher Tolkien explicitly states that this is the final piece (and that he will not change his mind this time.) The destruction of a fine city is an appropriate last glimpse of such a vast world, as the walls of Gondolin crumble and the tower collapses, it marks the very end.
This The Fall of Gondolin book review was written by Sean Barrs
Have you read The Fall of Gondolin?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Fall of Gondolin reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Baptism of Fire
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of th...
Death Angel's Shadow
Karl Edward Wagner
Kane is battling the prophet of an ancient cult of evil and confronting the demons of darkness on his journeys. He faces death duels in strange swamps, assassin's attac...
Timion the Black has exhausted his options. Reckless, despicable, Timion’s own band of mercenary men turn against him, leaving him for dead in a back alleyway. Fate d...
The Sword of Truth Series
Richard Cypher holds the fate of three nations in his hands, he must learn the Wizard's First Rule to achieve his goals. The heart hounds are stalking the humans, blood...
Karl Edward Wagner
Kane - indestructible swordsman, invincible sorcerer, immortal wanderer through strange worlds. Efrel, Empress of Pellin, seeks vengeance on the King of Thovnos and chooses...
The Siege of Abythos
Lady Iskra and her followers have survived the onslaught of demons, forged powerful alliances, and are finally ready to wreck righteous vengeance on the Ascendant Empire. Y...
Lenk and his band of murderous misfits are loathed by society, spurned by all merciful gods, and motivated only by their distrust of each other. Hired to track down a stole...
Steven L Shrewsbury
Deliverance will come... A great flood once wiped clean the earth, destroying everything upon it. Before the deluge, in a time now forgotten, the world was a place of warri...
The Goblin Corps
Morthul, the dreaded Charnel King, has failed. Centuries of plotting from the heart of the Iron Keep - all for naught. Foiled at the last by the bumbling efforts of a laugh...
Great fantasy books published in 2018
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scop...
Age of War
Michael J Sullivan
The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron...
Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours... and with every new area of expertise a new ...
A Veil of Spears
The Night of Endless Swords nearly saw the destruction of Sharakhai, and since then the Kings have come down hard on the rebelloious Moonless Host. Hundreds have been murde...
The Ember Blade
A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questione...
Fire and Blood
George RR Martin
From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones - one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series - comes a definitive history of West...
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of S...
Iron and Magic
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh ...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: