REVIEW: A Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster, Illustrated by Ted Nansmith

Last Updated on November 16, 2022

The Lord of the Rings and the world created by JRR Tolkien have enchanted millions of readers over the years. His works of epic fantasy are often cited as some of the greatest works ever created and led to two hugely successful film trilogies (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) and, more recently, an Amazon TV series (The Rings of Power). The world and history of Middle-earth are full of information and part of the joy of delving into the world of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and wizards, is that you can be led down various paths depending on your own interests. Perhaps it is the languages Tolkien created, the creation story of his world, or even just an interest in following a family line back towards another age, there is a complex and dense world just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes, it feels as though a guide is needed to fully explore the world and quickly find the piece of information needed: and that is where Robert Foster’s updated The Complete Guide to Middle-earth comes in.

The Complete Guide to Middle EarthThe Complete Guide to Middle-earth updates earlier editions with a few more wonderful illustrations from Ted Nasmith and a stunning new cover that brings it in line with some of the latest versions of Tolkien’s works. It is a peerless guide that brings together names, places, and some of the major moments in Tolkien’s world as read in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. The A- Z layout of the book makes it easy for readers to use this as a companion piece when reading Tolkien’s books, something that will enhance a repeated read for longtime lovers of Tolkien’s world or support a first read through by newcomers. With the recent The Rings of Power being released, it is a handy guide to use when being introduced to an age not previously seen on screen and coming across the lands of Numenor and Moria. Even JRR Tolkien’s son, Christopher has admitted to the use of Foster’s guide as a reference when compiling his late father’s Unfinished Tales.

The Complete Guide to Middle-earth is the definitive guide to the world of JRR Tolkien. Tolkien’s world is vast in scope and this guide will help older fans mesmerized by what is often viewed as the greatest fantasy story ever written, and new readers who may be daunted to dive into such a rich world. The illustrations are beautiful and the layout ensures the guide is easy to navigate. It really is a brilliant resource for anyone interested in the work of the father of fantasy.

Read The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

Aaron S. Jones is the author of Memories of Blood and Shadow, and The Broken Gods trilogy. He is Head of School at a school in Kent, UK and when he is not tearing his hair out at students struggling with their, they're and there, he is tearing his hair out as he dies for the thousandth time on Elden Ring. You can find him on Twitter @HereticASjones where he is most likely procrastinating for hours at a time instead of focusing on his Orc murder mystery.