[Review] Tales From The Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee

Publisher and Publication Date: Mariner, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2021.
Genre: Fantasy fiction. Poetry. Middle-earth.
Pages: 432.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Tolkien and Middle-earth readers.
Rating: Excellent.

Link @ Amazon

For further reading:
Tolkien Estate
Tolkien’s legendarium-Wikipedia

The book is organized in this order:
Introduction by Tom Shippey.
Roverandom was first published in 1998.
Farmer Giles of Ham was first published in 1949.
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil was first published 1961.
Smith of Wootton Major was first published in 1967.
Leaf by Niggle was first published in Tree and Leaf in 1964.
Starting on page 313 through page 400 is the Appendix. The title is On Fairy-Stories and is written by J. R. R. Tolkien.
The book ends with an Afterword by Alan Lee the illustrator.

Roverandom is the story of the adventures of a little dog who becomes lost. He also suffers under the spell of a wizard named Artaxerxes.

Farmer Giles of Ham has a problem with a giant who is a menace and is terrorizing the land.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is several poems that rhyme. Examples of titles are Bombadil Goes Boating, Errantry, Princess Mee, The Man In The Moon Came Down Too Soon, and Cat.

Smith of Wooten Major is simply a man named Smith who lives in the village of Wooten Major. He recounts his tales of Fairyland.

Leaf By Niggle began for Tolkien as a dream he had. It is a blending of Middle-earth and Faerie.
The story begins: “There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start sometime, but he did not hurry with his preparations.” Page 285.

The last is a brief teaching on fairy-stories by Tolkien.
My favorite quote from this chapter:
“Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor obscure the perception of, scientific verity. On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason, the better fantasy will it make. If men were ever in a state in which they did not want to know or could not perceive truth (facts or evidence), then Fantasy would languish until they were cured.” Page 370.

Several reasons why I love this book:
1. It holds a variety of short stories and poetry. It is a Tolkien buffet.
2. The last chapter on fairy-stories is a gem.
3. I love the illustrations (black and white) throughout the book. This adds a visual beauty to the book.
4. The story of the little dog named Rover is endearing. I actually gushed while reading.
5. Farmer Giles is humorous. I love this little man who puffs up his courage to take on a giant.
6. This volume is an over-all enjoyable-escape read!


2 thoughts on “[Review] Tales From The Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee

  1. Pingback: [Review] Tales From The Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee — Impressions In Ink – Strider's Table

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