The Fall of Arthur by J. R. R. Tolkien

The influence of the Arthurian legends are all over Middle Earth, so I was all over this book when it was finally released. And then life happened, and as big of a fan as I am of Tolkien, this one got backburnered. When I rediscovered it recently on my shelf, I made it a point of priority. I’m not sorry I did. Tolkien’s work is… well, it’s Tolkien at his scholarly best. This is more for the literary types amongst his fan base (you know who you are). It’s also unfinished; more’s the pity. And it’s short. Perhaps a third of the book is what we have of this work.

The rest is Christopher Tolkien’s notes, which is where the scholarly portion comes in. As others have said, his notes are almost unnecessary, and regrettably they don’t add a great deal in this case. But that’s not to say they don’t add some value. Get out of them what you can, but make the most of the Professor’s poem and see what might have been. That’s where the true treasure lies.

4 stars

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