Middle Earth Challenge: Nearing the End

This is the last book I will be sharing/writing before the Return of the King. I has been an interesting journey for sure. Rather educational as well, definitely learned a lot more about the Middle Earth and the characters within. So while reading and writing the ending to this adventure on the way to Return of the King. I happened to find another book expanding on the Middle Earth and it’s history. An Encyclopedia of Tolkien by David Day, who also wrote The Dark Powers of Tolkien. I have to say I was rather surprised by this lovely novel of information!

A comprehensive, illustrated guide to the history, lands, and inhabitants of Middle-earth.
The fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth contains a rich assortment of people, cities, and creatures—as well as a deep, intertwined history that spans thousands of years. In this beautifully illustrated, leather-bound volume, best-selling author and Tolkien scholar David Day presents four decades of research and writing on the lands and inhabitants Middle-earth. Sections of this A-to-Z dictionary are devoted to discussion of the battles, history, beasts, and heroes of Tolkien’s stories, and are accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. This comprehensive volume on Tolkien’s world also includes an appendix of three primary legends that served as sources for Tolkien’s creations—the Volsunga saga, the Nibelungenlied, and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle—and more than 200 black-and-white illustrations.

While reading this encyclopedia, it reminded me of why I started this adventure/challenge. The art work is fantastic and beyond easy to navigate through it pages. The information is beyond detailed and I wish I had found this before I had started this quest. BUT in some small way I am happy I didn’t, having to dig through the Mirkwood that is the internet to find these stories/characters was half the fun. With this book it has helped me figure out how to end this challenge the right way. Not just stop..

This novel by David Day is a must for any Middle Earth fan. I do find most of David Day books to be a hit or a miss. He has a number of them based around Tolkien’s work and then some. So if you get the chance I would definitely check him if you can, most of his stuff can be found at Costco for super cheap or a local book store.

In an odd way I can’t help to feel a little bit of sadness, now that I am nearing the end of the challenge. Unlike the other ones I have done in the past, this one was more personal for me. It’s hard to explain really… I’ve always enjoy the Lord of the Rings, I figured while I am stuck at home do to Covid. Why not start a challenge centered around the Middle Earth! I just didn’t expect to feel this attachment to this fictitious world and characters. ANYWHO!! Hope you guys have enjoyed this adventure as much as I have.

Middle Earth Challenge: The Dark Powers of Tolkien

Middle Earth Challenge

The Dark Powers of TolkienJ.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion are some of the greatest tales of good versus evil ever told. From the creation of Arda to the War of the Ring, Tolkien’s Middle-earth has seen war and rebellion, devastation and loss, in which the powers of darkness emerged.

Here in his latest book, best-selling author and Tolkien expert David Day explores Tolkien’s portrayal of evil, and the sources that inspired his work: from myth, literature and history.


I found this book at a local Costco for $10.00. I wasn’t expecting groundbreaking, but it did look cool and filled with useful information into the Middle Earth. Most the darker side of Middle Earth that is. This is Book 5 in a series, here are the other ones if you are interested.

  • The Heroes of Tolkien
  • An Atlas of Tolkien
  • The Battles of Tolkien
  • The Hobbits of Tolkien

First and foremost, the art work is amazing and the maps/timeline are well planned out. That’s where it kinda ends really.. Where it does history of the characters, it’s rather basic. It spends more time focusing on the parallels between Christian icons and Middle Earth icons. As well the Norse and Geek mythology themes/icons. Which is well and good, but it comes off as Sunday school lesson and I found myself loosing interest after awhile.


I think it was my fault in the end really. I was hoping that there was more history and insight of Middle Earth and it’s people/monsters. But like I said before the art work is amazing and the timelines that are laid out are great. In the end I am happy I got it and it fits in with my collection of Tolkien books. I just had higher hopes for it.