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Anwyn’s Review of Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson

Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.

Middle-earth Envisioned by Brian J Robb and Paul Simpson.

The Short Version: Not Good, Good, Great, or Awesome? It’s great. This book is not only beautiful and bursting with Tolkien art, but it also gives a chronological, detailed overview of the state of Tolkien interpretive art to date. Lovely and informative, with only a few things that I wish could have been improved.

Cut to the Chase: Do You Want This Book for Christmas? Absolutely, you do! (more…)

Posted in Books Publications, Green Books, Merchandise

Tolkien and Magic: The Power of Individuality



…The boy nodded his understanding. “Can I ask you something?” The Jedi Master nodded. “What are midi-chlorians?” Wind whipped at Qui-Gon’s long hair, blowing strands of it across his strong face. “Midi-chlorians are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force.”…

…”Use the Force, Luke.”…

…Raistlin lifted his thin, frail hand and allowed the spell component he had taken from his pouch to fall slowly from between his fingers onto the deck of the boat. Sand, Tanis realized. “Ast tasarak sinuralan krynawi,” Raistlin murmured, and then moved his right hand slowly in an arc parallel to the shore….

…”The One Power,” Moiraine was saying, “comes from the True Source, the driving force of Creation, the force the Creator made to turn the Wheel of Time.”…

Bibbidi, bobbidi, boo.

There seem to be almost as many ways of representing magic as there are fantasy writers. Role-players know the whole system with mages, spell components, spellbooks, the language of magic, etc. Jordan fans can tell you the ins and outs of the One Power, complete with a discourse on the varying characteristics of saidar and saidin, and the innumerable levels of strength among Aes Sedai. And Star Wars geeks (a word I use with love, considering that I myself am a dyed-in-the-wool geek!) were stunned when Lucas started explaining the universe-balancing Force with microscopic middlemen, instead of with the innate power of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. What ties them in common is that they each have a system, a framework with rules and laws almost more complicated than those of physics. Mages lose their spells after one casting, and must rest and recommit the words to memory before casting again. Aes Sedai spend years in training, because abuse of the One Power can too easily lead to death… and evidently you’ve got to be well-stocked on single-celled symbionts (is that even a word? My spellchecker sure doesn’t like it) to even make a dent in the Force. Fantasy writers delight in coming up with their own, hopefully brand-new systems, to give their books that added twist, that spark that no other sword-swinging Elf-hopping kender-singing dragon-flying books have. But what about Tolkien? Where is the system? What are the rules which govern the making of Rings of Power, which delineate the powers and limits of Istari, of Maiar, of Valar? He never talks about a framework or physical laws; we only see the results of the power’s use. Where does the power come from?


Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Sean Astin, Tolkien

April Showers Bring May Green Books!

With the wonderful help of a new Green Books assistant webmaster, WeeTanya, Green Books is off and running with a boatload of new May material!

Check out 15 new Q&A articles, including:

May brings many wonderful brand new fan-written Moon Letters!

Turgon, Ostadan, Quickbeam, and Anwyn each have a new column this month. Anwyn’s Counterpoint takes a mild biographical look at Tolkien’s views on war, while Quickbeam’s Out on a Limb takes a more humanistic view of the same subject, exploring how he has learned from great writers like Tolkien how to deal with the oppressive cloud of war; Turgon’s Bookshelf details a huge stash of forthcoming Tolkien books for 2003; and Ostadan’s Lore and Letters deals with a problem of translation very dear to the hearts of Jackson fans!

We want to spotlight some Tributes and a Special Guest article!

Last but most certainly not least, it is the triumphant return of Tookish’s Ticklers! The Ticklers are loaded with humor submitted by you, TORn’s readers!

Look for a new Green Books update in June, and don’t forget to check out TORn’s very own book, The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien, available now in bookstores and at!

Posted in Old Main News

Fight the Winter Blahs with Green Books!

Winter storms and being snowed in got you down? Brighten up with some brand new goodies from Green Books. This week we’re featuring Turgon’s two new terrific Bookshelf columns. Turgon takes a look at recent Tolkien titles in new Bookshelf #1 and a guide for reading Tolkien beyond The Lord of the Rings in new Bookshelf #2! Turgon’s insight into the book world is always worth a read–check him out! Don’t forget to browse around the rest of Green Books. The perennially popular Q&A has enough material to satisfy hours of Tolkien curiosity. Whether you brave the weather to be outdoors or curl up by the fire, we hope you enjoy the latest edition of Green Books! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Happy Thanksgiving from Green Books!

While you’re enjoying that leftover turkey and pumpkin pie this weekend, feast your Tolkien senses on the Green Books update, including:

• Fourteen new Q&A, with topics such as:
Any scientific progress in M.E.?
Did the earliest Elves meet again?
How did Dior choose his fate?
• Quickbeam goes Out on a Limb to summon the ghost of J.R.R. Tolkien — just to ask one special burning question!
• Anwyn takes her Counterpoint to a whole new level of confrontation when she squares off with an old friend who despises Tolkien’s writing style!
Moon Letters has nine terrific items of fan writing!

The countdown is on. In December, like everybody else in the Tolkien world, the Green Books staffers will bring you their reviews of TTT, but for now enjoy our Turkey Day offering of questions, answers and fun.

— Anwyn

Posted in Old Main News

Happy Halloween from Green Books!

Greetings — Anwyn here.
Green Books brings you a spooky bag of treats (or tricks!) for the end of October!

• Quickbeam goes Out on a Limb and practically down on his knees begging Peter Jackson not to make him wait any longer for The Two Towers!
• Anwyn’s Counterpoint reviews a new book, Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth, and interviews its author, Dr. Brad Birzer. The book is a terrific exploration of how Tolkien’s Catholicism affected the writing of The Lord of the Rings, and Dr. Birzer has some pithy comments on Tolkien’s world view.
• Turgon shows us two new gems on his Bookshelf, including Bilbo’s Last Song and the 2003 Ted Nasmith Tolkien Calendar.
• Turgon also brings us a Special Guest item featuring a Q&A with noted Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger, author of Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World.
Moon Letters offers many new and splendid items of fan poetry and creative writing.
Questions & Answers will return with all-new items in November. Meanwhile, enjoy our extensive archives and check into our Most Frequently Asked Questions!

As always, it is an honor for the Green Books staff to present our work to you. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

Posted in Old Main News