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The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth

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Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien's imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover b Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien's imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover book describing in detail the importance and evolution of geography within Tolkien's epic fiction and four color maps presented with minimal folds, including two (Beleriand and Númenor) never before published in this country.


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Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien's imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover b Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien's imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover book describing in detail the importance and evolution of geography within Tolkien's epic fiction and four color maps presented with minimal folds, including two (Beleriand and Númenor) never before published in this country.

30 review for The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    A middle class, middle aged dad in khaki shorts and fanny pack lays a map out on the hood of the family station wagon. "Well kids, I thought we'd start in the Shire then head off to Rivendell. Maybe catch the stoned trolls if we have time." His finger eagerly traces the route, passing over the map's many lines showing roads and rivers. "After that we'll drive along the scenic Misty Mountains. I hear that's nice. We're not going to be able to make Mirkwood or Isengard, not if were going to have t A middle class, middle aged dad in khaki shorts and fanny pack lays a map out on the hood of the family station wagon. "Well kids, I thought we'd start in the Shire then head off to Rivendell. Maybe catch the stoned trolls if we have time." His finger eagerly traces the route, passing over the map's many lines showing roads and rivers. "After that we'll drive along the scenic Misty Mountains. I hear that's nice. We're not going to be able to make Mirkwood or Isengard, not if were going to have time to zip down to Mordor and snap off a few shots before heading home. What do you think, sounds like a nice little trip, doesn't it honey?" Wind whips the map up into his face, which draws snorts from the bored children and causes the wife to sigh and roll her eyes. The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth is a lovely fold out map of Middle Earth with a booklet containing summary details of locations. The whole package is put together like one of those map guides you might get from Lonely Planet or Fodor's right before you head off on your week-long vacation to see the major sites. The map itself is decent: However, the descriptions in the booklet are pretty lightweight, eschewing historical depth. All in all, this is probably only of interest to rabid LotR collectors, or it might make for a good companion/supplement to Tolkien's works for first-time readers in the age range of about 12 to 15, generally speaking. Otherwise, save your money.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    This is a gorgeous bit of work: a slipcase with a hardcover book of information on the making of the maps and what they depict, and a book-cover type folder which contains the four maps, folded up but completely separate (so if you wanted to frame and mount them, that’d be possible). It’s a beautiful collection, and the book itself is gorgeous too. The type-set is the same as most copies of The Hobbit I’ve seen, which I liked, and the layout too. Various illustrations — sketches and full colour This is a gorgeous bit of work: a slipcase with a hardcover book of information on the making of the maps and what they depict, and a book-cover type folder which contains the four maps, folded up but completely separate (so if you wanted to frame and mount them, that’d be possible). It’s a beautiful collection, and the book itself is gorgeous too. The type-set is the same as most copies of The Hobbit I’ve seen, which I liked, and the layout too. Various illustrations — sketches and full colour — are included, with Brian Sibley describing the events and locations on each of the four maps. It’s not hugely informative if you’re familiar with the geography and history of Middle-earth, but looking at things laid out like this can be different, and it’s a gorgeous collection, too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Review to come.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Freya

    Beautiful Maps! Someday I think I will have to frame them!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cedric

    John Howe is an artist that worked on the LOTR trilogy and drew the four beautiful full-colour poster maps that make up this collection: maps of northwestern Middle Earth, Wilderland, Beleriand and Numenor. The maps are accompanied by some brief notes by him about the process, as well some essays from Brian Sibley (fairly lightweight) about the importance of maps to Tolkien's creative process and the difficulties and challenges he had in drawing them (eventually taken over by son Christopher), a John Howe is an artist that worked on the LOTR trilogy and drew the four beautiful full-colour poster maps that make up this collection: maps of northwestern Middle Earth, Wilderland, Beleriand and Numenor. The maps are accompanied by some brief notes by him about the process, as well some essays from Brian Sibley (fairly lightweight) about the importance of maps to Tolkien's creative process and the difficulties and challenges he had in drawing them (eventually taken over by son Christopher), as well a gazetteer of all the places named on the maps. The book was a birthday present from my son and makes a gorgeous gift to a Tolkien fan.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marko Vasić

    Excellent edition with four foldable maps in hardback envelope along with a booklet which describes regions and places marked on the maps.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    I'd say 3 of the 4 maps are beautiful enough to be frame-worthy while one map (Numenor) only suffers because there isn't a lot of detail from Tolkien's original written descriptions to work with. The text volume of material gathered by Brian Sibley is illuminating and brings to life the locals on the maps. This material is for Tolkien geeks like me and those loving artistic fictional maps. I'd say 3 of the 4 maps are beautiful enough to be frame-worthy while one map (Numenor) only suffers because there isn't a lot of detail from Tolkien's original written descriptions to work with. The text volume of material gathered by Brian Sibley is illuminating and brings to life the locals on the maps. This material is for Tolkien geeks like me and those loving artistic fictional maps.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    These maps are beautiful - I think the Hobbit one, with Smaug curled around it, is my favorite. Not sure exactly how to rank this vis-a-vis "books," though. (I actually haven't read the little supplement book that comes with the maps - perhaps I shall!) These maps are beautiful - I think the Hobbit one, with Smaug curled around it, is my favorite. Not sure exactly how to rank this vis-a-vis "books," though. (I actually haven't read the little supplement book that comes with the maps - perhaps I shall!)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Evan Hays

    So part of my review for this includes the 4 amazing maps that come along with it. John Howe is one of the best Tolkien illustrators, and Brian Sibley has been one of the best at summarizing Tolkien and delivering his work in various platforms for decades now. His work creating the BBC drama version of LOTR has always been a favorite of mine. While there are some helpful insights gained from reading the History of Middle Earth series, most of the info in the book portion of this will be nothing So part of my review for this includes the 4 amazing maps that come along with it. John Howe is one of the best Tolkien illustrators, and Brian Sibley has been one of the best at summarizing Tolkien and delivering his work in various platforms for decades now. His work creating the BBC drama version of LOTR has always been a favorite of mine. While there are some helpful insights gained from reading the History of Middle Earth series, most of the info in the book portion of this will be nothing new to the serious Tolkien reader. That said, it's well organized, concise, and a unique view on the Tolkien legendarium through the lens of maps. I have always loved maps, and my love of maps is sort of a chicken and egg scenario with Tolkien's work because some of the first maps I remember loving were from The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Two quick anecdotes along those lines. In high school, during a tough time for me when my parents were splitting up, I took the 8 1/2 by 11 map of Middle Earth that came with the cassette edition of the BBC LOTR radio drama, and penciled in grid lines on it with a ruler. I used these to make a blown up map on a poster myself based on a proportional redraw. It was tons of fun. And if you know me, not mathematically or artistically inclined, you will see how significant this is for me. I spent hours and hours on it. When I got my first real full time job, as a caller doing government surveys in the summer after my senior year of high school, I had a lot of time waiting for people to pick up the phone (and sometimes berate me for bothering them). We were required to let the ring go 7 times if there was no answering machine. I got to the point where I didn't have to really think about counting anymore. I could register 7 rings in the background of my mind, and what I would do actively while waiting was draw freehand maps of Middle Earth on little scraps of paper at my desk. Tolkien has been important to me through my whole life, but probably more than any, during the hardest times in my life. And Tolkien's maps have been a huge part of that. As he wisely said, "I wisely started with a map..." If any of this resonates with you, you should buy this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Missie

    While the art work is beautiful the maps are so small you can't really explore them. While the art work is beautiful the maps are so small you can't really explore them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wise Fool

    Beautiful map for a beautifully created world!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    This is basically a collectors piece. It comes in a very thick cardboard sleeve and houses a hardcover slipcase for the 4 fold out maps by Howe. An 80 page book accompanies the maps written by Brain Sibley. Each section gives an overview of what occurred on each map, and gives a description of each map notation. This is a revised edition (or collector's edition as they call it, and also includes a map and description on Numenor. Not much new to learn from the book, but it is very well made, and This is basically a collectors piece. It comes in a very thick cardboard sleeve and houses a hardcover slipcase for the 4 fold out maps by Howe. An 80 page book accompanies the maps written by Brain Sibley. Each section gives an overview of what occurred on each map, and gives a description of each map notation. This is a revised edition (or collector's edition as they call it, and also includes a map and description on Numenor. Not much new to learn from the book, but it is very well made, and the book is string bound. I'm quite happy to have this collector's piece accompany my Tolkien collection

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    If you are a Tolkien collector, an admirer of John Howe's superb Middle Earth paintings or a lover of beautiful books, then you will love this. But be warned, if you want highly detailed maps of Middle Earth overlaid with route plans and information, then you will be disappointed. If you want detail, instead buy Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle Earth or Barbara Strachey's Journeys of Frodo. This package is beautifuly presented containing howes 4 Middle Earth maps in a hardback folder (the map If you are a Tolkien collector, an admirer of John Howe's superb Middle Earth paintings or a lover of beautiful books, then you will love this. But be warned, if you want highly detailed maps of Middle Earth overlaid with route plans and information, then you will be disappointed. If you want detail, instead buy Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle Earth or Barbara Strachey's Journeys of Frodo. This package is beautifuly presented containing howes 4 Middle Earth maps in a hardback folder (the maps are Middle Earth, Beleriand, Numenor and the Hobbit map) with an informative hardback book by Brian Sibley explaining the role of maps in Tolkien's creations and containing a gazetter of place names for each map. The whole lot is bundled into an attractive slipcase. Howes maps are not over detailed, and are bordered with representations of scenes from the books painted by Howe. However, the maps contain as much detail as the maps drawn by JRR and Christopher Tolkien. Howes purpose was not to create detailed cartography surpassing the original maps in detail and annotation, but to create artistic interpretations of the maps. In other words, view the maps as art rather than detailed guides to Middle Earth and then you will not be disappointed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Al

    I found this while browsing Half Priced Books. These maps are amazing. Tolkien's maps, drawings and descriptions bring his world to life. Being a geography nerd, I love maps political and natural. For anyone who may have a hard time with placing what and where these maps will make Middle Earth three dimensional. I found this while browsing Half Priced Books. These maps are amazing. Tolkien's maps, drawings and descriptions bring his world to life. Being a geography nerd, I love maps political and natural. For anyone who may have a hard time with placing what and where these maps will make Middle Earth three dimensional.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Talbot Hook

    Not worth the time. If you want a glossary of terms, get a book by David Day. I was hoping for the words of John Howe, and explanations and inspirations of his work, but only got about a singular page of that. Rather disappointing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dawson

    Lovely images, quite a fun read. Nothing super deep here, but fun just for the visually enticing smorgasbord.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Norbert

    beautiful maps - not too much detailed, alas - and a nice booklet giving informations about places, rivers and the like. Nice to have

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda Hoover

    Absolutely beautiful renderings of four of Tolkien's maps from his Middle Earth books!! Beautifully illustrated, with well written details about the maps. Absolutely beautiful renderings of four of Tolkien's maps from his Middle Earth books!! Beautifully illustrated, with well written details about the maps.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Iain Watson

    The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth by Brian Sibley (2003) The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth by Brian Sibley (2003)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stas

    I do like me some maps, but I wouldn't throw my money at it. I'm not THAT much of a fan. It would make for decent gift. I do like me some maps, but I wouldn't throw my money at it. I'm not THAT much of a fan. It would make for decent gift.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Keith smith

    enjoyed great maps

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Awesome ... I have poured over these maps while reading.. invaluable for the novice Tolkien reader and delightful for the Tolkien lover

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Not a book, but pull out maps. I wish they were a bit more detailed, but they're pretty sweet. Not a book, but pull out maps. I wish they were a bit more detailed, but they're pretty sweet.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nikola Pavlovic

    Radi se o Srednjoj zemlji, sta cekate :) Mozda uocite nesto sto do sada niste, makar i sasvim mali detaljcic koji ne pokriva vase trenutno znanje.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    Fun maps (Middle-Earth 1st Age, Middle-earth 3rd Age, the Hobbit and Numenor) by John Howe that I had framed and hanged on my office's walls. Fun maps (Middle-Earth 1st Age, Middle-earth 3rd Age, the Hobbit and Numenor) by John Howe that I had framed and hanged on my office's walls.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ionson

    This contains beautiful Howe-maps (but this isn't really a book, per se). This contains beautiful Howe-maps (but this isn't really a book, per se).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    So so beautiful. :D If I had more wall space I would hang all those maps there. :D

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    More beautiful than accurate, they make a great addition to a Tolkien cartography collection.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Victoria Katherine

    beautiful art and lots of interesting little facts.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debra Hennessey

    Wow. I'm always wandering Middle Earth in my head. Now I have some maps! A fun book. Wow. I'm always wandering Middle Earth in my head. Now I have some maps! A fun book.

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