The Maps Of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

The Maps Of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth
The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth Book Cover The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
John Howe; Brian Sibley
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
October 2nd 2003

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.

Summary taken from GoodReads for review purposes.

Going There And Back Again

March is Tolkien Month here at Eclectic Little Dork and #MiddleEarthMarch for the rest of the bookish Tolkien-loving world. So it seemed a perfect time to review one of my favorite parts of my own Tolkien collection, The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth by Brian Sibley and John Howe.

However, this post will be different from my previous ones. If you like a more traditional post, please see my review of The Hobbit: go here for The Hobbit review.

[ Please keep in mind that this post contains affiliate links. Please read my affiliate policy for more information.]

Middle-Earth Maps Pros

  • The set comes with a sturdy and awesome-looking slipcase.
  • The maps—of which there are four, including a hard to find map of Numenor—come in their own beautifully illustrated mini slipcase.
  • Each map is also gorgeous and a very generous 28 inches by 28 inches in size.
  • I love the style of writing in Brian Sibley’s book that breaks down the history of each map.
  • Did I mention all the artwork is done, to my knowledge, by John Howe and is freaking out of this world?!
  • The Brian Sibley’s book is packed full of information and personality despite being only 80 pages.

Middle-Earth Maps Cons

  • That awesome 28-inch by 28-inch maps are hard to find a frame for that isn’t overly expensive. I’ve still yet to find one I like at a good price.
  • The maps can slide out of their slipcase if you’re clumsy when taking them out.
  • Some may not like how short the book is.
  • It is currently about $18 on Amazon and $28 on Book Depository.

Should You Buy It?

We’ve covered the pros and the cons, so let’s get down to what you’re really wondering: is this bit of Tolkien memorabilia worth buying?

I would have to say, yes, yes it is. Not only does it have the feel of Middle-Earth just looking at it, but I personally smile every time I read the book. I do wish I could find frames that I like and feel fit the aesthetic of John Howe’s wonderful artwork. But it isn’t a deal-breaker for me as a consumer. I know that something will be found during my internet browsing eventually that I will just scream perfect. And I’m more than willing to wait for that to happen.

That said, this set is not something I would recommend to those who aren’t established Tolkien fans. It’s nice to look at for those who aren’t, but The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth loses some of its magic when it is just another bit of someone’s general bookish collection.

As always, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter if you want to chat. Or you can see what I’m pinning on Pinterest.

What Is Your Favorite Bookish Thing Related To Tolkien? Do You Have A Piece Of Middle-Earth Memorabilia You Love?

Dive into the world of Tolkien with this awesome cartographic peek into Middle-Earth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *