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