The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien
Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
– The Doom of Mandos
I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and I will go on the record to say I liked it better than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There I said it! Though it would not be as great without having read The Lord of the Rings I think so it all balances out. I thought this would be way dryer and harder to read and remember all the names but that was not the case at all.
The Ainulindalë and the Valaquenta at the start of the book and the creation story of Arda was beautifully written, as were the descriptions of all the Valar and the music of the Ainur.
The main part of the book, the Quenta Silmarillion, is essentially a tale of the elves in Beleriand, and how one by one their kingdoms are utterly destroyed by Melkor or their kin. In this book, we learn that many of the Elves were complete dicks and probably deserved what they got. It is basically a big tragedy story, full of epic deeds and absolutely metal moments. So many parts of this book stuck in my head for days, and I actually was blindsided or dismayed from a few of the events in the book.
The tale of Beren and Lúthien was one of the most epic stories I’ve ever read. They go with Finrod to the Isle of Werewolves and Finrod kills a werewolf barehanded, then they have a very good boy dog called Huan that fights and defeats Draugluin the sire of werewolves and Sauron in werewolf form. Then they go and fight Carcharoth at the gates of Angband and get in and steal a Silmaril off of Morgoth’s own crown. That story was a rollercoaster, and stuck in my mind for a long time.
Finally, the Akallabêth tells of the fall of Númenor and how naughty Sauron turned practically the whole island into a cult of Melkor which did not end well for anyone involved.
I would highly recommend any Lord of the Rings fans read this!