Travel Reads: “The Battles of Tolkien” by David Day

Lushly illustrated, The Battles of Tolkien features an overview of epic clashes between good and evil that fill The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. The Flexibound version of this book also features a faux leather cover.

Carma Spence, The Genre Traveler, holding a copy of The Battles of Tolkien by David Day


Title: The Battles of Tolkien
By Author: David Day
Series: Also in this series: An Atlas of Tolkien, Heroes of Tolkien and A Dictionary of Tolkien
Flexibound: 256 pages
Publisher: Thunder Bay Press
ISBN-10: 1626868530
ISBN-13: 978-1626868533
Available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and Flexibound editions. You can find it at other online and offline booksellers, as well.

Summary of The Battles of Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien’s books of Middle Earth (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion) all feature epic battles between the forces of good and the forces of evil. David Day’s The Battles of Tolkien recounts the battles, sets them in context of myth, legend and history that may have inspired Tolkien in writing them. The book is well illustrated with maps of the battles and artist’s interpretations of characters and scenes from the books.

What Worked for Me

I love the Flexibound’s faux leather feel. Not only is it a pleasure to hold, but fits well the topic of the book. The full-color illustrations add interest to the information presented. I also enjoyed learning about the myths, legends and historical events that were similar to the epic battles of Tolkien’s world. The timelines presented were clear and well researched.

What Didn’t Work for Me

You have to be a die-hard Tolkien fan to truly enjoy this book. It assumes that the reader is familiar with the battles and provides little explanatory text, but dives right into Tolkien’s inspirations. I also found the maps of the battles hard to follow, particularly for this reason.

What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition

I would love to see the text of this book fleshed out a bit more for the less detailed fans of Tolkien’s work. I think giving the battle context within the novels would help make the rest of the text more accessible.


If you are a well-versed, die-hard fan of Tolkien’s Middle Earth tales, this book would make an excellent addition to your collection, especially if you are fond of the battle scenes. Less involved fans might find themselves lost in this work but might enjoy the illustrations anyway.

Score for The Battles of Tolkien: 3 Palm Trees out of 5 Possible

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Grab your copy on Amazon today.

NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books I’ve received for free and you’ll know I don’t hold my punches.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.