Never before published in a single volume, Tolkien’s four novellas (Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, Smith of Wootton Major, and Roverandom) and one book of poems (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil) are gathered together for the first time. This new, definitive collection of works — which had appeared separately, in various formats, between 1949 and 1998 — comes with an illuminating introduction from esteemed author and Tolkien expert Tom Shippey as well as Tolkein’s most celebrated essay, “On Fairy-stories,” which astutely addresses the relationship between fairy tales and fantasy.
The book is the perfect opportunity for fans of Middle-earth to enjoy some of Tolkien’s often overlooked yet most creative storytelling. With dragons and sand sorcerers, sea monsters and hobbits, knights and dwarves, this collection contains all the classic elements for Tolkien buffs of all ages.
The whimsical Tales from the Perilous Realm will definitely appeal to younger audiences and fans of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Each of the five stories is delightful, and hearkens back to the old fairy stories like Jack in the Bean Stalk, though perhaps without the more macab elements of those old stories. Each one takes us on an adventure, much like Gandalf did to Bilbo, and invokes a sense of child-like wonder, which is something I always admired about Tolkien’s work.
Though much of Tolkien’s literature can get pretty dark, that is not the case with these stories. They are perfect for reading to children, and would easily appeal to the adults reading them as well.