Karen Wynn Fonstad's THE ATLAS OF MIDDLE-EARTH is an essential volume that will enchant all Tolkien fans. Here is the definitive guide to the geography of Middle-earth, from its founding in the Elder Days through the Third Age, including the journeys of Bilbo, Frodo, and the Fellowship of the Ring. Authentic and updated -- nearly one third of the maps are new, and the text is fully revised -- the atlas illuminates the enchanted world created in THE SILMARILLION, THE HOBBIT, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Hundreds of two-color maps and diagrams survey the journeys of the principal characters day by day -- including all the battles and key locations of the First, Second, and Third Ages. Plans and descriptions of castles, buildings, and distinctive landforms are given, along with thematic maps describing the climate, vegetation, languages, and population distribution of Middle-earth throughout its history. An extensive appendix and an index help readers correlate the maps with Tolkien's novels.
The publishing world is full of Tolkien spinoff products, some trivial and ephemeral--but some, like this thoroughly researched atlas, are genuinely classy. Karen Wynn Fonstad is a qualified geographer and cartographer who first mapped Middle-Earth in 1981 and has since added much new detail based on those endless volumes of drafts, abandoned passages, alternative versions, and laundry lists published since Tolkien's death. She fills in gaps and details in the familiar Third Age maps from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, goes back in time to map Middle-Earth's First and Second Ages, and reconstructs the route and timescale of every important journey in the stories. There are local maps of key places like the Mines of Moria, Lothlorien, Isengard, Minas Tirth, the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and the volcanic Mount Doom. War maps cover the saga's notable battles, up to the hopeless last stand at Mordor gate and the tiny later skirmish known in Shire records as the Battle of Bywater. Thematic maps show Middle-Earth's distribution of climate, geological features, vegetation, people, and (most importantly to Tolkien) languages.... It's all done tremendously seriously and would make a fine gift for enthusiastic Tolkien fans, except that they'll have bought it already. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk