|I woke up this morning and as usual checked my emails, finding a press-release about a book called Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien by Steve Hillard, said to describe undiscovered manuscripts by Lord of the Rings author. Enough to trigger my attention. It was very obvious there where no real undiscvovered manuscripts and that this book is actually a fantasy novel that uses JRR Tolkien as a character. Don't know what to think about it really, but have requested a review copy.
It seems to become a bit of a fashion to use JRR Tolkien as a charachter in novels these days. I very much liked Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel by David C. Downing. Probably because he really managed to make the inklings come alive. So far I have not read the books by James A. Owen, fantasy novels where Tolkien, Williams and Lewis are protagonists. Probably because most fantasy novels don't touch me at all. So I'm wondering if this new book is something for me, since it re-invents J.R.R. Tolkien as a man haunted by the very myths he rewove into his famous works.
The story tells the invented tale of Professor Tolkien making a little-known visit to America and setting in motion elvish powers embodied in a cache of archaic documents.
I have read a sample chapter and immediatly noticed that the book talks about "Middle Earth", something that always gives me the shivers, any serious Tolkien fan would not make that mistake! Secondly the few lines Tolkien is speaking in the book it does not feel anything like Tolkien at all, so I have big doubts about this book. But the cover looks great! And once I have read the review copy, if I get any, you will receive my opinion.
Press Release about the book
Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien by Steve Hillard tells of Tolkien hiding secret documents that the forces of evil will do anything to obtain, and the young orphan girl, Cadence, who discovers them. In the opening pages of Hillard's novel, world-renowned author and linguist Tolkien lands in New York City on a mysterious errand. He carries with him a collection of ancient documents, many in an unknown language that hint of a heroine, a halfling named Ara, who lived in the same ancient landscape that inspired Tolkien's Middle-earth.
Fearing that possession of the documents will lead to great harm, Tolkien entrusts them to a simple scissor sharpener named Jesse Grande. Almost four decades later, Grande has disappeared and the documents have been found by Grande's orphaned granddaughter, Cadence. As dark forces from the realm of fantasy hunt down the documents and their guardian, Cadence must protect the story of Ara.
"Tolkien fervently hoped, indeed believed, that there was no divide between belief and reality," says Hillard. "My novel asks the question, 'What if he experienced this borderland first hand?'" Blending historical fact with fantasy, Hillard interweaves Tolkien's philosophy, his role as a World War II spy and imagined conversations between the great author and his friend, C.S. Lewis. Hillard was inspired to write the novel by his experience reading the Lord of the Rings series to his daughters, who enjoyed the books but asked, "Where are the heroines?".
About the Author
After graduating from Colorado State University, Steve Hillard earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepeneur, Hillard was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter, and a practicing lawyer. He is the founder and head of a private equity fund involved in the entertainment and telecom industries. Steve resides with his wife, Rosita, in Austin.
About Booksurge Publishing
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|Title: Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien
Author: Steve Hillard
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
January 18, 2010
Type: paperback, 460 pages
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