Six months on, professional reviews of Tolkien and the Study of His Sources are beginning to appear, and as promised, I’m going to be sharing them here (excerpts, at least). After an assortment of very positive ratings and short reviews that have been popping up online — for example, see Amazon and GoodReads — scholars and professional reviewers are now giving the book greater attention in the academic and popular periodicals of the Tolkien community. The first of these longer, more thorough reviews appeared in Beyond Bree, but today I’m going to share the second, published in Mythlore, mainly because you can read the whole thing online.
Veteran Tolkien scholar and teacher Mike Foster gives the book a strong endorsement, using words like “artful”, “superb”, “illuminating”, “satisfying”, and even “stellar”. He concludes: “As Fisher observes in his essay, ‘most of the low-hanging fruit has long gone’ (37–38). Scholars including Shippey, Rateliff, Douglas A. Anderson, Verlyn Flieger, John Garth, and Janet Brennan Croft may have climbed higher up the Tree of Tales to harvest, but this book proves that, like Niggle’s Tree, plenty of fruit still remains for the picking.” Indeed! Although my book is, in some ways, the first of its kind, there is no absolutely reason it should be the last. (In fact, I can just about guarantee that it won’t be.)
Mike Foster’s review offers those who have not yet read the collection a very solid summary of what it has to offer. For those who have read the collection, what do you think of the review? Agree or disagree? Anything to add? I’ll be excerpting the review in Beyond Bree by Nancy Martsch in a coming post, and I am aware of several others which should be appearing in the months ahead — Mallorn, Hither Shore, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, to name a few.