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The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien - Book Review

Write on: Sat, 06 Jun 2020 by  in Archive Read 3195

The Fall of Arthur is an epic poem recounting the end of the tale of Arthur, left unfinished, but still managing to feel complete and amazing.


"Wild rode the wind though the West country.

Banners were blowing, black was the raven

they bore as blazon. Blaring of trumpets,

neighing of horses, gnashing of armour,

in the hoar hollows of the hills echoed .

Mordred was marching; messengers speeding 

northward and eastward the news bearing

through the land of Logres. Lords and chieftains

to his side he summoned swift to hasten

their tryst keeping, true to Mordred,

faithful in falsehood, foes of Arthur,

lovers of treason and freebooters"


It is full of wonderful and evocative passages such as this, that gave me goosebumps, roused my blood and inspired hatred.


This epic poem is about one of my favourite subjects and legends of all time. I have always been obsessed and enamoured by the tales of Arthur, and this is no exception.


Tolkien's prose in this epic poem is purely exceptional. Inspiring, immersive, beautiful. Just so brilliant. I loved every page of it. Really cannot give it enough praise. The characters are instantly given an incredible depth that made me fall in love with them, despite the short time spent with them. A skill that Tokien appears to have across all of his works.


This is a tale of heroism and tragedy, not made boring by the context of former tales. Tokien adds his own spin and image to the tale, making it different, while containing all that is brilliant and wonderful within the stories.


To any lovers of Arthurian tales, which I imagine is most, I would recommend this poem. It is easy to comprehend, and is only short. Please read it!




Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2022 15:46

William is from Sussex, UK.

He has a passion for literature and enjoys reading all sorts of books. His hobbies are numerous and consist of medieval/viking reenactment, writing, karate and of course reading.