In addition to dreaming up Middle-earth and its rich history, J.R.R. Tolkien was also an accomplished artist. He painted and drew many illustrations of the locations and events depicted in his literary creations. Like the recent illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings, a new hardcover version of The Silmarillion featuring Tolkien’s artwork is coming November 8. The book retails for $65, but Amazon has it on sale for $39 right now.

Preorder The Silmarillion Illustrated Edition

This hardcover book is 432 pages long and includes the complete text of The Silmarillion, with full-color prints of Tolkien's illustrations throughout. It also includes two removable fold-out maps. You can find sample pages and get a glimpse of the maps in the image gallery below.

The Silmarillion isn’t a novel, or a standard narrative like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. It’s a collection of myths, histories, and lore that fills out the world in which those stories are set. It describes the creation of the world, the history of the First Age, and includes some of the more long-lived characters from LotR and The Hobbit, like Elrond and Galadriel.

The book wasn’t published during Tolkien’s lifetime. The author's son Christopher Tolkien went through his father’s files of writings and selected the pieces that appear in the book. He also edited them and reportedly made some changes and additions in order to clear up inconsistencies and areas of confusion.

This new illustrated edition includes a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, as well as numerous paintings and drawings of the world The Silmarillion describes.

The Lord of the Rings: Special Editions

On a similar note, a special edition of The Lord of the Rings Illustrated Edition has just been published in the US. It includes the full text of The Lord of the Rings, plus full-color illustrations and fold-out maps.

And if you don’t want to drop that kind of cash on a book, you can pick up the standard edition at considerably less cost.

Finally, a new collection of Tolkien's writings on the Second Age is coming November 15 called The Fall of Numenor.

Chris Reed is a deals expert and commerce editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.

Source: The Silmarillion Illustrated Edition Is Up for Preorder