Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy can read Bilbo's farewell to Middle-earth in this beautifully illustrated book that's as heart-touching as it is magical.
In 32 pages with paintings by Pauline Baynes -- one of Tolkien's favorite artists -- Bilbo's song closes one epic chapter while opening up the journey to the Undying Lands: "Day is ended,/Dim my eyes,/but journey long/before me lies." Making way for the ship bound westward, Bilbo assembles a group of Elves of the High Kindred to accompany him on the trip, meets Gandolf and Círdan the Shipwright for the voyage, and bids adieu to Middle-earth friends, including Merry and Pippin. After the crew has boarded, the mighty ship finally sails westward, leaving Bilbo to sing homage to his exciting past: "Farewell to/Middle-earth at last,/I see the Star/above your mast!" As a perfect accompaniment to the text, Baynes's large, glorious illustrations on right-hand pages portray Bilbo's departure, while smaller paintings underneath the text (on the left) show scenes from The Hobbit. Also included in the back are essential Notes on the Pictures, which tell where the ideas for the pictures originated, what each illustration shows, and references to Tolkien's works (book and page number).
A small book that yields large closure for Rings enthusiasts, Bilbo's Last Song combines Tolkien's powerful words and Baynes's exquisite paintings into a brilliant package, creating a fantastical framework for Bilbo's journey. A handsome work that will complete any Tolkien collection. Matt Warner