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A posthumous work by a well-loved author, particularly when released years after author’s death, is about as welcome as an unsolicited letter from the Internal Revenue Service. It could be good, but most likely is not. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s case there is history to bolster this fear, notably The Silmarillion (1977).

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Readers are warned in the forward that this is a story composed for a child, much like Kenneth Graheme’s Wind in the Willows (1908). But like The Hobbit (1938) it includes many elements that were later included in Tolkien’s most unchildlike trilogy Lord of the Rings (1954): There are wizards and magic, dragons, father-nature figures who commune with animals, humorous wordplay, and of course, a naive protagonist trying to get back home.

Included with the text are five original drawings by Tolkien, three in color, that are rather good, a nice touch to accompany this book.

Roverandom is a good children’s story and does not really claim or aspire to be more than that. If you are an adult looking for a continuation of the war for Middle Earth you will be disappointed, but if you want a simple tale told simply and with humor this will please you.

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