The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide: Hunt Hobbits, Hoard Treasure, and Embrace Your Villainous Nature (24.09.13 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Once in a while you see the publication of a book with a title that is so well chosen that you just have to pick it up. In this case I'd love to talk a little about The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide written by The Mordor Collective and carrying the subtitle Hunts Hobbits, Hoard Treasure and Embrace Your Villainous Nature. Now that is a cocktail that promises a whole lot of fun!

The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide offers tongue-in-cheek life lessons inspired by the evil things that lurk in Middle-earth.

Just in time for the second installment of the Hobbit film trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, this book gives readers insights into the minds and lives of the dragons, trolls, and orcs of Tolkien lore through essays, interviews, and diary entries.

The introduction starts off very good, "Where to begin ...? It was all Morgoth's fault. That's the place to start. I'm not saying our side didn't make some bad decisions - the One Ring may have been one of them, as I think back on it now - but mainly it was Morgoth's doing", and then tells the whole history of Middle-earth as seen from the 'other' (or evil) side: Hobbits, portrayed as the drug lord of the Shire, the story of dwarves and Smaug who ends killing himself over Laketown, The Elves who in a thousand years only come up with lembas and Orcs that accomplish some balance in Middle-earth. The whole book is written in the first person and so we follow the story and get to interview dragons, encounter trolls and see the whole history unfold.

The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide: Hunt Hobbits, Hoard Treasure, and Embrace Your Villainous Nature

It's Good to be Bad

"You're not evil. You're just... misunderstood", we read on the back cover. In The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide, orcs, goblins, trolls, dark wizards - and one especially articulate dragon - serve as the perfect role models for aspiring evil-doers. "Coveting that corner office? Crush the current occupant with your bloodthirsty uruk-hai army? Contemplating revenge on a past love? Blast him with a ball of fire? Want that kid's cookie?", this book brings all the answers.

You will find advice on attacking and cooking hobbits, elves, dwarves and pesky white wizards. Read all the philosophies of evil told by several creatures that inhabit Middle-earth: balrogs, orcs, spiders and even squirrels (yes, squirrels). You even get fashion advice and tips on spying, being sneaky and cooking tips. And above all will be laughing from begin to the end of the book.

The Unofficial Middle-earth Monster's Guide is the only compendium of evil you'll ever need to conquer all of life's challenges - and the world!


1. Dinner With a Dragon: An Interview About the True Nature of Wealth
2. The Art of Sneakiness
3. Habits for Highly Effective Dark Wizards
4. It's a Troll's Life: Lessons in Self-Preservation
    From the Habits and Behaviors of Trolls
5. Orcs and the Art of Warmongering
    Classic Philosophy of Warfare as Retold by the uruk-hai
6. Urkl's Guide to What the Well-Dressed Villain is Wearing These Days
7. The Sackville-Baggins' Guide to Good Manners
8. The Warg Whisperer: The Art of Training and Riding Giant Wolves of Middle-earth
9. Notes on Spying From the Crebain

About the Authors

Peter Archer is currently an editor for Adams Media, but for many years was an editor for Wizards of the Coast, as well as the author of a half dozen fantasy novels of his own (written under his own name as well as several pen names).

Jeff Gerke is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, an independent publisher. He is the author of the YA novel By Darkness Hid, co-written with Jill Williamson, and several Writer's Digest titles.

Scott Francis is an editor for Writer's Digest Books. He is the author of "Monster Spotter's Guide to North America", and co-author of "The Writer's Book of Matches".

Title: The Riddles of The Hobbit

Writer's Digest Books
Authors: The Mordor Collective [Peter Archer, Jeff Gerke and Scott Francis]

Publication Date: 30 Nov 2013

paperback, 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1599637847
ISBN-13: 978-1599637846

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