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Learn more about the Second Age of Middle-earth with new Tolkien book The Fall of Númenor

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You may have heard a bit about the Second Age of Middle-earth recently. The good news is, you're about to learn even more, thanks to a new J.R.R. Tolkien book.

Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are both set in the Third Age of Middle-earth, while The Silmarillion covers the creation of that world and the subsequent First Age. Smack-dab in the middle of those is the Second Age, a period mostly covered in Tolkien's various indexes and world-building writings. The Second Age (which entails such events as the forging of the great rings and Sauron's rise to power in Middle-earth) is the setting for Amazon's upcoming series  The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. If you're looking to read up on Tolkien's own conception of that period, fear not: This fall, HarperCollins will publish a new collection titled The Fall of Númenor.

Edited by Brian Sibley with illustrations by artist Alan Lee, The Fall of Númenor will bring together for the first time in one volume the events of the Second Age as written by Tolkien and edited over the years by his son, Christopher Tolkien.

The Fall of Númenor
The Fall of Númenor

HarperCollins New J.R.R. Tolkien collection 'The Fall of Númenor' will detail the history of Middle-earth's Second Age.

"It is a pleasure to be able to explore the Second Age in more detail, and learn more about those shadowy and ancient events, alliances and disasters that eventually led to the Third Age stories we are more familiar with," Lee said in a statement. "Wherever I had the opportunity when working on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I tried to imbue pictures and designs with an appropriate antiquity, an overlayering of history and of echoes of those older stories, and The Fall of Númenor has proved a perfect opportunity to dig a little deeper into the rich history of Middle-earth."

Lee has illustrated many past Tolkien books, like The Fall of Gondolin, and even won an Academy Award for his contributions to the art direction of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films. Below, check out an exclusive preview of some of his illustrations in the book, featuring various scenes from the history of Númenor.

The Fall of Númenor
The Fall of Númenor

HarperCollins The city of Armenelos, illustrated by Alan Lee for J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Fall of Númenor.'

The Fall of Númenor
The Fall of Númenor

HarperCollins Narvi the Dwarf, illustrated by Alan Lee for J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Fall of Númenor.'

The Fall of Númenor
The Fall of Númenor

HarperCollins Sauron surrenders to the Númenoreans, illustrated by Alan Lee for J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Fall of Númenor.'

Númenor, an island kingdom of noble men just off the western shore of Middle-earth, is profoundly important in Tolkien's mythology. It's where the ancestors of Lord of the Rings hero Aragorn hail from, and its corruption by Sauron is one of the great tragedies of the Second Age. It will also feature prominently in The Rings of Power series.

The Fall of Númenor is on sale Nov. 15.

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