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386 pages, Hardcover
First published September 15, 1977
“All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.”
Sauron was become now a sorceror of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.Ah, Sauron, Maia of Aulë—beyond doubt the singularly most enthralling antagonist whom I encountered as a young reader, possessing all of the malevolence and dark charisma and naked power of Satan, but unhobbled by the multi-aspectual morphology of Christian theology and popular culture that far too often rendered the Devil a ridiculous figure: a wild-eyed and beastly fornication ringmaster cavorting with naked acolytes; a scarlet-skinned, pitchfork-wielding fashion model for forked-tails and forehead horns; or slyly smiling traveling salesman, pitching his gimcrack wares backed by loosely-enforced contracts claiming lien upon some drink-tossed wastrel's dubiously-valuable soul. But Sauron—the dude fell, the dude schemed, the dude was scary, whether donning the raiments of a beautiful, translucent ring-wise man or an unbearably, searingly abhorrent humanoid vessel of the void.