'Holy grail' of J.R.R. Tolkien books to be published in August

"The Fall of Gondolin," J.R.R. Tolkien's first Middle Earth novel, is set to be released this August. (Harper Collins)

J.R.R. Tolkien's first Middle Earth story, "The Fall of Gondolin," is to be published 45 years after the author's death.

The writer started work on the book, which charts the story of a conquered elven city, in 1917 before returning to Middle Earth for "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings."

"The Fall of Gondolin," considered "the Holy Grail of Tolkien texts" by many fans, is the second "new" work to be edited and released by Tolkien's son Christopher in two years - the 93-year-old also released "Beren and Luthien" in 2017.

The novel, set to arrive in bookshops in August, is illustrated by Alan Lee, whose work on books "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" provided the inspiration for director Peter Jackson's film adaptations.

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