“The Ring of the Darkness” (ROTD) is not what can be called “a real sequel” to “The Lord of the Rings” (LOTR). It did not share common characters; the events in ROTD are taking place 300 years after the end of The War of The Ring. The only so-called “link” within the list of major characters is Gandalf, but in his “majar” outfit, under the name of Olorin. He is not taking part in any “action” – we can hear only his voice, talking to a major character of ROTD, the Hobbit Folco Brandyback.

ROTD also possess a lot of geography which is the pure imagination of its author. It is not based on any Tolkien archives, which were completely unavailable in the Soviet Union when ROTD was written in 1985-1990. The major discrepancy is that the Waters of Awakening still exist somewhere in the East of Middle-Earth, and there are still Elves, whom are called “Avari” in “The Silmarillion” (TS). In my version they were not “lost”, as claimed in TS, but were able to survive, developing and using strong magic abilities.

Another common aspect from the JRRT universe is the conception of a so-called Third Force, or the Third Power. JRRT portrayed the world as a battlefield between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. This head-to-head confrontation is avoided in ROTD. The Third Power, which is neither good nor evil in our human eyes, is personalized as The Spirit of Knowledge, embodied as a Golden Dragon, Orlangur. The Guardian of Balance. He might be called immoral according to our human standards – and how else might it be, if he is a pure Knowledge itself?

Having said that, the plot of this epic trilogy follows.