December 5th, 2011


The Last Ringbearer - second edition

Last year I e-published an English translation of Dr. Kirill Yeskov's The Last Ringbearer. The work got more publicity than I expected thanks first to a story in The Guardian and then Laura Miller's sympathetic review in

I've received several helpful suggestions and notices of mistakes, so over the past year I've spent some time here and there going over the original text and the translation again. The mistakes and typos have been fixed, some clumsy turns of phrase altered (although no doubt many remain), and about 800 words I've missed have been added (nothing serious or plot-shaking). In addition, the first edition had vaguely phonetic equivalents of runes; for this one, thanks to Dan Smith's fonts, I've replaced them with Certhas Daeron runes as used in the original Russian text. Finally, I've added an appendix explaining some non-English words and the more obscure cultural references, based mostly on Dr. Yeskov's notes to his Spanish translator, and another consisting of his essay on why he undertook the project in the first place (published in translation by me and reproduced by Salon).

Eric Celeste of Tenseg put quite a bit of his time and effort into creating .epub and .mobi versions of the updated text. The runes gave him a hard time; apparently, some e-readers don't like the way Epub embeds fancy fonts and strip them out or plain refuse to recognize them. (He ended up using images.) My heartfelt thanks for his efforts. In another unexpected twist, concept artist Kevin Kobasic drew and put up a picture of the two Mordorian protagonists - not the way I imagine them, but a rather traditional look - worth checking out.

A German fan has rendered my English translation into German. Russian to German would've been better, of course, but this is what we have (see below).

And, for something completely different - Sergeant Tzerlag's Orocuen stew! (the page has died :-( )

First edition (for reference?)
German translation (PDF, 2 Mb)

Second edition:
PDF, 975 K  .Epub, 602 K  .Mobi, 727 K .epub and .mobi at Eric's site