My rating: 4 of 5 stars to The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien‘s first novel in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, later made into a billion dollar movie franchise. I count myself lucky to have been able to read this book before it became a movie, though I loved the movie, too.
Why This Book
I was 13 years old when I stumbled upon this book while a friend was reading it. He was a major video gamer, fantasy sports leaguer and avid reader of science fiction. Though we were good friends, I had different hobbies. He was about a third of the way into the book, talking about Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf… and I think my response was something like… “but what about the lions, bears and tigers… oh my!” He knocked me off his bed and laughed at me, which made me curious about the book. He lent it to me once he finished it, and I ran through the trilogy quicker than a trip to Mordor.
Overview of Story
It would take an entire chapter to summarize the book, so I’ll try to keep it simple. It takes place in Middle Earth, a huge land full of different types of people: Men, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Wizards, Orcs and a whole lot more. As you’d expect, lots of re-alignment between groups over the centuries occurs during epic battles between the good and the evil. A long time ago, a ring was forged, unbreakable, except to be destroyed in Mordor. People have hunted the ring for years, to use its power, but it was rarely ever found. Bilbo Baggins, an elderly hobbit, comes across it one day. And its dark forces take over his mind, willing him to run away with it. But Gandalf the Wizard convinces him to give it up, and the ring falls to Bilbo’s young cousin, Frodo, to throw into the fire hell of Mordor. He cannot escape the journey, but along the path, he is protected by Gandalf and many other friends. He has epic battles and at the end of this book, he’s come upon one of his first major stops to seek protection, but is forced to flee with new best friend, Sam, for Mordor. And it’s to be continued…
Approach & Style
It’s a fantasy story, so the language is thrilling and beautiful, dynamic and ethereal. Tolkien’s created a world where anything can happen, and one where readers have little history to know what’s real and not real.
The book follows Frodo on his path as the primary character, and you see much through his eyes. It is in third person omniscient, meaning you do see most everyone’s thoughts.
The creativity. The imagination. The fortitude. The lessons. The moral code. The honor among friends. The fear of a foe. The power of a wizard. Struggles to survive. The book has it all, even a little romance. And death. 😦
One of the original masterpieces in this genre, it set the bar for everything to come. It was published mid-20th century, when books simply didn’t exist in trilogies. There were a few, and some were decently written, but this is the beginning of a cult phenomenon. As much as I love Harry Potter, and I imagine I will love Game of Thrones, they were not the first. But Middle Earth is an epic journey across a vast time period and a vast land. Written more for an older young adult crowd, it has fans everywhere from ten to a hundred.
Open Questions & Concerns
It’s a lot to taken in and will completely absorb its readers… when’s the right age to ensure its ideals are properly understood. Why is it acceptable to kill someone in protection of the ring? How do you handle fear on a journey you must go on? Should it be used in schools? There are so many lessons, ideas and themes to ingest. Is it a pleasure read or something to teach? I see both sides.
Should I re-read it? YES!
You cannot help but be immersed in this story. If you’re not a fan of fantasy, this is NOT the book to start with. There are probably 100 characters to keep track of, each with a unique set of powers or goals. If you are going to take it on, you need to invest in the entire world… up next at some point will be The Hobbit, as it’s another clever place to lose oneself in.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.