The Fellowship of the Ring Review

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Title: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Series: The Lord of the Rings

Pages: 398

Summary: One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Belle Rating: B+

Bookworm Rating: B+

Target Audience: Adult/Young Adult

*Minor Spoilers Below*

Story Notes:

L – The Fellowship of the Ring begins with Bilbo Baggins’ 111th birthday party. Bilbo has decided to return to adventuring and leave his house and possessions to his nephew Frodo Baggins. This includes a rather peculiar ring that Bilbo doesn’t seem to want to part with.

D – Gandalf, a rather interesting wizard, has to help convince Bilbo to leave the ring behind. In fact, it seems crucial that Bilbo leaves the ring, though he does not fully understand why…at first.

L – It turns out that it is in fact the ring of an evil entity named Sauron. Gandalf tells Frodo that the ring must be removed from the Shire (the home of the hobbits). And so (after some plot stuff) Frodo, three other hobbits, and a ranger named Aragorn take the ring to Rivendell.

D – All the while being chased by black riders. They are terrible servants of the Dark Lord, Sauron, and are after the ring. Once they make it to Rivendell, a council is formed to discuss this powerful ring. A fellowship is then formed consisting of Frodo, his hobbit companions, a dwarf named Gimli, an elf named Legolas, Aragorn, and Boramir, a man from the south.

L – The book is pretty long and there are a lot of details, but the rest of the book covers the journey of the Fellowship of the Ring. They are supposed to go into Mordor and destroy the ring in the fiery Cracks of Doom (a volcano) where the ring was forged. They end up trying to travel through a mountain pass, and ancient, abandoned dwarven city, the forest of the Glandrum elves, and eventually down a river. They are attacked by various things along the way that are trying to get the ring for themselves or Sauron.

Writing Style:

L – Tolkien is an excellent author. He has good story structure and he obviously planned out his stories in great detail.

D – Yes. This man is the father of all epic, fantasy stories. I mean, there have been many authors who acknowledge his amazing work that sparked/contributed to their books. You can also see how passionate Tolkien was when developing his world. He wrote out every possible detail you could think of in these books.

L – For some readers this can bog the story down a bit. Everything that happens in the book is interesting and exciting but it is explained in great detail.

D – And every character has some role in the story. Even if it is not well known or well explained. The man has mountains of notes for these books…seriously he’s a genius…a long winded genius…

L – This can be either a strength or weakness from book to book. The final book of the series, The Return of the King, is an excellent book with good pacing because of all the details he worked into the other books. But the second book, The Two Towers, drags for the first part of the story because of everything he’s trying to tell the reader. It’s a bit of give and take.

Weaknesses:

D – I have mixed feelings about Tolkien’s details. I enjoyed them and I think that they were necessary for building the story that he is telling. But for a tired mom, these details tended to put me to sleep…ahhhh the book really is good I swear!! My already gooey brain was struggling to keep up with the awesomeness!!

L – It really is the details that tend to make or break Tolkien’s books for people. I personally really enjoy his writing style but I can see where people might get hung up and stop reading. It’s just an adjustment, kinda like getting into Shakespeare or Dumas.

Strengths:

D – As I have said before, Tolkien has inspired many authors over the years. And it is nice to read a book that it is clear that the author was super passionate about it. It just makes you feel good when you read it.

L – Like Denise said you really can tell that Tolkien was passionate about this story. And it shows! The plot is good, the characters are good, the tension is good, and everything that happens is believable in this world he created. He doesn’t suddenly drop something into the story specifically to solve a problem. Everything is well-thought out and relevant.

Final Thoughts:

L – I personally really enjoy this series. And while The Return of the King is my favorite, The Fellowship of the Ring is a great start to the series and you should give it a try.

D – So long as you have the time and your mind isn’t goo 🙂

 

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