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The Lord of The Rings Book Review

Today I am going to write The Lord of The Rings book review, one of my favorite books, as I have promised before in my another article “The Hobbit Book Review”. It contains the review on J.R.R Tolkien’s one of the finest literature in the high fantasy genre. Tolkien recreates in this work a fantasy world of his own that will lay the foundations for the fantastic literature that will be written from then on and that will greatly influence popular culture.

Everyone has heard of this work by Tolkien, either because they have directly read his novels, or because of the film versions of Peter Jackson or because of the continuous references that are made to it in one way or another in the media. Many of his characters have become true icons in our society.

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1. J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set

2. The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set

3. The Fellowship of the Ring

4. The Two Towers

5. The Return of the King

About The Author

J. R. R. Tolkien was a British author, philologist, poet and university professor of language and literature, who was born in Bloemfontein (South Africa), in 1892. He was a great high fantasy story writer although he had a number of notable works on mythopoeia, translation, and literary criticism. He is considered the forerunner of modern fantasy literature, due to the influence that his works have had and still have today.

Showing The Hobbit Book author, J. R. R. Tolkien in different ages.
Photo: J. R. R. Tolkien, Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

His work is influenced by Norse myths and legends, such as “The Ring of the Nibelung”, “Beowulf” and other medieval narratives. Though many authors had written fantasy before Tolkien, the huge success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings became a masterpiece that led to a popular resurgence of the fantasy genre. Obviously, these added the golden feathers to Tolkien’s creations and made him the father of modern fantasy or in other words high fantasy.

The Lord Of The Rings Book Review

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Genre: High fantasy, Adventure

Language:‎ English

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Publication Year: 1954 – 1955

Preceded by: The Hobbit

Followed by: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Originally conceived as a continuation of The Hobbit book, it eventually became a standalone story in its own right of much greater scope and length. In 1999 the Lord of the Rings trilogy was chosen as the “Book of the Millennium” by the participants of an Amazon.com poll.

“The Lord of the Rings” is JRR Tolkien’s best known work. It is a trilogy whose parts are “The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King”. We could even say that “The Hobbit” is a kind of introduction, although it can very much stand alone thus we can consider it independent.

The Fellowship of the Ring Book Review

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Genre: High fantasy, Adventure

Language:‎ English

Publisher: Mariner Books

Publication Year: March 3, 1988 (Reissue edition)

Hardcover:‎ 432 pages

Dimensions: ‎5.63 x 1.38 x 8.75 inches

The “Fellowship of the Ring” is the first book of the trilogy and is the one that prepares the great adventure that takes place in the other two volumes. It begins with a prelude where Tolkien tells us who the hobbits are, both their physical description and their character, their ways of life and customs, describes the Shire and then focuses on telling us the especially adventurous character of the Baggins family and briefly quotes how Bilbo Baggins found a strange ring in the Misty Mountains, alluding to the story told in “The Hobbit”, in a way that masterfully links the two works.

The Fellowship of the Ring Book Summary

After the prologue, the story begins, yes, placing us in La Comarca, in the days when Bilbo Bolsón was preparing to celebrate his 110th birthday. Despite his age, Bilbo seemed younger, something that caught the attention of many. His friend the wizard Gandalf shows up at his house and also notices how Bilbo has not aged since the last time they saw each other. Bilbo is tired and wants to spend the rest of his days with the elves of Rivendell, but he prefers to leave without sad goodbyes, but doing a magic number on his birthday.

Before leaving, Gandalf is stunned how Bilbo cannot detach himself from the ring he found in the Misty Mountains and insists that he leave it at home. Bilbo disappears on his birthday, just as planned and Gandalf, concerned by rumors of orcs and an evil growing in the east, He investigates old books and discovers that Bilbo’s ring is the only ring, the ring with which Sauron long ago deceived all the lords of Middle-earth, controlling them. Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo, finds the ring at Bilbo’s house and Gandalf explains its dark meaning.

Knowing that Sauron’s servants are searching all over Middle-earth for the ring, Gandalf prepares Frodo to begin an expedition to destroy the ring. Galdalf, Frodo and three other hobbits will emerge from the Shire: Sam, Merry and Pippin. The hobbits head to the village of Bree, to meet a Ranger named Strider (who turns out to be Aragorn, Isildur’s heir, first bearer of the ring snatched from Sauron’s severed hand). After an adventure in the burial mounds and after crossing the forest with the help of Tom Bombadil, they arrive at the “Tavern of the Pony Treading” and they are with Strider.

The “Nazgul” (specters of ancient kings subdued by Sauron) follow their trail and flee to Rivendell, home of Elrond and Galadriel. There, a Council takes place in which various races of Middle-earth debate over the fate of the one ring. They decide to create a group of porters whose mission is to destroy the ring in the only possible place: Mount Doom, in the heart of Mordor, now guarded by the hordes of Sauron. Thus they form the Fellowship of the Ring, made up of Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli and they set off with the ring.

All Three Parts of The Lord of The Rings Book Review

Passing through the Strait of Carathras, the wizard Saruman the White (who has succumbed to Sauron’s orders), cuts them off and they are forced to cross a place where Gandalf fears that something very ancient will awaken that slumbers in its depths, they are forced to cross the mines of Moria. There they discover that Moria is infested with orcs, trolls and something emerging from the shadows … a balrog. Following this event and a subsequent attack by the orcs, the Fellowship of the Ring is divided, continuing its mission into several scattered groups and trusting that the one ring does not fall into the wrong hands.

Personal Opinion: The Fellowship of the Ring

It’s a great start to the great adventure that follows. It can be a bit slow at first, since Tolkien spends too much time explaining the customs and way of life of the hobbits. He also entertains a lot describing Rivendell and the elves, some parts being somewhat heavy. However, he alternates it with other adventures, such as that of the hobbits in the burial mounds and their passage through the Black Forest.

Showing The Fellowship of The Ring Book, First Part of The Lord of The Rings Book Review

It is for this reason perhaps the book with the least action of the trilogy. However, if you go past the first 50-60 pages, the book really hooks. I see the appearance of Tom Bombadil’s character very strange, since he is a character that is quite out of tune with the story. Tolkien describes a dark setting, with epic touches and suddenly a character dressed in colors appears, who lives in the forest and who begins to sing without rhyme or joyous songs.

The part that I like the most is, without a doubt, the one that takes place in Moria. How Tolkien describes the darkness of the place and how he alludes to what slumbers in it. The scene where they are in Thorin’s burial chamber is great and keeps the reader in suspense.

The Two Towers Book Review

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Genre: High fantasy, Adventure

Language:‎ English

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Year: March 3, 1988 (2nd ed. edition)

Hardcover:‎ 352 pages

Dimensions: ‎5.63 x 1.28 x 8.75 inches

The book is named after the Tower of Isengard, home of the traitorous wizard Saruman, and the Tower of Barad Dur, the epicenter of Mordor where the eye of Sauron is found.

The Two Towers Book Summary

The hobbits have been kidnapped by a group of orcs and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli follow their trail when they suddenly meet the horsemen of Rohan who are blocking their way, led by Eomer. Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin manage to escape from the orcs and in their flight into the forest they meet Treebeard, the tree herder. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas discover the trace that the hobbits are alive and in the forest they meet a very powerful wizard, who turns out to be Galdalf, who did not die in his fall with the Balrog, but has become more powerful.

Gandalf and his three companions go to speak with the king of Edoras, Theoden, who has been enchanted by Grima, a subject of Saruman and Sauron. Saruman’s hordes of orcs attack Rohan and Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli battle in Helm’s Deep, defeating the army of the traitorous wizard. In Isengard, Saruman is held captive in his tower and guarded by the Ents. There Gandalf and company meet Merry and Pippin. As Frodo and Sam discover the former possessor of the ring, the creature Gollum follows them and they capture him. Gollum promises to lead them down a secret path to Mordor. Gollum is never what he seems and the two hobbits cannot trust him.

Personal Opinion: The Two Towers

I liked this second part of the trilogy even more than the first, as it has a lot more action. It is more epic than the first, narrating great battles such as that of Osghiliath, with the Witch-king, that of Isegard or the memorable battle of the abyss of Rohan. The descriptions and the setting of the battles is impressive, narrated in such a way that the book catches you as if you were in the middle of one of them.

The author wastes fantasy creating millenary kingdoms like Rohan, creating extraordinary creatures like the Ents or the figure of the Witch King. Tolkien knows how to maintain suspense at all times, since we will continually wonder about the whereabouts of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, separated from the departure of Moria, and especially about the whereabouts of the one ring. Tolkien surprises with the return of Gandalf “The Gray”, now “Gandalf the White” and the story of how he survived the Balrog.

The Two Towers Book, Second Part of The Lord of the Rings Book Review

“The Two Towers” has a great narrative richness, since we are told many stories: on the one hand that of the components of the Fellowship of the Ring, which are scattered throughout Middle Earth, on the other hand we are told of the betrayal of Saruman and how he is imprisoned in his own tower. In addition, there are numerous characters that, far from being normal and ordinary secondary, have very interesting stories, such as that of King Theoden, who would give himself to write a complete novel.

The character of Gollum is striking, complex where they exist, bipolar and upset with his past and obsessed with finding the object that is the cause of his downfall but at the same time is a relief for him.

The Return of The King Book Review

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Genre: High fantasy, Adventure

Language:‎ English

Publisher: Mariner Books

Publication Year: March 3, 1988 (Reprint, Subsequent edition)

Hardcover:‎ 448 pages

Dimensions: ‎5.63 x 1.48 x 8.75 inches

The last part of the trilogy. The Return of The King concludes the story of The Lord of the Rings. In this third installment, the forces of good and evil clash where we find that it is not inevitable that good will triumph. A new era of man’s dominion begins as Middle-earth’s Third Age ends.

The Return of The King Book Summary

Gandalf, in the company of Pippin, arrives in Minas Tirith to meet with the seneschal of the city: Denethor. There they tell him how his son Boromir died fighting the orcs. Denethor is greatly saddened, as Boromir was his favorite son, far above his other son Faramir.

The Witch-king and his army want to take Minas Tirith. Minas Tirith and Rohan, former allies, are estranged and Gandalf tries to get them to ally again in the fight against the hordes of Mordor. Faramir returns seriously wounded from a reconnaissance mission and Denethor goes mad when he sees his dying son and commits suicide.

The Return of The King Book, Third Part of The Lord of the Rings Book Review

Aragorn travels with King Theoden and decides to enter the “Path of the Dead” where they summon an ancient phantom army, made up of an army of soldiers who swore allegiance to Isildur, the ancestor of Aragorn.

The Witch-king shows up in Minas Tirith and Gandalf confronts him directly, but the leader of the Nazgul manages to kill Theoden. An ancient prophecy said that no man could kill the Witch-king. Theoden’s daughter, Eowyn, who had left with the troops disguised as a soldier, manages to deliver a well-aimed blow to the Witch-king with her sword and he is defeated.

The Return of The King, Third Part of The Lord of The Rings Book Review

Gandalf coordinates the armies to divert the attention of the hordes of Mordor so that Frodo and Sam can reach the mount of destiny with the ring. Gollum tries to prevent the destruction of the ring, but fails and falls into the lava of Mount Fate with him. Frodo and Sam are rescued by the eagles. Barad Dur’s tower collapses and Sauron’s armies are defeated.

Aragorn is crowned King and marries Arwen. The rest of the company makes their way home. Back in Isengard, Barbol informs them that Saruman managed to escape together with Grima, but finally the latter kills Saruman with a stab and Grima is shot to death.
Already in the Shire, the hobbits celebrate their return. Later, Frodo and Gandalf set out together with Galadriel, Elrond and other Elves to Aman, the legendary land of the elves.

Personal Opinion: The Return of the King

It seems to me even better than the previous ones. It is narrated recreating a very epic environment, where different kingdoms’ old allies are estranged and have to unite again to fight against a common evil. If the battles of the second installment were fabulous, those of “The Return of the King” are even more so, since they are much more massive and epic.

Tolkien continues to introduce secondary characters of luxury, like the seneschal Denethor who is a dramatic character that could well have come from the pen of Shakespeare himself. On the other hand, it should be noted that whoever defeats the Witch King is not one of the main characters, but Eowyn, and the author is very original with the theme of prophecy. Tolkien makes some very interesting philosophical reflections on life and death when he recounts the romance between Aragorn and Arwen.

I also find it very original that the ending is not of the type “the ring was destroyed and all the bad guys were defeated”, but it is much more real, since we are told that Saruman and Grima were able to escape and we are also told how in some areas there are still faithful to Sauron who are defeated after the coronation of Aragorn.

My Overall Assessment on The Lord of the Rings

The greatest work of the father of modern fantasy, Tolkien borders on perfection in The Lord of the Rings, one of the most famous trilogies in contemporary literature. With a mythology that draws on the Norse traditions and the Arthurian cycle, the British author composes a story that reinvents the struggle between good and evil, giving rise to one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.

Showing opinions regarding The Lord Of The Rings Book Review like Positive, Negative, Confusion and Ratings

The narrative is a real achievement, since Tolkien’s concise and descriptive style works perfectly with the narrative voice, classic in style and reminiscent of chivalric novels of the Middle Ages, which gives the feeling of reading an ancient story. On the other hand, the characters in the novels reflect both this old touch, where the classic construction of Tom Bombadil stands out, as well as the renewal eagerness of the time in the warrior maiden Eowyn or the exceptional psychology with which he endows Gollum, one of his most accomplished characters.

The map that accompanies most of the editions shows the detail with which Tolkien imagined the world. His geographical descriptions are so precise, it is hard to believe that the author is not writing from the dark Mines of Moria or the heart of the Fangorn Forest.

Tolkien’s work is appreciable, in addition to its literary quality, for being one of the pioneers in the unjustly discredited fantasy genre. His philological training is also very remarkable, since he knows how to masterfully use his extensive knowledge of biblical and medieval literature as well as his language control.

I recommend “The Lord of the Rings” to everyone. It is a great story where we can find many little stories that intersect in a common plot. The first book can be a bit tiresome at first, due to its long and continuous descriptions of the Shire and the Hobbit way of life, but towards the middle of “The Fellowship of the Ring” things start to improve and the second and the third books are formidable. The film adaptation of Peter Jackson is fine, very good, but the three original novels are still better, where we can find stories and characters that do not appear in the movies.

This is a must have book in your bookshelf. As a adventure and high fantasy book lover, I give this epic work a perfect rating of 5 out of 5.

Conclusion

The Lord of the Rings is one of the great classics of contemporary literature and a must-read for all fantasy lovers, who will also be able to enjoy the film adaptations that have won hundreds of awards. Middle-earth is waiting for you, reader. Join the Fellowship of the Ring and fight orcs, wraiths and evil wizards. But be careful: the great Eye sees everything and not even your thoughts are safe.

Get into the fantasy world. Be Bookish!!!

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