Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Publication Date: 1954
Publishers: Unwin Paperbacks
Series: The Lord of the Rings #1
Genre: Fantasy, Classics
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power except one -- the One Ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task when Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must 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.-Goodreads
Before I started this review, I really had to think about it, how do you review such a book? This is a classic, one third of one of the most famous series in the world, and is loved by many many people.
I am one of these people, I really really enjoyed this novel, it is a great novel on its own, but also a good beginning to the series.
I watched all the movies in a weekend earlier this year, and I worried that this might hinder my enjoyment of the novel, but the opposite is true. Seeing the movies actually increased my enjoyment of the novel. It made keeping track of all the hundreds of characters easier, as I imagined the actors as their characters, and it helped with remembering who was who.
The plot of this novel is long, very long, and isn't exactly quick paced. The thing that makes it so long paced is the inclusion of lots of great descriptions. For example:
"Looking ahead they could see only tree-trunks of innumerable sizes and shapes: straight or bent, twisted, leaning, squat or slender, smooth or gnarled and branched; and all the stems were green or grey with moss and slimy, shaggy growths."
The large use of description does at times get tiring however, especially after long periods of it, but the imagery it creates is pretty spectacular.
One small negative to this book is the large cast of characters Tolkien has created. Although I completely understand why he did this, with such a diverse world, and many races of creatures, many characters was inevitable, it was perhaps too many.
My favourite characters were; Tom Bombadill, Sam and Aragorn. I thought Tom was a great character, and it's a shame he isn't featured in the movies. He was a really mystical and magical character that I just thought was cool. I liked Sam because I really valued his loyalty to Frodo, no matter what Frodo did, Sam stuck by him. He is brave too, which will appear more later in the series. Aragorn is the action hero of the book. He is a mysterious stranger that the Hobbits meet, that is very handy with a sword. He is basically just awesome and super kick-ass.
The setting is a great part of the novel, Middle Earth, is a completely unique setting, which must have taken some imagining to come up with. The world is very detailed, the addition of maps at the front of the novel help to increase the detail. The setting adds to the novel, it's definitely part of the appeal of the book. Middle Earth seems colourful and well crafted, with a nice diversity to it.
The novel focuses around Frodo. which help to increase your understanding of the main character. It is told from a 3rd person point of view though, so you still enjoy all the action from other characters too.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, I am now officially a Lord of the Rings fan. I would really recommend this novel, even if you have been a little cautious about starting it, its definitely worth it. I can't wait to get started on the next novel.