Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings #1) ★★★★☆

fellowshipofthering (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Fellowship of the Ring
Series: Lord of the Rings #1
Author: John Tolkien
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Bilbo, after the events from The Hobbit, has settled down to a nice slightly eccentric life. He adopts one of his nephews, Frodo, as his heir and begins to write his memoirs. On his One Hundred and Eleventieth birthday, Bilbo disappears and leaves everything to Frodo. Only Gandalf knows that Bilbo has gone to Rivendell.

Several decades later Gandalf visits Frodo and reveals that the little gold ring that allowed Bilbo to turn invisible, and that he left to Frodo, is actually a ring of great power, possibly The One Ring that was made by Sauron to control all the other rings of power. Gandalf tells Frodo he needs to go to Rivendell to take counsel and that he, Gandalf, will return in a year to help guide him there.

A year passes and no word of Gandalf. Frodo has been preparing and his cover story is that he is moving to Buckland, another settlement of hobbits. Two of his cousins, Merry and Pippin, along with Frodo’s gardener Sam, have all been helping him move. On the way to Buckland, Frodo runs into a black rider that inspires complete unreasoning terror in his heart. No longer knowing who to trust, Frodo and his companions begin their trek to Rivendell.

Having several adventures, the hobbits meet up with Strider, a human ranger who Gandalf trusted. They all head for Rivendell, doing their best to avoid the attention of the Black Riders, who Strider reveals are Ringwraiths, Sauron’s powerful underlings. The Group makes it to Rivendell and Gandalf shows up. He tells them that the head of the Wizard’s Council, Saruman the White, has been corrupted by a lust for power. Now the world must deal with Sauron and Sarumon, both who want the One Ring for the power it contains. Elrond, the elven lord of Rivendell, tells that the Ring will corrupt any being who uses it and that it must be destroyed. The only way to destroy it is to cast it back into the fiery Mount Doom from which it was created.

A Company is gathered. They set out. Hindered in many ways, they must eventually decide what they are going to do with the Ring. Gandalf perishes defending them from a Balrog, a being almost equal in power to Sauron himself. Eventually, one of the Companions, a human named Boromir, falls under the influence of the Ring and tries to take it from Frodo.

Frodo flees, along with Sam and heads off on his own towards Mt Doom. The book ends with the Fellowship breaking apart and heading their own ways.

 

My Thoughts:

This is going to be a lot shorter of a review than my 2012 one.

I enjoyed this but was not raving about it. A thoroughly good story that is at once personal and cozy and yet epic in scope all at the same time. It is no wonder that this trilogy ended up spawning the Fantasy Genre as we know it today.

The reason this doesn’t get more than 4stars from, and never will, is all the blasted songs and poetry. Sometimes they contained pertinent information to the current story and other times they were simply a history lesson and at others they were just an expression by the character. You never knew which. I ended up just skipping them, plot points be forsaken.

Anyone who reads Fantasy should read this trilogy. Period.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings Prequel) ★★★★★

hobbit (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Hobbit
Series: The Lord of the Rings Prequel
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 235
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit. Who ends up with a wizard and 13 dwarves for dinner. And somehow gets finagled into going on an adventure to recover the dwarves lost treasure, that is guarded by the dragon Smaug.

Along the way Bilbo meets elves, runs away from goblins, plays a riddle game in the dark with Gollum for his life, finds a ring of invisibility, flies on eagles’ wings, fights giant spiders and is almost eaten by 3 trolls.

Eventually he and the dwarves reach the Lonely Mountain and Laketown. They rouse the dragon and Bard of Laketown kills Smaug and then elves, humans and dwarves prepare to fight over the treasure. Until a huge goblin army shows up and everybody fights them. The good guys win, the treasure is shared and Bilbo returns home a better, wiser and more eccentric hobbit than ever.

 

My Thoughts:

What a book. I’ve read this enough times that nothing is a surprise. And yet… I am still in awe at how Tolkien weaves such a children’s tale so as to keep me intrigued, for the umpteenth time.

What do I say? A simple tale of adventure that is the prequel to one of the worlds most renowned fantasy series? A tale of bravery, generosity and kindness overcoming perils, greed and hatred? A stout heart being greater than a dragon? I just don’t know what to say beyond the fact that I enjoyed the heck out of this just like I have all the previous times and I don’t have any issues with it.

Well, except maybe all the singing. I wouldn’t have minded if there hadn’t been any singing. In regards to the singing though, the only thing I can say positively about the horrific movie trilogy is that the song by the dwarves in Bilbo’s house is absolutely haunting and enchanting. Who knows how long this link will exist, but here’s a youtube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ymgFyzbDo

If only the Silmarillion had been this interesting. Well, at least I’ve got the rest of the Trilogy to look forward too!

★★★★★

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Silmarillion (The Lord of the Rings Prequel) ★★★☆☆

silmarillion (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
The Silmarillion
Series: The Lord of the Rings Prequel
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy History
Pages: 367
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A book that outlines, briefly, the world of Middle Earth from before its inception up until the conclusion of Return of the King.

Iluvatar made the Valar but one, Morgoth, decided to do his own thing. This set him in defiance of Iluvatar and against the other Valar. Iluvatar made the world and the Valar and Morgoth had their way with it. Iluvatar created the Elves and Morgoth tried to become king of the world. Iluvatar made Men and the rest of the Valar chained Morgoth forever. Sauron, one of Morgoth’s most powerful underlyings, himself a lesser Valar, took up the cause of becoming King of the World in defiance of Iluvatar. He is destroyed by the last alliance of men, elves, dwarves and others and thus the history part of the book end.

There is another 60-70 pages of indexing where every name of every place and person mentioned is listed.

 

My Thoughts:

To be blunt, while I gave this 3stars, it was boring as all get out. It took me a bleeding week to power through this.

I gave it 3 stars because it is well written and gives the context for the story we know of as the Hobbit and then the trilogy named The Lord of the Rings. However, when I say it is well written, that is within the confines of it being a history book and nothing more.

I did not like this book. Being boring was its most egregious sin but I have to balance that statement with that this book was supposed to be this way. It is an oral history written down. If that kind of thing floats your boat, then dive on in and enjoy. Everyone else, don’t bother.

I did not like this book because it was nothing but a chronicle of failure and despair. Great men and women (applying to all races here) rose up and were either broken, destroyed or backstabbed. When they did, rarely, succeed, we are then given a timeline of how their descendants descended into destruction. No hope from Tolkien. Everything turns bad.

I was hoping that the end of the world would be described, to show Iluvatar triumphing and restoring all but no such luck.

I read this back in highschool before I knew better. Now that I’ve read it as a mature adult, never again. I don’t recommend this to the casual movie fan of the Lord of the Rings but only to diehard fans of Tolkien himself.

BORING

★★★☆☆

bookstooge (Custom)

 

The Return of the King

6428448The Return of the King
Lord of the Rings #3
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Ebook, 512 Pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This would have gotten a 5star except for the Appendices.

A great end fraught with danger, determination, steadfast loyalty, overwhelming odds and over it all the hero’s tinge of melancholy.

Then I start in on the appendices. Tolkien let his History Buff streak break loose and I was so bored.

The Two Towers

7100699The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings #2
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Ebook, 336 Pages
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Where Fellowship of the Ring felt like a history in many respects, Two Towers just kicked butt.

Chases, battles, hoards of orcs, warriors, Gollum. It felt like a whirlwind of action. I especially enjoyed Strider, Legolas and Gimli’s chase of the hobbits.

One thing I noticed. In the movie, the orcs blow a hole in the wall at Helm’s Deep, and I was like “Yeah, whatever. Not in the book, but cool”. Well blow me down, but it IS in the book. Very understated and all, but there none-the-less. [tip ‘o the hat to Mr Jackson]

So my verdict on this book? Better than the previous and a jolly well written book!

The Fellowship of the Ring

7007112The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings #1
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Ebook, 480 Pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

I went into this reading with more of an eye towards “does it live up to the its fanboy hew and cry and my memories of over a decade ago?”.

My first re-impression was how much like a history this was, as opposed to a modern/typical fantasy.
There are lots of songs, poems, characters declaiming whatever. I did not remember that.
History lessons kept interrupting the plot flow. You’d start down a rousing good path and then bam!, someone would start talking about something or somebody thousands of years ago that has a very tenuous connection to what is going on now. It might give greater depth to the world, but I felt like things like that could have been inserted a bit less jarringly.

Now, this book makes clear how much a wordsmith Tolkien was. Sentences, paragraphs, etc, flowed like water over stones. Tolkien used his words to great effect, in creating the underscored terror of the Nazghul, to the cheek and courage of the hobbits, to the weariness of Strider, to the overweening pride and lust of Boromir. What made Tolkien write those songs/poems mentioned above was what ennabled to him write these characters so that you BELIEVED they were real. You love them, you laughed at them, you groaned at them, you howled in outrage at them. But they were not cardboard and 2 dimensional.

Another aspect I liked was how Tolkien hints at a MUCH vaster history of the world but does not hint in such a way as to distract from the main plotline. And since I know about The Silmarillion, The Book of Lost Tales, Part One, The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, and Christopher Tolkien, if I so choose, I can go exploring Middle Earth another time, albiet in a much drier way.

I also found myself wishing I had a dictionary handy [I read it on my Sony 505, which has no built in dictionary] as Tolkien used words that were either out of style or ‘english’ [as opposed to ‘american’]. I was able to figure most things out by context, but his writing is getting old enough, and he was a lover of old languages anyway, that a dictionary would be helpful.

Compared to The Hobbit, this was definitely not as whimsical, as childlike nor as happy go lucky.

This book is definitely 2-3 steps above maturity-wise. And that is a good thing. We the reader are dealing with a much greater plot of import than in the Hobbit, and so the tone is appropriate.

So, while it doesn’t live up to the ZOMG! hype, it lives up to my expectations as a serious, well written [most important in my book, hahahaa] fantasy story with defined lines of good and evil.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit or There and Back AgainThe Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings Prequel
J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy
5 Stars

 

 

Fan-frakking-tastic!

I grew up on the Hobbit. I read it on trips, wrote a lengthy [for a highschooler] paper on the Hobbit and Tolkien, had it read to our class by a college professor and just generally loved it.

So when I saw a goodreads friend doing his annual LotR read, I thought to myself, “Derrick, it has been over a decade and you need to read Tolkien again”.

This was aimed at children, and the little authorial asides reflect that, but with such gentle wit and clever wording, that it didn’t feel “little kid’ish”, or even young adult. But those groups, and adults, could both fully get into the story and love it.

There was adventure, action, thrills, quiet reflective moments, moralizing and a happy ending. And it was well written. At no time did I have to reread a sentence or a paragraph to try to figure out what the author was saying. It was clear, concise and straight-forward.

Completely and highly recommended to anyone who likes fantasy.

 

The Hobbit 2000 “Review”