4:14 PM

lotr1 The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien | Rating: ★★★★★

"Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.”

It took me quite a while to see it, but in recent months I’ve finally seen the light when it comes to this delightful adventure that J.R.R. Tolkien provided for us. The middle-earth is a much beloved world of fantasy that will continue to delight generations to come and once again, reminds me what it’s like to believe in a world so magical and mysterious. There’s nothing quite like this world Tolkien created for us and it welcomes us back each time, embracing us like an old friend.

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, naturally reads similar to The Hobbit and for me it feels as warm and comfortable as your favorite childhood bedtime story. There’s something about this world and these adventures that brings a fantasy to live and transport you to a childlike state of mind. It’s an absolute gift to literature and I can’t believe I went much of my life without getting into it.

My favorite part of The Hobbit was Bilbo and I was absolutely delighted by the character making appearances throughout this story as well. He’s such a fun character to read about and I loved his ‘last hurrah’ at the shire before handing over his home and more to Frodo. Fortunately for us, Frodo is just as loveable as Bilbo and really makes me love both hobbits all the more in his adventures and troubles. How awesome are hobbits?! C'mon!

In many ways, I suppose The Fellowship of the Ring is a bit more mysterious and action packed than The Hobbit. Both are exceptionally good and set an impossible standard for any fantasy novels published since. J.R.R. Tolkien never leaves his readers bored and continued to outdo his own creativity through each of his works. He shows us a world so different from our own and transports us to an adventurous world that can never be topped. His development of each story is really the greatest and ugh, I cannot get enough.

Back to the story: Frodo’s journey is both similar and different than Bilbo’s. Now with the ring in his possession and Bilbo and everyone’s favorite wizard nowhere to be found, Frodo finds himself in a situation he’d never expected. And so he must set off from his beloved home (selling it to someone that makes even me cringe!) and travels with a group of his friends, with an unfamiliar set of villains trailing them along the way.

Who are these mysterious riders? And what waits for this group throughout their adventure? Is there fate sealed or…?

But what could they possibly want from him - from the ring? You’ll certainly find the history of it unraveling slowly and treating readers to an entertaining ride. It’s thrilling, it’s sweet, it’s colorful and more importantly, The Fellowship of the Ring feels as if it has a life of its own. Everything about it is alive and plays out before your eyes in a way that is fascinating, beautiful and dark.

I said this before about The Hobbit, but something about J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing feels like a story read to you in childhood. I feel as though I am curled up besides a fireplace with someone reading to me. It’s a glorious feeling that I can’t say many authors have made me feel. It’s like welcoming an old friend back into your life.

There’s nothing in this world like the work of Tolkien and it’s remarkable to see how even as the years go by, the story is just as loved as it was before many of us were born. He certainly shaped fantasy as we know it and left a mark on the world of literature.

We are very lucky to be able to read such a wonderful mix of characters and adventures. Whether you are a first time reader or not, this series will truly wow you and leave you with a great deal of love for this classic. Many familiar faces from The Hobbit return – either as prominent character s or mentions – and expand on the world we came to know.

We’re greeted with new characters that fit right into this series and add to your ever-growing list of loved characters. Friendships, alliances are formed. Danger is strong. And because of each character and their roles, I’m itching to continue the trilogy and embrace more of the twists and turns I’m sure are waiting for me after such a cliffhanger in the end.

More settings. More adventures. More villains. More creatures. More history. More possibilities – there’s never a dull moment in The Fellowship of the Ring, barely any chances to sigh in full blown relief and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s such a classic that it isn’t necessary for me to recommend it because chances are, you’ve already read it. I’ve been late to the party and if you are too, you must hop on the train and get to reading.

I’ll forever recommend this series to anyone and everyone who is unfamiliar with it. The Lord of the Rings, and J.R.R. Tolkien in general truly shaped the fantasy genre and it’s something that cannot be missed.

(One final note: am I the only reader who wants to and doesn't want to fully know the fate of that dear old pony Sam had formed an attachment to? Honestly, I’m always upset and concerned about the damn ponies in this series how sad! So many are lost. Sigh! I'm positively heartbroken.)

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