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The Lord of the Rings (novel)

J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, epic fantasy sequel to "The Hobbit", originally published in three volumes in 1954-1955.

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Lord of the Rings, where it all began.

  • Jun 27, 2003
Pros: This is the masterpiece that opened up the world to fantasy

Cons: If not used to lengthy books, in for a long haul; singing occasionally annoyed me.

The Bottom Line: If you’re into fantasy then you should read this because Lord of the Rings is the father and mother of fantasy.

First off, I just have to say I was amazed that this book hadn’t been reviewed. I guess all of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR for the rest of this review) reviews are all on an older version of the book.

Either way, this is the book I have and it took me some time to read it, but I got through it all and once I reached the end, I cried. Now that says something to me right there. Never before have I been so moved by a book, I even surprised myself! The writing is superb, the plot and detail to everything is simply stunning, and everything was tied together so beautifully, I was with the characters the entire way and cried at the end when I had to watch friends part and the book end. I even started crying when I reached the end of my long, summary of the entire book to my sister!

I will tell you this though; LOTR is by J.R.R. Tolkien, and is a large book broken down into three sections – not counting the numerous appendices at the end. These three sections are named The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.

The Fellowship of the Ring starts out by introducing the reader to characters such as:

Gandalf the Gray, the wizard that fell into the hole
Bilbo Baggins, the hero of The Hobbit
Frodo Baggins, the hero of this entire tale
Three other hobbits named Sam, Pippin and Merry
Humans Boromir and Aragorn (who is a special human)
Gimli the dwarf
Legolas Greenleaf the elf

Hobbits happen to be human-like, only smaller – child sized. Occasionally they are called Halflings. A full, wonderfully written beginning for this book starts by explaining hobbits and their habits; how they don’t like adventure, they enjoy a good pipe and good food, and like to mind their own business (though perhaps not amongst each other). After explaining this you will find out other things concerning the past, the present, and the possible future all due to a ring Bilbo found in The Hobbit. It is a magic ring that can make a person invisible – but that’s not all. It is the Ruling Ring – the One Ring, made by a lesser god named Sauron, who has lived lifetimes in the world. The Ring comes to Frodo whose task it eventually becomes to destroy this evil Ring before Sauron can regain it and rule Middle Earth, the home of all creatures in this story.

The Fellowship of the Ring deals mainly with nine chosen companions who must travel to the land of Mordor where Sauron lives and throw the Ring into Mount Doom, a huge volcano where the Ring was made. These nine are Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Boromir, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Their travels take them many places, beginning from a small realm of the elves named Rivendell. They continue all the way to the Mines of Moria, a broken dwarf kingdom which also is the dwelling place of the Balrog – the demon that Gandalf battles and falls into the hole with. After Moria comes Lothlorien, a beautiful dwelling place of elves with trees of silver bark and golden leaves, ruled by one of the oldest elves, Galadriel. Soon after they leave, and find that they are followed by Gollum, the creature who owned the Ring before Bilbo found it – and Gollum wants it back. At the end of this piece of the story, the Fellowship has broken apart, losing some to death and imprisonment, whereas other continue on the task at hand and the rest search for those taken prisoner.

The Two Towers is the next part of LOTR. Specifically, these “two towers” are towers joined in evil against the forces of good. One is Sauron’s, with which he uses to see all he can in Middle Earth. The other is Saruman’s tower. He was formerly Saruman the White and Gandalf’s fellow wizard, but who was turned to evil by the corruption of the Ring’s power. He never touched it – but wanted it anyway. Saruman now does Sauron’s bidding and builds a formidable army. After a long journey searching for their friends, 3 companions left from the original 9 join the kingdom of Rohan, realm of the Horse Lords who have bright blades and fast steeds. They bring together their own army and fall back to Helm’s Deep – a practically impermeable fortress of stone. War befalls them – will they win?

As they deal with Saruman’s army, another 2 of the 9 are in Fangorn Forest, one of the older forests of the world and meet up with Treebeard the Ent (a tree who is now walking and talking). These 2 companions eventually convince Treebeard and his fellow Ents to destroy Saruman’s activities. Can they?

Once all is done that can be done, the next place to go is to Gondor, the White City and closest to Mordor. Gondor is like the last stronghold against Mordor’s forces. And who is not too far away from there? Frodo and Sam, still trying to destroy the Ring, and this time they have caught Gollum and need his help to sneak into Mordor without Sauron’s eye seeing them, or the Ringwraiths (also Nazgûl – nine kings who were ensnared by rings of power made by Sauron. They now serve him and all who hear or see them cower in fear) finding them. Gollum has a secret way he can take them…is it a good idea to trust one so corrupted by the Ring?

The Return of the King is ultimately the end of the book. This is where the war comes to full blast and all the loose ends are tied up. You will see what happens to the Ring, what happens to Sauron, who made it out of the companions of the Fellowship, who the King of Gondor is, what has happened to Saruman, and a general completion of everything. There are a few small twists at the end that might shock you, but it is okay.

Once the story itself is done there are at least Appendices A-F in the back (I would check, but my sister seems to have swiped my book!). These appendices deal with things such as elven words, information on the races of middle earth, brief histories on certain things such as the Kings of Númenor (an ancient kingdom), maps, a song and poem index, and other things you might be interested in learning about Middle Earth and its people.

I know this review was extremely long, but so is the book. I just wanted to give you as much info as I could without giving anything up at the same time. There is so much detail you cannot even believe it. In this book you get everything from swordfights, wizard duels, and comedy, to death, life, and true love. It’s everything a fantasy book can be and more. All I can say now is if you’re into anything like this you should at least give it a try. It might take some time to get into, but it’s an awesome piece of work that I think anyone would admire.


If you’re wondering where Middle-Earth originated, go back to when time and life began and take a quick look at a review of The Silmarillion, Before you met Bilbo and the others…


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More The Lord of the Rings (novel) reviews
review by . June 17, 2010
I must confess that I didn't read the Lord of the Rings trilogy until after the first movie was released. Now it's one of several books that I re-read often, and I wish I'd read it long ago. The story is a classic one--the constant war between good and evil. The telling is where Lord of the Rings differs from similar plots. The setting is comprised of vast, largely unexplored lands divided into small regions occupied primarily by their own particular type of inhabitant. Tolkien has woven …
Quick Tip by . November 05, 2010
They read the Hobbit to me at school; I think I didn't like being read to so I refused to read Lord of the Rings till I was at college and a friend recommended it. Good friend. I was hooked.
review by . June 26, 2010
Lord of the Rings- The Standard for All Fantasy Writing
There are many great fantasy writers. You have to like older guys like Sir Walter Scott and Michael Moorcock (which caracterizes how diverse the books really are). then there are the modern guys like Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind.      The best of these guys write in a fantasy world, but tell stunning real-life human tales. Moorcock's Elric struggled with inner demons and presented the question of how much of your own humanity is already written in and how much we …
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
Okay. Don't get mad that this is popular. Take a read. Develops a love of words and worldbuilding, and a truly deep sense of mythology, one infused with moral and elemental significance.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Doesn't get much better than this.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
This book was way ahead of its time. It's too bad the genius of it wasn't realized until after he died. With the exception of the first 30 or so pages on pipeweed, the book is very difficult to put down.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
What a wonderful fantasy! This ranks in my top ten fantasy books.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
the origional epic of the greatest stories out there
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
I didn't particularly enjoy his writing style but I can understand why it's a classic!
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
another excellent book..... the movie was okay too.. but the much better
About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this book


"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 by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

About the Author
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in ...
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Author: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Genre: Classic Literature, Fantasy, Novel, Epic Adventure, Mythopoeia
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, Ballantine Books, Houghton Mifflin
Date Published: 1954 and 1955
Format: Novel
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