Since the first time my parents brought back the VHS of the Lord of the Rings, the world of Middle Earth has held me transfixed. Portrayed beautifully in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation, I must admit it did take me a considerable amount of time to read the novels. A sorry fact for any who consider themselves a book lover, I know. Regardless, I finished the trilogy earlier this year, and have a variety of feelings concerning it.
Before beginning, I’ll make it clear that the Return of the King was by far my favourite, indeed it seems it was predominantly the style of this novel from which Jackson’s films were based. All the same, reading the Fellowship offered a much greater insight into Tolkien’s expansive land of Middle Earth than I had imagined.
Though on the whole a rather slow novel as far as action goes, the Fellowship of the Ring highlights Tolkien’s strong fascination with the hobbit people whom he had created. In his innocent, polite language, Tolkien describes with great detail the progression of the hobbits from the safety of their land into the strange wilderness.
Whilst these dense descriptions can become quite tiring to read, when I think back to this novel I’m still filled with inspiring imaginings of great, awe inspiring scenery and fantastical woodlands. As any avid reader understands, this is something which even the luscious land of New Zealand could not fully portray in the films.
Certainly not a stand-alone book, the Fellowship indeed focuses on establishing the key characteristics of the hobbits. Tolkien’s portrayal of innocence in the face of evil stems from the first beginnings in the Shire all the way to the ends of despair in the Return of the King. On the back end of the novels, the slow beginnings of the Fellowship now seem appropriate in order to understand this progression. As an aspiring writer myself, I can only commend Tolkien for such patience.
I would certainly recommend any fan of Lord of the Rings or even fantasy in general to read these novels, which have inspired an immense franchise, loyal following and even an entire language!
Length: 563 (Harper Collins)
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars