Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Reviewed by: Kimball, age 15

The Lord of the Rings is an epic saga about an unlikely hero and a band of questors who seek to destroy an evil ring. The book is imaginative and well written and a modern classic. It follows the adventures of four hobbits (short human-like people with hairy feet,) two men of high birth, a dwarf, an elf and a wizard as they fight orcs, wraiths, evil men and a vengeful degradation of nature intent on retrieving his precious ring at all costs.

Genre: Fiction

Time Period: Unspecified ancient period (Tolkien originally developed Middle-Earth to create a mythology for England)


Once upon a time, a hobbit named Bilbo went on an adventure. During this adventure, he was separated from his fellow adventurers and came across a creature called Gollum. Gollum was once a hobbit but had devolved beyond recognition. He possessed a magic ring, which Bilbo pocketed after finding it, and kept after Gollum found out and tried to murder him.

Years later, where the book begins, old Bilbo leaves his home after his 111th birthday, never to return, bequeathing all his possessions to his nephew Frodo. This includes the ring. Bilbo's wizard friend Gandalf explains to Frodo the origins of the ring: how it was forged by the dark lord Sauron, the war fought over it, and the powers it holds, and its evil nature necessitating its destruction, as well as how it fell into Gollum's hands and then Bilbo's.

Frodo leaves for the elven city Rivendell with three other hobbits (his devoted gardener Samwise and his two kinsmen Merry and Pippin) to hold council with Gandalf and Elrond to organize the quest to destroy the Ring, but along the way he is pursued by black agents of Sauron who cannot die...

Themes: size matters not, seek not for power, beware of lust/addiction/greed

Recommended Age: 12 and up

Full Disclosure:

This book is very long. The first part (about one-sixth of the book) is rather slow, but the action picks up after the council meeting, so don't give up on it before you finish the first volume. There are also many inconsistencies and continuity errors for canon-happy nerds to look for.

Rating: 5 stars

Other books: The Hobbit, The Silmarillion


  1. The unusual format makes it slow but I found it interesting. One of my favorite characters in this novel is Faramir. Under-appreciated strength. Who was your favorite? Kimball, if you can handle long, try Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

  2. Can't decide between Smeagol or Gollum.

  3. Really enjoyed this series and so glad I read them before the movies came out. Didn't enjoy The Hobbit as much, not sure why.