The Fellowship of the Ring: the Ring Sets Out
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Length: 576 pages
“Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.”
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Note: I will be reviewing this book in two parts. The Fellowship of the Ring actually consists of two books, The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South. Because of this, I thought it would be smarter to review each book (or part) of this book separately. Also, because Lord of the Rings, being an epic fantasy novel is quite long and rich, reviewing the parts separately will allow me to get a bit of a “breather” and hopefully maximise my reading enjoyment!
★ ★ ★ ★ stars
So I loved this book so. much. more. than I did when I read it when I was like twelve years old. Mind you, it was still incredibly tedious to get through but once you scraped off the first layer of ‘oh my goodness, this book is so chunky and the words are so length’ what came out underneath was one brilliant fucking masterpiece. *removes hat for Tolkien*
Now, I’m one big sucker for the movies (in my opinion, there is nothing to be improved upon them) so that’s probably why I shaved off that one star in this first half of the book.
Also, I have absolutely no idea whether the character of Tom will have any kind of important role in the books to come, but I think that if it weren’t for the Hobbits’ journey through those woods and their encounter with Tom, I would have probably given this first half of the book five stars. There’s nothing wrong with that part of the story, really, but it was a tiny bit tedious and lengthy (especially the seemingly unending ways that Tolkien was able to describe the scenery). I just got a tiny bit tired of always hearing about how the landscaped looked like and where exactly the trees were placed. I just wanted the action and plot and dialogue and the book basically just kinda made you work for it.
I absolutely lived for the descriptions of the Shire though and the lives of the cute Hobbits. It was simply adorable and wasn’t really shown as much as I really wanted it to in the movies so that was a huge plus for me. However, on the minus side, you didn’t really get to see Sam with that cute Hobbit girl he was crushing on and also the fireworks at the party were always one of my favorite parts of the film which also seemed to be missing from the book.
What kinda surprised me though, even though I should have technically remembered this from reading it years ago, is that there wasn’t any specific chapter where we got to see Gandalf’s POV when he goes to Isengard. To be fair, this might be shown in the second half of the book, but it was shown fairly early in the movie and it was also an aspect of the films that I really loved. (I mean, who doesn’t love everything Gandalf??).
So far though, I did really enjoy the book, but I think I’m going to take at least a week or so break from it before moving on. High fantasy does take a toll on me for a while usually and I can only really get into it for short periods of time before I crave a nice juicy YA book.