- Author: J.R.R Tolkien
- Series: The Lord of the Ring Series #2 (I am counting The Hobbit as the first book)
- Genre: High Fantasy
- No. of pages: 535
- Date read: 06/01/19 – 24/01/19
- Rating: 3 stars
- Challenge: 2019 Sequels and ONTD Reading Challenge: Jan (Read a book which was adapted into a movie or TV show)
First thing I would say is if you are questioning whether to read The Hobbit first. Do it! There are a lot of references and spoilers in this book about The Hobbit so definitely read that one first!
Plot: In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts a Ring of immense power 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.
I loved all the characters. They are all very layered and very different from one another which helped make the group interesting and keep you on your toes. Notable characters included
- Aragorn. This is probably the only character in the book where I can’t explain why I liked them. I just thought he was really brave and there is clearly something hidden about him that we will find out in later books.
- Gandalf. I loved Gandalf in The Hobbit and he was just as great in this book. I loved how wise, kind and funny he was.
- Sam. Sam was the absolute cutest. I loved his loyalty and innocence, he was a refreshing character as most of the companies are rough and serious.
- Galadriel. The only female character of importance and she was incredibly powerful and wise. I was happy to see a powerful woman in the book who was respected as more than just the King’s wife which is what I had expected.
The plot is incredibly detailed which made for a rich and fulfilled reading experience. Each character has a long history and origin which makes them who they are, they have all suffered in some way which has affected them in quite deep ways. I loved that we got to see an intricate and long backstory for the Ring, which spanned further back than when Gollum obtained it, I also how it linked certain characters together. The backstory makes the quest more dangerous and intense knowing that the Ring has left a path of blood and devastation in its wake. We also see a long history between the elves and dwarves which is interesting to read about, it is not explored in depth unlike the Ring’s origin but it’s mentioned enough, it gives Legolas and Gimli an interesting dynamic and friendship.
It’s highly imaginative. I loved all the fantasy elements. Sauron’s minions (Black Rider) were incredibly exciting to read about, I loved all the scenes they were in, they bought a real sense of danger and they were incredbly evil and mysterious beings which made me feel I was really reading a high fantasty. The Elven kingdom of Lorien was so beautiful, Tolkien’s description of the kingdom was incredible I could truly visuale it and all it’s beauty. I loved everything to do with the Elves and their magic and I loved the exploration into the mighty power behind the ring.
The scenes of action were incredibly fun and exciting to read, Tolkien knows how to write a really good action scene which exudes danger and get’s your heart racing! Notable scenes include – The Pony, where we first meet Aragorn and we get the first major warning from Gandalf. Any scene with the Dark Lord’s minions and the journey through Moria.
The writing was very intricate and detailed which worked well for the action scenes but… it was too much all the time. Most of the novel consists of the characters from travelling from point A to point B and Tolkien spent pages upon pages just describing the mountains and the rivers. They were so longwinded and dull. I found myself at times wanting to DNF the book as I couldn’t take how much description their was for the landscape. This is one of the main reasons why I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. Too much of the novel was focused on describing the area they were walking through.
The pace is also very slow for most of the book, which didn’t bode well with the longwinded descriptions. The book did have small spikes of fast-paced action which were amazing but it didn’t make up for the fact that the rest of the book plodded along slowly. It was a very stop, start kind of pace, where we would pick pace during action sequences but then stop with chapters of endless walking.
There were only 3 female characters in this book. Goldberry, she was so irrelevant in my eyes she might as well not have been in it, Arwen, who is only there to give Aragorn a sad back story and Galadriel, who is an incredible character I loved her! It was a shame that out of the whole cast only 3 women were included and only one of them was actually important to the novel’s progression. I am sure Arwen becomes important in later books especially with Aragorn. But it was just disappointing that two of the three female characters were boring or said nothing.
The next book I will be reading is Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend.