The Fellowship of the Ring: A Review by Tian Yu

FellowshipRingCover-HoughtonMifflin2ndEdOften seen as a ‘boring classic,’ The Fellowship of the Ring, first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, is anything but. Unlike many novels, which got boring as they became ‘classics’, the Lord of the Rings can easily compete with the popular adventure-fantasy books we love today, albeit with some outdated terms. For those who have a hazy idea of the plot, as with many classics, it goes as follows. The world of Middle Earth is similar to most fantasy worlds today, probably having inspired them, and is populated by generic fantasy races. Several hundred years ago, Sauron, an angelic spirit who attempted to enslave the earth, was defeated and killed by an alliance of elves and men. His possessions, including a ring that held a significant portion of his power, were split among the victors.


This brings us to more modern times. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit (a short, hairy-footed race of people), stumbles upon this ring of immense power in a cave and decides to keep it. At the same time, Sauron had somehow come back to life, and is looking far and wide to kill whoever still had his ring. After leaving the ring for his heir, Frodo Baggins, Bilbo left for the countryside and escaped the danger that would follow. Conveniently, Gandalf the Grey, a wise wizard and one of Bilbo’s good friends, passed by Frodo and instantly recognized the ring. Realizing the importance of destroying it so it doesn’t get back to Sauron, he sent Frodo and a small party to the only place where that could be done: Mount Doom, conveniently right beside Sauron’s fortress of death.


The Lord of the Rings is an incredibly interesting and exciting novel, which is something that you probably wouldn’t get from the brief summary that I’ve just given. This is probably because there’s simply so much content in the book that it’s hard to even start without having to give a detailed explanation of the entire world. This may also be because I’m not that great of a writer, and can nowhere near capture the brilliance that is J. R. R. Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring is not only excellent in being exciting, but also manages to become incredibly immersive by building a world literally from the ground up. The one and only thing that I would say is missing is some weird love triangle, but we already have enough popular books with one of those. Overall, The Fellowship of the Ring is truly timeless, and unlike many ‘award winning classics,’ is something you would want to read on your spare time, rather than because your teacher made you.


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