Title: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Series: The Lord of the Rings #1.
Writer(s): J.R.R. Tolkien.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers.
Release Date: October 2017 (First Published July 29th, 1954).
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.
Where does one go when given a responsibility larger than life? What if it is a burden that requires the purest of souls? After all, not all individuals can resist the temptation of Evil when asked to channel their inner Good, especially if the faith of the world rests upon their shoulders. Through a sense of duty, trusted by wiser mortals than ourselves, we’re thus asked to look beyond our relevance, beyond our lack of experience, and beyond our fears, to accomplish the impossible, even if it means death. This is where Frodo Baggins stands as he faces his greatest calling, one where only he could answer. But what’s the big deal? Nothing other than the beginning of an unforgettable adventure where an innocent and unlikely hero, now heir to the most powerful instrument that could turn out to be the cause of the next big war, has to face the unknown and survive its wrath. Legendary writer J.R.R. Tolkien sends this hobbit into a perilous world and writes the first part of a beloved classic trilogy that will forever change the epic high-fantasy literature landscape.
What is The Fellowship of the Ring about? Picking up years after the events that took place in The Hobbit, the story introduces readers to Frodo Baggins, cousin to Bilbo Baggins, who inherits the powerful yet evil Ring created during the Second Age of Middle-earth. It is upon learning of its true nature and its crucial importance to Sauron, the Dark Lord, for his plans to rule all others that Frodo Baggins is tasked by Gandalf the Grey to embark on a journey across Middle-earth to destroy the Ring in the Cracks of Doom where it was once forged. Accompanied by trustworthy friends, this quest is not without its own set of adventures as they come across allies who will lend a hand in their odyssey and foes who are ready to do anything to get their Lord the Ring he seeks at all cost.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien
This first volume of The Lord of The Rings trilogy is an unparalleled achievement in world-building. Writer J.R.R. Tolkien creates a high-spirited world with an epic vision rich with history and mythology that simply invites reverence from readers. Through Frodo and his friend’s journey, we are instantly transported to the vividly imagined Middle-earth as we experience first-hand the littlest discomfort of being far from home while also a subtle and reinvigorating comfort through the blissful opportunities for rest and reassurance provided by the unrivaled friendship between these wonderfully devised characters. The beautifully interspersed extracts of poetry often expressed through enchanting songs further help in immersing the reader in a peculiarly beautiful yet treacherous world. The tightly-weaved lore also helps in conveying the complexity of the world that seeps through every inch of the land meticulously exposed throughout this historic adventure.
While the task at hand is often without real respite as a sense of impending doom looms over these heroes in the form of Dark Riders and a race against time, it is the ensemble of characters that make this journey so enamoring and memorable. Serving as the vessels of knowledge, it is through these heroes and with them that readers are acquainted with all the Middle-earth lore that hides within its mysterious forests, tall mountains, strange fogs, and large rivers. Their domination over the unknown, especially over their fear of it, also allows them to grow in terms of self-actualization—a state that was once achieved by Bilbo Baggins as well—but the significance of their task transforms their quest into one that is also a test of loyalty, friendship, and human nature. The story might seem incredibly linear at its core but the adventure is real as it can ever get as it pushes these heroes to move forward no matter what.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the quintessential epic high-fantasy adventure sending readers on a quest filled with friendship, loyalty, and mystery through Middle-earth.