'THE LORD OF THE RINGS', J. R. R. Tolkein Illustrated by Alan Lee 'Three Rings for the Eleven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone Nine for the Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.' In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout the Middle-earth still it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell, by chance, into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. From his fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, Sauron's power spread far and wide. He gathered all the Great Rings to him, but ever searched far and wide for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.On his eleventy-first birthday, Bilbo disappeared, bequeathing to his younger cousin, Frodo, the Ruling Ring, and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS' tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard, Merry, Pippin and Sam, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir of Gondor, and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS' was first published in three volumes between 1954 and 1955, to great acclaim: "One of the most remarkable works of literature in our, or any, time." BERNARD LEVIN "No fiction I have read in the last five years has given me more joy" W. H. AUDEN "Like lightning from a clear sky ! heroic romance, gorgeous, eloquent and unashamed." C. S. LEWIS "The world is divided into those who have read 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of The Rings' and those who are going to read them." 'THE SUNDAY TIMES' Alan Lee was born in Middlesex in 1947.He attended the Ealing School of Art, specialising in illustration, and has illustrated a wide range of books including 'Faeries' (with Brian Froud), 'The Mabinogion, Castles' and 'Merlin Dreams.' He also worked on the film 'Erik the Viking.' Tolkien's work has inspired him ever since reading 'The Lord of the Rings' at an early age. He now lives and works on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.