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Masterwork of the Imagination,
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This review is from: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings, Part 1: The Fellowship of the Ring v. 1 (Kindle Edition)
As with its predecessor The Hobbit, it is extremely hard to say anything new about this book. However, I may as well add my voice to the thousands who have come before me...
This, then is the first chunk of Tolkien's magnum opus and the book that launched an entire genre; while fantasies existed in literature before, elements from this story have been imitated, pastiched and referenced by countless imitators.
The Lord of the Rings is the product of an incredible amount of work on the part of its creator; every facet of the world's languages, histories and cultures is detailed down to the last detail. However, this would count for nothing if all that worldbuilding had not been welded to a brilliant adventure story.
Every scene in the book is unforgettable, from the House of Elrond to the Mines of Moria. Each new incident or character adds something to the epic quest, and what characters they are. The touching loyalty between Sam and Frodo, the spiky rivalry between the elf Legolas and the Dwarf Gimli, the nobility of Aragorn and the pride of Boromir - all beautifully drawn.
There are perhaps overindulgences - the deluge of names is daunting for first-time readers, Tom Bombadil and many of the songs seem slightly frivolous among the more serious adventures - but this is very much my personal taste, and stem largely from Tolkien's wish to share as much of his world with the reader as possible.
Middle-Earth lives and breathes, and is much a character as any hobbit or wizard. The land seems infused with both magic as well as an underlying melancholia, as that magic fades with the changing of the world.
It seems inconceivable that any fan of fantasy or adventure has NOT read this grand work yet, but if you have not, grab this now. Enjoy the imagination, the thrills, and the magic; you'll not regret it.