The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR #1) – J.R.R. Tolkien

"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, 
 One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

Synopsis of The Lord of the Rings
The Dark Lord, Sauron, seeks the one ring, the one he created, and the one that was he lost. His shadow clouds the Middle Earth. Land, sky, and sea are filled with his spies bringing cold terror to those who oppose him. The Ringwraiths are back seeking the ruling ring with a vengeance. And here the poor hobbit, Frodo, from the Shire is thrust with the burden of the ring. He, as the ringbearer must destroy it before Sauron could get at it. But the ring can be destroyed by only casting it into the fires of Mount Doom. But to get to this, Frodo must pass through Mordor, Sauron’s kingdom. A fellowship is nine is formed in support of his quest, choosing members from all fractions that oppose enemy power. Will they succeed in destroying the ruling ring or will the Middle Earth succumb to the power of Sauron?

The Fellowship of the Ring is part one of Tolkien’s masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. Here, the quest of Frodo begins, and with the fellow companions of the fellowship, he must face many dangers and difficulties before he could fulfill his charge. And we follow the company of nine, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin through many perilous adventures as they make their way from Rivendell to Mordor.

The Lord of the Rings is my first proper introduction to the fantasy genre. Although I’m not a keen fan of the genre, this series fascinated me beyond measure. From the first page on I knew I was in for a rare treat. And I was right. This is a rare literary gem that you’ll want to cherish. I say this for several reasons. First, I’ve never read a tale like this, ever. Tolkien has not only written a story, but also has created a unique world, a fascinating one inhabited by hobbits, Wizards, Elves, Dwarves, Men, and many other creatures. And he doesn’t stop there. He makes their history, creates their language thus building a complete world. Only a genius is capable of such a feat. His imaginative power is greater than any I’ve met in my literary journey. Second, his storytelling is absolutely brilliant. It absorbs the reader completely and effortlessly. This is only the first part, and the story is by no means conclusive; it’s only the beginning. But at no point the reader will feel bored or tired. Third, Tolkien’s use of the language is absolutely beautiful, beyond any description. It’s a pure delight to read. In the use of language Tolkien surpasses all the others I’ve ever read. And fourth is the cinematic quality he brings with his brilliant writing. Be it the shadow that slowly creeps on the middle earth, the darkness where enemy and his spies dwell, or the light, beauty, and the purity of Rivendell and Lothlorien where the Elves dwell, Tolkien brings all these perfectly into life. The fear, uncertainty, despair, and hope are so strongly captured that readers feel the effects of all these varying emotions. Who but a rare genius can create such a thorough and complete work of literature?

Tolkien’s Middle Earth is such a fascinating place to be even with the lurking shadow of the Dark Lord. A magical power draws us in even though every step generates much fear and tension. The company connects with us immediately, and we come to love them all in different degrees. Aragorn was my hero when I first read it twenty years ago, and I find my preference is still intact. 🙂 I’m revisiting The Lord of the Rings after reading The Silmarilion, and that helped considerably to understand and appreciate the history behind the story.

Tolkien wrote that “the prime motive (in writing this) was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them”. And all I can say is that: Dear sir, you accomplished perfectly all that you set out to do in this masterpiece of yours.

Rating: 5/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.