When I started reading this I was so surprised that I actually like it. I'm reading it for a class at university. My professor loves these books so much!
See my full review here
Tolkien’s descriptions are so beautiful and intricate. He really knows how to paint a strong picture in the reader’s mind of the setting, the journey, the actions, and the characters. His talent with description is really one of the biggest strengths of the novel.
The characters are probably my favourite aspect of this book. Frodo, Sam, and Aragorn are really well-written characters. They are similar and not. Tolkien tends to have characters mirror one another in small ways so as to create a bond between them. Can we just talk about how witty Frodo, Sam, and Aragorn are? I love it. Though Sam is often child-like, he is no push over and he’s so funny. So is Aragorn. I see Aragorn as a sort of older brother to Frodo and Sam. He teases them, tests them, and protects them. It’s a lovely dynamic to read. Of course, the friendship between Sam and Frodo is so special. Sam is unfailingly loyal to Frodo even when it’s hard to be (he may start to waiver but he ultimately chooses to stay loyal to Frodo)
. Also, Gandalf is an awesome character. He is their sort of Father or Grandfather figure so of course his assumed death is very hard for the characters in the novel
The plot and details are also very well done. Tolkien weaves in a lot of foreshadowing but it’s not in-your-face. It’s subtle but it adds to the story so that the flow is nice. There is also moments of comic relief in an otherwise tense plot. Those moments work really well to lighten things up and keep the reader from being overwhelmed by the drama.
As for things which I didn’t like, well, there aren’t too many. I found that Tolkien often repeated his descriptions throughout the book. Sometimes he would do this two pages in a row and it made me think that he was struggling to find new ways to describe things. Another thing which is annoying is that Tolkien names so many things in this book and it’s really hard to remember all of them. Each character or thing or place can even have multiple names and Tolkien alternates between these. It can get a bit confusing sometimes. I know that this novel focuses on the importance of language and words but I think that he went almost a little overboard with naming things.
Overall, this book is so well-written. It’s surprising how much I like it. It does take awhile to read because it’s a long book, but it definitely does draw you into its story-world.