Book Review: Lord of the Rings

As promised, I'm back this week for the final review of the month, Lord of the Rings.  Now this isn't technically a review – it's more of a why-I-love-this-story-so-much rant.  I'm going to be looking at the story of LOTR as a whole, sharing what it means to me and the reason I fell in love with it.  (And no, that's not just thanks to Aragorn)

Title: Lord of the Rings

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Publisher/Price: Del Ray / $21.58 (w/ the Hobbit) here

Type: Fiction

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 1,728 w/ the Hobbit

My rating: 5 1/2 out of 5 stars (favorite!)

My thoughts: When I started writing this review this past Sunday night, I wanted to talk about bravery in LOTR and got a little carried away.  It ended up being more of a rant about Lord of the Rings and not a review of Lord of the Rings.  So I'll be sharing that tomorrow and giving you the shorter, more concise review today.  But first, disclaimer...

*Disclaimer:  I have to admit that while I really enjoyed the books, the LOTR movies are really what hooked me and made me a fan.  I know, SHAME!  How can a book lover/blogger say that?  Yes, it's true.  I love Tolkien and all he is and does, but the books just got a little... shall we say... long?  *Gasp*  Anyway, I will be making references to the movies as well throughout this post.  So basically this is a post about the story.  Phew, that's out...

The Lord of the Rings is my second favorite fiction story ever (Little Women is ahead by only a little) and the movies are definitely my favorites.  I'll share a lot more tomorrow about why the story's inspiring me right now, but my fundamental reason I love the story so much is probably Aragor– I mean, how the story so starkly contrasts good and evil.

When I first watched the movies, the question came to my mind: "Why do I love this story so much?  What makes it so gripping?"  It dawned on me that it is because as humans, we intrinsically want a good ending to a story.  It is wired into us.  To me, that is amazing evidence for the fact that we were created by a God who wants good endings too – who is the good ending.  I'm not going to go into a whole rant – I'll save that for tomorrow, but that is the basic reason for my love of Lord of the Rings – it's a good-ending story.  And yet it's not a fluffy, feel-good story.  It's hard to read sometimes – sad even.  But you see the incredible contrast between the filthy, ugly evil of Sauron and his armies and the innocence and courage of the hobbits, of Aragorn, Gandalf, and all the free people of Middle Earth.  And the good wins.  Because in the real story of our earth, there's a good ending for the people of God.  Good wins. Love wins.  God wins.  Light will reign over the darkness.  Love will conquer evil.  Death will die.  When I read a book that parallels our good ending as followers of Christ (whether intentionally or not), that makes me excited.  That earns it a place in my heart.

There are other reasons I love Lord of the Rings.  Like how there are so many layers to the story – like the layers of an onion.  You peel one back and another appears underneath.  There are so many layers of complexity that regardless of how many times you read it, there are always things you didn't notice before.  I really love that about a book.

Then there's the chemistry between the characters that I absolutely love.  The Fellowship is basically the best thing ever – even when they're split up.  Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli doing things together will always make me happy.  Merry and Pippin make me laugh, and for me, Sam and Frodo will always be the best example of friendship in fiction, ever.

There's a lot more I could talk about, but I'm going to wrap this up – tomorrow I'll be back to go on some more about this series.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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