So Many Books, So Little Time

How to start off 2013? New Year’s Resolutions everyone knows you’ll never keep or a feeling of self-loathing as you shovel down even more Quality Streets left over from Christmas while promising that the diet would start tomorrow? I’ve vowed that in this New Year I will take part in a reading challenge, set by myself, to read over 100 or more classic books and decided that on the 1st of January, 2013 I would start and finish on the 31st of December. I would read all of them, cover to cover in that time while also posting reviews of them all each time I’d finish. Seemed easy enough. What could go wrong?

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14. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for 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.”

Rating: 9/10 (average for all three books)

I may have been more than slightly dismissive of ‘The Hobbit’, the first book of the List this year and which exists in the same world as the saga of Frodo and the One Ring, though this didn’t deter me from picking up the trilogy that followed. This was daunting-what many have deemed the greatest trilogy in the world lay on my lap, all three waiting to be read and savoured and almost desperate to prove me wrong about ‘The Hobbit’. And I can wholeheartedly say that I was proven wrong. And I can wholeheartedly say that I loved them all.

   ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’: Frodo Baggins lives with his uncle Bilbo in the Shire, a place far removed from the peril of the world beyond their doorstep. Though when Bilbo lets slip of his time in the company of Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield’s dwarves, Frodo inherits the One Ring Bilbo stole from the creature Gollum all those years ago and is soon embroiled in the other side to Middle Earth as opposed to the comfort of the Shire. When Bilbo disappears on his birthday, Frodo is advised by Gandalf to leave the Shire along with a few companions for their safety and in order to ensure that the Dark Lord Sauron doesn’t get his hands on the One Ring, the last one to complete the Rings of Power that’ll see him ruling the whole of Middle Earth. Lots going on. Slightly confused? I was too, but things get clearer as it goes on, including a run in with some fierce Nazgûl, a stay in Rivendell and the terrifying decision to head for the dark land of Mordor, Sauron’s domain.

   ‘The Two Towers’: Orcs, elves, dwarves and hobbits abound in the second instalment in the epic fantasy series, in which the broken Fellowship are on the next leg of their Middle Earth journey, including Isengard under the watchful Eye of Sauron. Upon capturing Gollum, he agrees to lead them towards Mordor though it appears his intentions are less than honourable in his attempts to claim the One Ring for himself. The extents of this desire and perpetual pursuit of the Ring involves leading Frodo and Sam to where they intended to be, though receiving an audience with giant spider queen Shelob, whose plans concern devouring both hobbits and Gollum’s being that he can steal the Ring from their bones and remains. But Frodo is taken by the enemy by the final sentence…

   ‘The Return of the King’:  I’d rather not say too much regarding the final book in the trilogy lest I give too much away, though I fear that I already have said too much. But it does include daring rescues from the clutches of Orcs, the final showdown for the One Ring and a culmination that is sure to satisfy any LOTR fans (or fans to be, as I’m sure quite a few of you will be soon.) So go! Go read them as soon as you can get your hands on them. I rather wanted to write something in Elvish but it’s harder to find a translator than it looks. So I’ll compensate by saying: Read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books, my preciouss! Yes, I know. But c’mon on!

‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy is available on Amazon in paperback (£12.20) and on Kindle (£13.99)

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