Publisher’s Summary: Inspired by The Hobbit and begun in 1937, The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy that J.R.R. Tolkien created to provide “the necessary background of history for Elvish tongues”. From these academic aspirations was born one of the most popular and imaginative works in English literature.
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.
In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe – hobbits, elves, and wizards – step colorfully into life. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.
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Although the origins of thought and the inspiration behind Tolkien’s sweeping saga set in a land that only bears a passing resemblance to our own there are clues as to the thoughts of the author in the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy – The Fellowship of the Ring.
A reading of the first installment (or a watching of the movie) does not require an intimate knowledge of the preceding book – The Hobbit, however a passing familiarity with the characters of the simpler and more approachable Hobbit would probably enrich the experience of the Lord of the Rings.
In the Fellowship of the Ring we learn that Bilbo has returned from his adventures in possession of the One Ring – which for many years was in the possession of Gollum, a fallen creature who had once borne some resemblance to a Hobbit, but who had been twisted by the power of the One Ring.
Gandalf the Grey returns to present Bilbo’s relative, the young Frodo with a tremendous task. He must present the ring to the elves who will oversee its destruction.
Failing in this task will mean the return of Sauron, a shadowy but well recognized character determined to turn Middle Earth into a realm where evil triumphs over good and the elder races, including elves and hobbits will fall under his rule.
This is a rule that will warp and twist Middle Earth into a place where evil rules the land.
It is up to Frodo to leave his beloved Shire – home of Baggins for many generations and set of for the Kingdom of the elves where he and his band of dwarfs will receive counsel on how the ring can be disposed of.
During the journey the intrepid party is faced with attack after attack by the forces of Sauron who are intent on seizing the one ring – which will ensure their victory.
The band sees the death of many of their party – including Gandalf the Grey who will later return as Gandalf the White (who many scholars see as a version of Merlin).
They battle towards Mount Doom in an effort to cast the ring into the molten fires of the volcano. In the first part of the trilogy The Fellowship of The Ring the later events which see the party sorely tested we are introduced to much of the mythology of Middle Earth – much of the later action is only foreshadowed.
However The Fellowship of the Ring allows the reader a glimpse into the history of Middle Earth and why many of the players on the stage of this vast world act as they do.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy rewards careful reading. There are two way to approach it. It can be a rollicking adventure or an examination of mankind’s baser instincts and a longing for a simpler time.
As one turns the last page of the Fellowship of the Ring there can only be a sense of palpable excitement about the journey that the main protagonists will be taking in the last two parts of the trilogy. This is the foundation of one of the most beloved of fantasy novels and should be required reading for both lovers of fine fiction and those who prefer a more scholarly approach to literature.