Tag Archive: Tolkien


LOTR3Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Finished: 12/04/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely brilliant

I really really enjoyed the first two LOTR books and The Hobbit so I was very excited to get to read this volume these past couple of weeks.  I’d managed (somehow) to avoid seeing the films and overhearing people talk about it all my life so I really didn’t know how the story was going to end.

The plot is really good (as always) in this book although maybe slightly weaker than the previous two volumes – I do think I enjoyed this one the least out of all the three.  I just felt at times it was just slightly too predictable compared to the other two.  Although the ending is slightly anticlimactic, this can’t really be avoided when you have been reading over 1000 pages of build up!  Nevertheless I was enthralled by this book, especially in the middle and I definitely wanted to keep turning the pages.

The characters are as phenomenal as before, and it feels like everyone gets their story and part to play in the plot, which is a nice touch.  I liked the way slightly more minor characters, like the men in Gondor/Rohan had storylines weaved into the main plot as well.  I was a bit gutted we didn’t really get to meet Sauron – I was kind of hoping for a hugely dramatic stand-off between him and Gandalf over the Cracks of Doom…in fact I think this was the area I a bit disappointed in really – that it all ended without one last battle with everyone involved, but hey ho!

I felt like there was slightly more assumption of the history of Middle-Earth in this volume than the others – everything before was always clearly explained (e.g. the histories of the One Ring etc) but some of the facts about “The King” etc were somewhat assumed that we would know; after reading the appendices, of course it all became very clear but at some points some of the formalities and who was actually in charge of who and in what land was a bit confusing!

It seems as though I’ve only commented on the flaws of this book, but that’s not how I see it at all – I have sung Tolkien’s praises so much in my previous posts that I think (so as not to repeat myself) it was better to focus on some things I didn’t enjoy 100% for a change; also if I mentioned everything I love about this series, the post would be far far too long!  I wholly recommend the whole LOTR series to you all, as it’s completely epic (in both senses of the word) and I really can’t wait to watch the third film!

TheTwoTowersTitle: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Finished: 26/01/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely brilliant

I finished The Fellowship of the Ring back in August and I have waited impatiently for The Two Towers to come to the top of my TBR pile ever since.  It did not disappoint.  Although I felt like I didn’t fly through this volume as quickly as the first book, I can’t tell whether that’s just the difference between reading on holiday (book 1) and reading at home during busy term time (this book).

The plot is again, of course, brilliant and I really liked the way Tolkien kept it twisting and turning without it all becoming too silly.  He gets the balance right.  I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen next and that’s such a brilliant feeling when you’re reading a book, especially one as action-packed as this.  I will avoid spoilers so I won’t mention which parts completely shocked me…I can reveal however that I absolutely can’t wait to watch the film!  And with my sister ill with flu at the moment, I’m sure we will find time to watch it together very soon!

The characters are just as great as in the first book…probably because they are by and large the same people!  I loved the introduction of the Ents – I’d heard of elves and hobbits and orcs before I read the first book but I’d never heard of Ents before so that was really interesting to read about.  I was also surprised by how much Gollum features in this book; his story is quite unique really.  I feel like all the characters have a lot of unfinished business at the moment, so I really can’t wait to find out what they all do next in The Return of the King.

The setting and language and songs and stories and history of Middle Earth are second to none – the inclusion of maps at the end of the book is perfect and everything is crafted so thoughtfully and meticulously – I expect to read all of Tolkien’s works after I have finished LOTR – I am sure I will never have enough of Middle Earth!

I recommend The Hobbit first for anyone who fancies reading some of Tolkien’s work and I really can’t wait to read book three of the series.  Hopefully the second film will be just as good as the first (which was awesome!).

LOTR1

Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Finished: 09/08/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely brilliant

Well, I have taken my time to get round to reading the epic Lord of The Rings series but after all these years I finally picked up The Fellowship of the Ring whilst on holiday in Corsica.  Wow.  I was not prepared for it to be so utterly brilliant!  I knew I would love it, as I had loved The Hobbit in January but I didn’t realise quite how much I would love it!  Tolkien’s writing is so great, I don’t think I can fault a single area of the book.

People have often said that The Lord of The Rings is the ‘best story ever told’ and I agree that it is one of the best I have ever read (so far).  The way Tolkien manages to write an epic that is still easy to relate to and not over confusing is really special and definitely not very common.  The plot is probably what made me turn the pages most, even though half of me was saying ‘slow down and savour each moment!’  The twists and turns are very well done and manage to balance perfectly between not being too ridiculous or too predictable.  I cannot wait to see what happens next!

The characters are totally iconic in modern day life: everyone knows the names Frodo, Gandalf, Legolas etc and it was really enjoyable for me to put personalities to these vague faces I could dimly picture from trailers/TV.  The way each character develops throughout this first book is akin to a great Dickensian classic, especially the way Sam has gone from a faithful gardener to brave and loyal adventurer!  It is going to be amazing to see what happens to everyone as the story continues – surely Gandalf can’t really be gone?!  Also, I can’t wait to finally watch the films too to see how everything is presented on screen…although not until I have finished the books of course!

Middle Earth is a well-known setting but it is still very detailed and intricate, especially to those who are unfamiliar with Tolkien’s universe.  Therefore, the inclusion of maps at the end of the book is really helpful, particularly if you are like me and like to follow a journey on a page and picture the route.  The detail with which Tolkien has created this world is just beyond incredible and you end up believing absolutely everything you read!

I think the main (?) reason why we all adore The Lord of The Rings so much, is that Tolkien’s enormous love and enthusiasm for all things in Middle Earth is plainly obvious throughout the entire epic; it permeates through every myth, legend, song and story that form the background and history of his unique world and you can’t help but share it too!  Bring on The Two Towers.

P.S I have put that this counts towards The Classics Club, but I put LOTR as one entry, so I guess it only counts as a third of a classic? :L

January Wrap-Up & February Plans

I say this every month without fail, but January 2013 has flown by!  It was Christmas and suddenly it’s now February!  Well anyway, January was quite a busy month for me, as I had 5 exams which (mostly) went well thank goodness…I get the results in March!  Also, there was all sorts of crazy weather including a large dumping of snow which shut school…except I had to go in anyway for an exam! :O  I’m sure February will prove to be just as crazy and busy, as I am off to Uganda for 8 days next Sunday!  It is going to be an amazing and eye-opening experience for definite but also a 9 hour plane journey seems like prime reading time!

Here’s what I read in January 2013:

Villette – Charlotte Brontë

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

This is good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is more than I read in December, which is good.  My aim of 1200 pages a month was fulfilled as I read 1340 pages.
For the first 3 weeks of January I had no problems keeping up my 30 minutes reading a day, despite my exams, but as soon as I started Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t maintain this – I just can’t really get into it!
I need to read a science book next month to keep up with my target of at least one science book every two months.
I definitely fulfilled my at least one classic a month target as I read two – The Hobbit and Villette.
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and I have worked on this – commenting more and when not commenting still reading posts.  I also came across quite a few new blogs due to The Classics Club Readathon.

So as you can see, I have met pretty much all of my targets for January 2013, so hopefully I can keep it up in February.

Challenge Progress in January 2013:

The Classics Club :  10/60 books read  (2 this month: Villette & The Hobbit )

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge: 6/15 (Villette) (This challenge has been discontinued but it does no harm to keep track anyway!)

I have some more classics to add to my Classics Club list and I really need to do this before Uganda – I hope I have time!

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I am reading Pride and Prejudice but it is taking me FOR EVER!  I think this is because I haven’t really had the time to dedicate to it that it deserves and the days have just slipped by.  I am really hoping to finish it before Uganda.

February Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are Middlemarch still, Richard III and Le Petit Nicholas.  I am leaving Middlemarch, but I am taking Richard III, The Host and Big Bang (Simon Singh) to Uganda with me so I have some varied reading.

Challenges:  When I do my Classics Club review, Richard III will count towards that and the next classic I plan for after that will probably be 1984 (a re-read).

Yes my reading has been a bit sparse over the last week or so, but the rest of January was really good for me, especially as I loved The Hobbit so much.  I hope you all discover some new favourites in February like I did in January. 🙂

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

HobbitTitle: The Hobbit

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Finished: 19/01/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely brilliant

I had two different feelings about reading this book – one the one hand, I was very excited as everyone has raved so much about The Hobbit and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  On the other hand, I feared I may not like it and would struggle to love it when so many others already do.

However, this was not a problem – I ADORED it!  It was absolutely brilliant and totally worth all the fuss people make about it.

The plot was so riveting and at some points I physically couldn’t put it down. It definitely does what it says on the tin – it is a fantasy adventure and that’s what you get.  I guess if people aren’t really into that kind of genre, they may be put off, but to be honest I would have never said that I particularly like fantasy and yet I loved it.

The way Tolkien describes each event perfectly but doesn’t linger too long makes it really readable and encourages you to keep going, as another adventure is always just around the corner.  Considering this is my first ever venture into Tolkien’s work, I found it all very easy to follow and now can’t wait to start The Lord of the Rings (hopefully this summer).

The characterisation is amazing!  Bilbo is obviously unforgettable and Gandalf and Gollum are pretty unique too.  The real strength in terms of characterisation, I think, is that all the more minor characters are well-crafted and intricate too.  Tolkien always explains and describes the elves, dwarves, goblins and the rest, especially their own traditions and ways which makes it very easy to picture them all.

The setting is great too and I love having maps in the book.  These definitely help us feel like we’re going on the journey with them all too!  All the different places the gang visits jump right out of the page and I know this will continue in The Lord of the Rings too.

This book is definitely a new favourite of mine and I will put it on my re-read list pronto, but I do intend to wait until long after I’ve finished the whole LOTR trilogy before re-reading.  I have heard that the film is absolutely amazing and I hope I find time to go and see it soon (if not I will buy the DVD anyway).  Lots of bloggers have raved about The Hobbit and this all just leaves me with one question: “does anyone NOT love The Hobbit?!”

2012 Wrap-Up & 2013 Plans

Well what an amazing year 2012 has been, both in terms of reading and non-reading.  Back in January and February, I was inspired to start my own book blog and I officially began in March 2012.  Since then, I have (pretty much) kept this blog going even when I was very busy/not reading much, which I am proud of.  I enjoyed holidays to Vienna, Majorca and of course the amazing Olympics.  There was the French Open, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 along with the US Open which was definitely my favourite sporting event (aside from the Olympics) as Andy Murray finally won and Laura Robson exploded onto the professional women’s tennis scene.  My exams and all the hard work really paid off when I got my results at the end of August and I have embraced sixth form life since I began in September as well.  The Classics Club started and has grown massively and the book-blogosphere has continued to expand.

What a load of great things; 2013 has a lot to live up to!

I have several reading goals for 2013:

  • 1: Better my 2012 books total.  I read 34 books in 2012 so that means I need to read at least 3 books a month to better it.  Ideally I would like to read 4 books a month, but that is not always possible, especially as many of the books I read are quite long and take me a while!
  • 2: Better my 2012 pages total.  I read 14070 pages in 2012 so that means I need to read an average of 1173 pages a month to better.  Maybe I should aim for at least 1200 pages a month to make it a nice round easy target…
  • 3: Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading.  Now this may seem quite a small amount, but during busy school time 30 minutes is very long!  I want this to be 30 straight minutes with no checking the internet, watching TV etc at the same time.
  • 4: Keep up my science reading.  I get some science magazines through school, which I don’t blog about, but I have decided to try and read at least 1 science book every 2 months.  Hopefully this target won’t be that hard to meet.
  • 5: Keep up my classics reading.  I have been pretty good this year about sticking to this (8 classics in 10 months) but I want to make sure I still read at least one classic every month, even though I know this can be hard with classics being so long and taking much longer than ‘normal’ books to read.  Also, I need to do a Classics Club review very soon where I add some more titles to my list!
  • 5: Stay an active blogger.  By this I mean post about almost every book I read; continue to read other blogs; participate in challenges and events; reply to comments and comment myself.  My main blogging goal however is to read some new blogs, as there are so many people signed up to The Classics Club now and I very rarely end up reading posts by people I don’t know!

I hope you agree with my goals (feel free to suggest more or prompt if you feel I am not fulfilling them)!  I will probably look back over them as I do my monthly wrap-ups and hopefully I will find that I am sticking to them.

Classics Club Readathon January 2013

The next thing I need to talk about is the first Classics Club Readathon which is taking place this weekend.  For us in the UK it is actually from 1.00 pm on Saturday to 1.00 pm on Sunday, but I am probably going to be reading on off all weekend as much as possible, as I am pretty busy with revision and other things at the moment!  I really hope you can join us, as a whole load of bloggers all reading together at the same time is a pretty amazing experience.  It’s times like these that we have to appreciate the internet and the international connections it allows us to make!

I think I will still chug away with Villette for the readathon, as I never really enjoy having more than one book on the go at once!  I have been reading Villette since mid-December and I am about 2/3 of the way through.  I would really like to get as much read as possible before I go back to school on Monday!
After Villette, I have planned The Hobbit, The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz and Pride and Prejudice for January.  I feel this may be slightly ambitious if I don’t rush through all of these, but I can still hope!  In December I only read 2 books and no classics, so I need to up my game if I am to stick to all my new goals!

I really hope you all have a great 2013 that is full of books and reading and feel free to link up your yearly wrap-up or 2013 goals posts in the comments here, as I would love to see what you have got planned, especially if you are reading this and you don’t think I have come across your blog yet!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hello everyone!  I really hope you’ve all had a nice Christmas, I certainly have – lot of relaxing, eating, church, TV and a little bit of revision (I have January exams).  I haven’t had chance to read that much, but I am slowly plodding my way through Villette.  Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying it, but maybe not as much as I enjoyed Jane Eyre (I am not even half way though, so it could pick up).  I will do a yearly wrap-up early in January and discuss what my reading plans are over the coming month then.

I was at home for Christmas with my family and my grandparents came too, which was nice.  Singing in the church choir for the carol service on the 23rd and at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve along with playing the piano for a service on Christmas Eve as well was pretty tiring but worth it.  I got some very nice presents, my main one being my driving lessons still plus a pretty cool accordion!  Book-wise, I received The Hobbit & LOTR box-set which I am very much looking forward to reading for the first time! I hope you have all had as nice a Christmas as I have and let me know what bookish gifts you gave/received!

I really hope 2013 will be a good year for us all, full of happiness and reading, although it will have a lot to live up to for me: 2012 saw the amazing Olympics, lovely holidays to Vienna and Majorca plus my exam results which were pretty good haha!  I am going to Uganda in February (scary!) with my Dad and my sister, so that will definitely be a massive experience. Anyway, let me know your plans for 2013 – I would love to know what you’re planning to get up to and all of you enjoy New Year’s Eve!!