The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), J. R. R. Tolkien. Paperback, 544 pages.
Awards: International Fantasy Award
Summary: The grand-daddy of epic high fantasy, The Fellowship of the Ring is really the first section of what Tolkien intended to be one large book. Today, it is the third best-selling novel ever written. Look to this work for the introduction of orcs, elves, dwarves, and wizards into popular fiction; but Tolkien's great work is most important, and more interesting, as a seminal example of "mythopoeia," or myth-making. For a more detailed summary, click here.
He stepped up to the rock again, and lightly touched with his staff the silver star in the middle beneath the sign of the anvil.
Annon edhellen, edro hi ammen!
Fennas nogothrim, lasto beth lammen!he said in a commanding voice. The silver lines faded, but the blank grey stone did not stir.
Many times he repeated these words in different order, or varied them. Then he tried other spells, one after another, speaking now faster and louder, now soft and slow. Then he spoke many single words of Elvish speech. Nothing happened. The cliff towered into the night, the countless stars were kindled, the wind blew cold, and the doors stood fast.
Again Gandalf approached the wall, and lifting up his arms he spoke in tones of command and rising wrath. Edro, edro! he cried, and struck the rock with his staff. Open, open! he shouted, and followed it with the same command in every language that had ever been spoken in the West of Middle-earth. Then he threw his staff on the ground, and sat down in silence.
Writing Quality: 6/10
Depth of Concept: 9/10
Rounded Characters: 6/10
Well-Developed World: 10/10
Page Turner: 8/10
Kept Me Thinking: 7/10
Overall Recommendation: 9/10