Series Review: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein


Overall Rating: ☆☆☆
Title: The Lord of the Rings
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobooks
Narrator: Rob Inglis
Publisher: Recorded Books
Source: Library
Recommended for fans of: high fantasy, detailed backstory

1. The Fellowship of the Ring
Pub. Date: July 29, 1954
Length: 19 hours
Rating: ☆☆☆

2. The Two Towers
Pub. Date: November 11, 1954
Length: 17 hours
Rating: ☆☆☆.5

3. The Return of the King
Pub. Date: October 20, 1955
Length: 18 hours
Rating: ☆☆☆.5


One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.


After 15 years since I first attempted to read this series, I finally finished it. I am very glad that I read it. But y’all. I just don’t get it.

Tolkein gets an A+ for his world building, which is truly outstanding, but a C for execution. Tolkein loves to develop backstory through long songs and verses to deliver the history of Middle Earth, and that just doesn’t do it for me. These books are so long, and not enough happens. Fellowship is actually boring, and while the subsequent books have more action, adventure, and focus on current character development rather than past events, I still wanted more. I liked the characters and the world, and I appreciate what Tolkein did for fantasy, but I just don’t understand why LOTR is the be-all-end-all of high fantasy. I liked it, but I don’t love it. I really wanted to, but I just don’t. Someone help me understand what I’m missing because I don’t want to give up my fantasy lover card!

I did enjoy the audiobook productions! The narrator had the perfect voice for this story, and he even sang all of the many songs! I thought the singing was fun, even though it made me feel uncomfortable when I was listening to the audiobook in public.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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