Book Recommendation - The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
If I had to choose a single word to describe it, I would go for "Epic". This masterpiece made out of six books (usually sold in pairs, as a trilogy) is truly monumental.
It accomplishes the ideal balance between a typical swords-and-sorcery quest and a complex history book.
The adventure aspect itself is engaging, with the multi-character narrative adding extra depth to the proceedings. However, it is the completeness of a faux historical portrait that sets it apart.
Tolkien worked hard at creating a believable fantasy universe, be it in terms of language (his specialty)geography, politics, anthropology and even food and drink!
The main characters are cleverly crafted and embody both moral standards - so important in this style of good vs. evil fiction - and all manner of idiosyncratic traits.
It's easy to relate to Tolkien's characters and the perils they go through, just like in the fantasy and fairy tales we were told as children.
Expect an incredibly engaging, addictive book and go find all about the Ring and its power. It will be worth it.
Note from Megan, editor of the Book Club Guide
Thanks for the great review. Tolkien's work is a great example of why readers and reviewers need to use caution when categorizing a book as "genre fiction".
Too many reviewers write science fiction and fantasy books off as somehow less worthy as literary fiction, but Tolkien shows us that it is possible to elevate genre fiction to the highest literary standards through his character development and his creation of a detailed alternate world.
The Lord of the Rings series is certainly a must-read for any fantasy or science fiction book club, and a great choice for book clubs interested in branching out and trying something new as well!
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