12.11.2012

A Book For All Ages

If JRR Tolkien's intention in writing this book is to inspire and entertain his children then I would say he succeeded. The story is fast-paced for a children's novel and can still deliver the thrill of anticipation for the next scenes for an adult reader.

 Looking at Tolkien's trademark style of world-building, it's fascinating to identify how diverse the element of "race" here and I even like this diversity better than the sequel saga War of the Ring (Lord of The Rings I-III). There are of course the race of halflings, dwarves, humans, elves, and goblins (progenitors of orcs). Add to these are the races of trolls, wild wolves (wargs), and avians (ancestral birds that can verbally communicate with men) including their subspecies (ravens, eagles, and thrushes). Not to forget the race of dragons but fortunately for the protagonists, they only need to tackle one member of that race---in the name of Smaug the Magnificent.

 In the upcoming trilogy films by Peter Jackson, I want to see cool characters like the thirteen dwarves, Beorn (the shapeshifter, or perhaps a druid?), Radagast the Brown, the Necromancer, The King of Eagles, the trolls (Tom, Bert, and Bill), the Goblin King, Bard the bowman, Dain the mighty dwarf, Roac the raven, and the thrushes. Of course, the recurrent roles of the major characters in LOTR series are already expected. Tauriel may not be in the book, but for obvious reason I can't wait to see her in the second or perhaps third film.

[Spoiler alert here, don't read further if you haven't read the book]

Zenith point (climax) of the novel belonged to the Battle of the Five Armies up to the unexpected death of a major character, while the nadir point (lowest point) belonged to the unbelievable death of Smaug the Dragon from a single arrow.

The central quest of the book is to recapture stolen treasures from the dragon but I like the author's message here that there exists something that weighs heavier than all the earthly treasures this world can provide, and it's called Peace. Letting go of the Arkenstone to the rightful owner is a very cool gesture by Bilbo. Of course, he got the mithrill, the sting, and the magic ring all saved for future resolution.

And the adventure has just begun.

Genre: Fantasy 
Rating: 4 tobacco-jars

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