This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected…
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further then the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag-End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day, to whisk him away on a journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon… -Goodreads
My Rating: 5/5
This is the greatest introduction to a fantasy world. Rereading this felt like going back home and slipping under the duvet with a warm hot chocolate in the winter. I fell in love with the story all over again.
Bilbo’s adventure is quite extraordinary for he not only survives the dangers that threatened him and is company on their travels, but he also had a hand in their success. Tolkien works hard at twisting the hero’s journey so that rather than the heroic figure being an all-powerful warrior, he is instead a small hobbit. Bilbo’s strength comes from his intelligence and morality. He cares deeply for his friends and overcomes his fears, growing into a fiercely brave hero, despite his disadvantages.
The introduction of the ring and Gollum is by far my favourite chapter. It’s clever a witty, and this is where we see Bilbo’s intelligence and bravery begin to take control of the plot. Riverrun is not described enough for my liking as it’s an incredible setting, but there is so much more to see. The stories we hear told through song and dialogue do a lot to add to the lore and history of the world, however, and they’re a pleasure to explore. The the chapters with Beorn were wonderful too, as another fantasy creature is introduced which adds to the complexity of the world.
This book is a classic of the fantasy genre, and the perfect introduction to The Lord of the Rings, as well as the rest of Tolkien’s Legendarium. Don’t skip over this when diving into Tolkien’s work – it’s one his best.