Welcome to the first post in my themed series of Saturday posts this month – September Tolkien Reading Month! As you may know (or may not, if you’re new here), The Lord of the Rings is my favourite series of all time and that I’m a huge fan of Tolkien’s works. I haven’t been the best at reading all of his available books, but I want to try and fix that soon. This month I’m reading The Silmarillion. For updates on my reading progress or if you want to join me, please follow me on my Twitter or Instagram and DM if you’re interested! As much fun as it is (at least for me) to deconstruct Tolkien’s works and analyse them in depth, today I thought I’d keep things a little light and do a book tag. The ones that already exist didn’t quite suit what I had in mind, so I went ahead and created my own. I don’t think it’ll become a phenomenon like the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag but I’m very interested in others’ answers.
Points to Note
- Please pingback to this post (so I can read all your responses!)
- Feel free to use the banner at the bottom in your own post if you feel like
- Be as creative as you like while interpreting the prompts
- Tag at least 3 people you think would enjoy doing this tag
- I realise that Gollum is not an official part of the Fellowship but I just wanted to have a round figure, so I added a prompt for this character too
Gandalf – A book that taught you something
I’m going with an obvious answer for this – Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I read it first at the perfect time when I could relate to it and it has so many amazing characters who all taught me some things in their own ways. My favourites are Hermione, who taught me to be confident in being the girl who had all the answers and loved reading, Sirius, whose courage and spirit made me brave during difficult times, and Neville, who taught me to be loyal and defy the labels that others defined me by.
Frodo – A book that left a mark on you
I haven’t stopped thinking about The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang ever since I read it. This adult fantasy comes with a huge host of trigger warnings, which are very much needed. The author does not hold back in describing war crimes and atrocities. It also made me rethink my perspective of good and evil because a narrative usually picks a side to tell the story from but I found that the protagonist didn’t always make the best choices, which made it hard for me to sympathize with her.
Legolas – A book you finished in one sitting
It’s very hard to devour a fantasy book, even a novella, in one sitting but I started reading Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett one evening on my commute home and I stayed up to finish it even though I had office the next day because it gripped me like no other book had for quite a while. It has a wonderful journey element that reminded me of The Lord of the Rings, so it’s perfect for this one!
Gimli – A book that features an unlikely friendship
I settled on La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman for this because Malcolm and Alice start off as bitter enemies but are forced to work together during dire circumstances and slowly grow to form a friendship with each other. I think they make an amazing duo as Malcolm is a thinker and Alice gets things done, so they complement each other very well, reminiscent of Gimli and Legolas.
Merry – A book that pleasantly surprised you
I was surprised by how much I ended up loving A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. I started with The Star-Touched Queen, which I thought was average but decided to give this one a try as I loved her world-building and writing style. I feel like she improved a lot with this one, with a structured plot and complex characters.
Pippin – A book that made you laugh
The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud is an old favourite of mine whose first book I had devoured back in childhood. I recently finished the series and was reminded of what a phenomenal character Bartimaeus is. He always has a sassy reply or two at hand that mostly gets him into trouble.
Boromir – A book/series that you think ended too soon
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire is a recent read of mine. It is the third in a series of fantasy novellas with some of the best world-building I’ve ever read! Since they are so short, the plot resolves itself fairly quickly and I’m always left wanting more from each book in the Wayward Children series.
Sam – A book with memorable side characters who stole the show
I did like Kell and sometimes Lila from Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab but my top three favourites were Rhy, Alucard and Holland. I really liked Rhy and Alucard together and the complexity of Holland’s character.
Aragorn – A good book with a bad/average cover
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao immediately springs to my mind for this, not because I don’t like the cover, but the series went through a cover change and I prefer that over the previous one. Snakes scare me so I’m a bit unnerved every time I look at this cover as it looks so realistic. It makes sense to put it on the cover, but compared to this gorgeous patterned one of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, there’s no contest at all.
Gollum – A book that had great potential but disappointed you in the end
I received an ARC of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi via NetGalley and was really looking forward to loving this African-inspired fantasy. It worked really well for me in terms of the world-building but it had a very abrupt and confusing ending. I really need to check if that’s the ending in the finished copy as well but my reading experience with this was just average. It felt like there was a lot of wasted potential there.
I’m tagging some Tolkien book nerds like myself as well as some of my other favourite bloggers to do this –
Have you read The Lord of the Rings or at least watched the movies? If not, do you plan to? Who is your favourite among the Fellowship? Did you think the prompts were interesting? Let me know in the comments section below.