The Fellowship of the Ring, as well as the other three books in the trilogy, have been labeled as some of the best fantasy books of all time. However, they have been unfortunately mislabeled. Although this book follows the typical fantasy pattern, with swords and sorcery, there was nothing fantastic about this book.
Despite the fact that the idea behind the book was brilliant, the book itself was not. The idea of having a ring so powerful that it corrupts all those who touch it (even the good) was such a good idea that it's a shame to have wasted it on this book. The thought to have an underdog, a little hobbit, play the hero, the one who always walks into danger, was also a good idea gone to waste. Tolkien's first mistake was including far too many characters for the reader to successfully follow. The length of the book was also way to long for the amount of things that happened.
The events were well written, I have to say, especially the attack on Frodo and his crew by the nightriders. I found this part particularly exciting. However, there was so many pages between each event, and so little happening in these pages, that I found the book to be boring, thus making it hard to follow because I was losing interest. Perhaps the most frustrating part of this novel is that after reading five hundred pages, there still really is no resolution. The conflict in the story is getting rid of the ring, which is going to be used for evil. At the end, however, they are just entering Mordor, the place where the excitement is going to happen. I understand that one is supposed to read the whole trilogy to get the whole effect of the story. However, after reading this one book, I'm sure some people will not want to read one thousand pages to find out the final fate of the ring.
The plot goes something like this: Frodo has a powerful ring that once belonged to the dark lord. The dark lord wants to take the ring back so he can bring evil to the world. Frodo, along with his different companions along the way (his servant Sam, a wizard, Gandalf, Strider, and Merry, to name a few) attempt to keep the ring away from the dark lord. However, along the journey, the dark lord's servants give them trouble. Gandalf dies after protecting the fellowship from a Balrog. They then continue to Lorien, where the Lady Galadriel tests their hearts, and gives them gifts to help them along their journey. The fellowship moves on, but can not decide weather to go towards Mordor, or Minas Tirith. Frodo decides to go to Mordor by himself, instead of putting his friends in grave danger. However, faithful Sam sneaks away and joins Frodo. The book ends with the two about to enter Mordor.
Now that you know the gist of the book, you can skip right past the fellowship trilogy, and move onto something more interesting.