Cover Image: The Lure of the Ring

The Lure of the Ring

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Member Reviews

I found this book was somewhat difficult to get into. I felt like maybe some of the points, although interesting, were a stretch. I also didn’t appreciate the fact that they said that Tolkien didn’t know what he was writing. I found that a little unfair. Just because Tolkien’s thinking changed, doesn’t mean he didn’t know what underlying messages there were in his books.
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*received a copy for free from netgalley for honest review* Though short this was a pretty interesting book, I read a similar book about Zelda which I also enjoyed but was 2x as long. Good quick read for someone who liked LoR though!
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This is an odd little book. It’s basically a treatise on spirituality, using The Lord of the Rings as an example. Not entirely what I thought I was getting, and probably not going to find a wide audience – Tolkien fans will be disappointed that it’s not really about LotR, and if you’re looking for the spiritual stuff the fantasy-source might seem flippant.

Still, I started off rather enjoying it – someone talking about LotR can’t be all bad, after all! But, after a while, the tone really started to grate on me. I would have preferred an approach of “I think”, “my translation is”, “to me, this suggests…” rather than the quasi-academic sense of certainty. Writers rarely ‘mean’ what future studies try to pin on their stories; indeed, at the end of this the author even admits that Tolkien’s letters reveal the multi-layers of allegory and meaning didn’t appear until years later.

The lecturing tone can be a little patronising, I found – or, perhaps that’s the increasing density of the subject. From easy-to-grasp concepts – what Galadriel’s refusal of the Ring says about her character, for example – by the end he’s quoting quasi-religious texts, talking about the Self that is no-Self, and at times my head was just spinning!

If this is your cup of tea, by all means give it a go. Personally, I don’t think I was fully expecting the build up to full-on ‘nondual spirituality’ and self-actualisation, and while it might have been interesting getting there I didn’t wholly appreciate the feeling of being preached at, even if the author does back away from that by the end again.

The message, though, is nice enough, and it is interesting seeing ‘just a fantasy story for kids’ (hah!) providing such rich source material.
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This is perfect for my students that have enjoyed the Lord of the Ring series. It will be helpful and even a good pairing novel for those who are currently reading to even better understand the series. Also, the cover art is freaking cool.
Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow! An elegantly written book about the Lure of the ring in the Tolkien's Lord of the Ring books. It looks at our desire for power, control of our fates, the effect of the power, etc against the backdrop of the story. Sauron being the most addicted to power, its effects are shown. Other characters are analyzed with respect to their abilities to resist tbe ring. Its a remarkably easy book to read but full of insights. There are comments and reflections from Tolkien himself as we see him change and grow in his perpectives about the themes of his books.
  Highly recommended for thoughtful lovers of the series.
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This is a good book for those who are fans of  J. R. R. Tolkien and The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series.
This book does a good job of explaining the symbolism that Tolkien used in these books.

Very interesting and intriguing analysis.
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This book is different than what I usually review, but as a Tolkien fan I was drawn into the exploration of who Tom Bombadil truly is.

This book is a theoretical idea speculating about who Tom Bombadil is and how Sauron's desire for the ring was like an addiction. I can tell that a lot of research went into this publication and I found it fascinating.

The first point that I found interesting was their comparison of Sauron to a Hungry Ghost in Bhuddism. He is like an emaciated creature who's only desire is possession of the ring but his appetite can never be quenched. I found this to be a good comparison because it really delves into who Sauron is at the core. Tolkien leaves a lot to speculation and I think it is important for Tolkien enthusiasts to dig into the motivations and habits of each character. It gave me a different view of Sauron and sort of makes me pity him.

Creeping past Sauron we entered what I was truly curious about, Tom Bombadil. If you don't know who he is it's probably because he isn't in the Peter Jackson movie. He is a mysterious being in the books, and no one can really define who he is. But this book speculates, and the hypothesis makes a lot of sense. The authors wrote that we can envision Tom Bombadil as the antithesis to Sauron, and I thought that was clever.

They also offer up two different definitions for who Tom Bombadil could be. They state,
 "Tom has answered Frodo’s “Who are you?” question in two ways: In terms of identity, Tom’s true name is silence. Simultaneously, in relationship to Frodo – and , indeed , to all others – we shall see that he is called Eldest."


This is a good representation of his character because it is not an easy answer, if that makes sense. Tom Bombadil is complex and one answer would never work. He is the silence you experience when you are just being, and he is the Eldest because he watched Middle Earth become what it is. He takes two forms and only one being corporeal. We can't fathom who he is because he is unfathomable. 

My issue with this particular book is that it is extremely repetitive and unnecessarily wordy. It's already a short read but could be quite shorter. Old points are brought up again and again, then sentences are reworded three different ways. Not only was that kind of annoying but it caused me to lose interest. It took me a little over an hour to read and probably could take less if points weren't constantly reiterated.

All in all, the speculation is great, but the execution could be better. I give The Lure of The Ring 3/5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me to access this content. An extra thank you to BooksGoSocial for giving me my first Auto Approval!
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I enjoyed this book, but I think it's a book for true Tolkien lovers, as some people may not understand it's appeal. Thoughtful reading as I found the symbolism interesting.
Thank you netgalley
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For fans of Tolkien and Hobbits, this is a great read. It helps explain some of the symbolism from Tolkiens books which also gives a glimmer of human spirit. Very intriguing and interesting book.
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First off, I will tell you that the book has a captivating cover! Brilliant!
However, this book turned out to be not quite what I expected. I was expecting a discussion of power and addiction to the Ring in The Hobbit. Not quite. What we got was an examination of Tom Bombadil's character. I don't agree with the blurb that the book could provide an opportunity for Readers to examine their own character.

I'm sure there are folks that will be fascinated by this book, but I'm not among them.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.
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I first and wrongly thought that this book was an extension of Tom Bomadillo from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.  It is a review of Tom's character.  The author compares Tom's behavior and beliefs to the different stages of self actualization.  He does an excellent job, but I don't have any interest in this.  I prefer to make my own inferences from Tolkien's writings.  I'm sure there are many people and scholars who would love this book.  They have college courses devoted to Tolkien.
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Truly a book to help understand from another point if view the why of the draw of the ring.  As a person who loves the world Tolkien created this book is a must have.

Thank you NetGalley for the privilege to read and offer a review.  This book was provided free.

A must have in your collection!!!
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"The Lure of the Ring" was a lot of fun to read. I am a huge fan of Tolkien's work, so that may sway a bias, but this is a well-written collection.
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