Authors KURT BRUNER and JIM WARE
A slim volume that was written and published when the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy widened the reading and viewing audience of what many regard as the greatest books written in the twentieth century. Tolkien and his wonderful fantasy odyssey have spawned a heap of secondary literature endeavoring to draw out Christian themes from the adventures of Frodo and Sam and all the other amazing characters found in the saga. This particular book could be regarded as a very Christian and a first primer on the trilogy. It will not please the scholar who wants to dissect Tolkien’s writings, it will be too superficial, and it will not please the staunch evangelical Christian who wants to avoid trying to find Christian truth in ‘secular’ fantasy literature that contain elves and dwarves and all sort of other creatures. For myself, I found it to be exactly what it set out to be, an introduction to meanings within the story, maybe several were ‘read in’ to it, but the short chapters, in the main are well written, helpful in elucidating Christian truths and quotations from the books and their setting were well chosen. Reflections on Tolkien and a final epilogue examining somewhat what he was intending to do, allusions to Leaf by Niggle and the ‘sub-creation- and that mankind is meant to be sub-creators round off the book. If people are reading Tolkien’s work, then let them read it with eyes open to see beyond the adventure. Let them see the workings of evil and of redemption too. This little book will help to open eyes and also corroborate the reality of what God has done in the Gospel.