Smith of Wootton Major

Our rating: **

In a tiny medieval town, the Feast of the Cake is approaching, and the baker, when searching for an old recipe, discovers a small shiny star on the page of a book. The baker is clueless, but his apprentice knows very well that it’s a fae-star. It is stirred into the cake, and a young boy, Smith, swallows it quite unaware. The star shines on his forehead, and when he grows up, he ventures into faeryland where he meets the faery queen herself and receives a surprising message from her.

A short, enchanting fairytale from J.R.R. Tolkien. It seems like a book that he wrote just for the fun of writing. It doesn’t have much plot, and it’s rather like something you might dream, but it does prove an enjoyable read.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Our rating: ***

This is a book containing some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s poetry, 16 poems to be specific. It has several that I hadn’t read before, and some old friends, including Oliphaunt, and Frodo’s The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late. Thoroughly enjoyable.

A great collection. Please keep in mind that this in not a complete collection of Tolkien’s poems. I enjoy poetry, and this book was neat to read.


Our rating: **

Roverandom is a little dog, but one day, after not being polite to a wizard, he is turned into a small toy dog. He has many adventures, including a trip to the moon, where he becomes good friends with the man-in-the-moon, and his dog, Rover, and a visit under the ocean with some mermaids. But all the while, he keeps an eye out for the wizard in the hope that he may get his real doggy life back again.

I only gave this book two stars because parts of the plot seem a little slow, but it’s a very enjoyable book, and I certainly liked reading it. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote this fantasy story for his young son, after losing his toy dog at the beach. They never found the toy again, but the story served as a consolation.

Farmer Giles of Ham

Our rating: ***

When farmer Giles is fortunate enough to drive a large and somewhat deaf giant away from the village of Ham, he acquires quite a reputation, which he is forced to try to maintain when a large dragon, Chrysophylax the Rich, becomes a threat to the citizens of Ham.

This is a hilarious story with a wonderful way of putting things bluntly. (if you’ve ever read The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame, the styles are similar) The farmer does use a bit of language (unfortunately) but the storyline is great. Crysophylax is such a funny dragon! (Although I’m sure he doesn’t think so.) A very enjoyable book. Farmer Giles of Ham is also included in A Tolkien Miscellany

The Return of the King

Our rating: *****

The ending of the Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King is probably the best in the series. All of the events come to a head at the end. Frodo and Sam enter Mordor to destroy the Ring, yet perhaps the Ring has taken too much hold over Frodo. Gandalf brings Pippin to Gondor, where the king is mourning the death of his son Boromir. Aragorn leads Gimli and Legolas through the Paths of the Dead, where he must fulfill his destiny. Merry goes with the Eorlingas.

The Return of the King is the most intense of all the books. You must read it if you want to finish the series (which you will, if you read the other two). My absolute favorite of the whole trilogy. The movie uses the end of The Two Towers as the beginning of The Return of the King. If you watch the extended version, just about everything is there. However, they added a subplot with Arwen not knowing whether she wants to leave Middle Earth with the other elves or not.