Everyone knows it. Everyone loves it. It’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and it should be on everyone’s bookshelf. I highly recommend it as a read aloud as soon as kids will sit still for it (which, admittedly probably isn’t that young). But since so much has been said about it already, I’m going to use this chance to talk about something else: the trilogy.
There is a reason we have a word for the 3-book series and that is because it’s the perfect length to tell an epic story. Time after time (see earlier posts) authors have found this to be true. It’s long enough to see the characters grow and the plot lines intertwine in a satisfying way but without the story growing stale. On occasion an author can pull off a fourth book that shines as bright or even brighter then the first three (Harry Potter). But even these often start to turn south soon after.
This said, many Tolkien fans are probably now saying, but The Lord of the Rings was originally written as SIX books! And my own post from April 1st of this year raves about another 6-book series. “Which goes to show,” in the words of Albus Dumbledore, “that the best of us must sometimes eat our words.”