My all-time favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I consider him the grandfather of the fantasy genre and his fantasy writing is something that can’t be copied.
Tolkien is a master at world building. Middle Earth has an extensive history including multiple ages, several languages, and various races of beings. Tolkien is able to juggle the world of Middle-Earth in a way that I haven’t seen done before or since. Tolkien was a linguist and knew at least 16 languages, and created about 15. He takes these languages and imbues the races of Middle Earth with them. He created the beautiful rolling Elvish language and the harsh and terrifying Black Speech. Tolkien’s ability to dedicate himself to one world and add the depth that he did is something to be admired.
Tolkien also creates characters you want to root for. My favorite of his characters being Samwise Gamgee, the stubborn and loving sidekick to Frodo Baggins. There is something fascinating to me about an author who can create characters as terrifying as the Uruk-hai and then some as lovable as the Hobbits. He also manages to touch the depths of evil without making his story gory or explicit.
Tolkien’s writing style is wholesome but not silly. When you enter Middle-Earth you aren’t entering a world of sex and murder like a lot of fantasy novels. You are entering a world held together by friendship and the struggle between good and evil. I enjoy this because it allows Tolkien to focus entirely on the adventure and the bonds a fellowship creates, without worrying about how the violence or sex scenes will sound to the reader.
Tolkien also does a great job of expressing love between his characters. We have the love between the fellowship in The Lord of The Rings, which prompts a massive search and rescue mission for Merry and Pippin, we also have the love between Aragorn and Arwen which has spanned such a long time. Setting The Lord of The Rings aside we can also see Tolkien’s great care for love in The Hobbit between Bilbo and his new Dwarf friends, or in the tale of Beren and Lúthien. In fact, Tolkien compared his wife to Lúthien and on their gravestones they are respectively named Beren and Lúthien.
I hold Tolkien’s writing dear to my heart. He is my inspiration to read and write. Thanks to his books I chose to pursue English/Writing in college.
Who is your favorite author? Do you also like Tolkien? Let me know in the comments!