So, in all honesty, I don't know why I have never read this before. It's not that I don't like fantasy, although the style of it is often difficult for me to get through-- but this novel I found incredibly enjoyable and delightful to read. It was an adventure, to say the least, with the brilliancy of J.R.R. Tolkien to constantly reassure the reader (most likely designed for children) that everything was going to be all right. I think that is the thing I liked best: the narration. The narrator has a wonderful way of delighting the reader-- in the description s/he gives, the way it hardly ever repeats the stories already told, and the was s/he suggest of other stories that live in this world and are saved for "another time". However, the thing I like best about this novel is actually what I liked least about this novel-- because of the way this novel is narrated, I felt safe reading it...perhaps a little too safe? I never felt the danger of a character getting lost never to be found again of, heaven forbid, a character dying. I just knew that this was probably not going to happen. Yet, reminding myself that the intended audience is for kids, the safety is the brilliance.
While I found this book delightful, I don't feel the need to read it again, or get a ton more. I hope that The Lord of the Rings will change this opinion that I have (perhaps leading me to an unsafe zone?)-- I look forward to reading them!
Up Next: War & Peace (Although it may take me five years...)