The Lord of the Rings Trilogy continues the story begun in The Hobbit and more fully develops the world of Middle Earth. In this epic saga, ordinary beings must use their small gifts in a struggle against great evil. Frodo, a peace-loving hobbit of the Shire, is given the Dark Lord's One Ring of Power, which his Uncle Bilbo found on his adventures. Soon he is forced to flee his home, pursued by the Dark Lord's servants. All the strength of Middle Earth -- men, elves, dwarves, wizards, and hobbits -- is called upon to oppose the Dark Lord's plan to conquer Middle Earth, but in the end the fate of the world turns on whether or not Frodo succeeds in destroying the Ring. But the Ring itself is imbued with the Dark Lord's evil, and seeks to corrupt everyone around it -- including Frodo.
This work has becoming a defining influence in the genre in fantasy literature, and none of the works that came after it have matched it for its marvelous use of language, the deep coherency of the fantasy world, and the epic themes which propel the story to its climactic finish.
Christian readers have long appreciated the way in which Tolkien's stories express his Christian view of reality. David Mills, in his essay Enchanting Children, writes that:
The world as it appears under the sun is a world loved and governed by God, and The Lord of the Rings is among other things a study in Providence. Though no god of any sort is ever mentioned in the story, the world has a moral law, recognized as eternal and binding, obeying which brings blessing.
Frodo and his friends do what is right, and their courage and moral fortitude are rewarded by peace, even though the effects of the defeated evil are never fully eradicated.
The Lord of the Rings is best appreciated by mature readers who are able to appreciate its deep themes as well as its complicated plots and often weighty prose. While the movie version is enjoyable, the books are best enjoyed prior to experiencing the films. Because of this, parents may be inclined to introduce the books earlier than otherwise. This may be a wise choice, as long as parents are careful not to force the books on readers before they can fully enjoy them.