I finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring yesterday. It took my quite a while to be honest. The Counsel of Elrond chapter had me stuck for around a month or more. I stopped reading it when they went back into the history of the ring. In fact, I read the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers and the first two of Lois Walfrid's Viking Quest books in between that chapter. But I pushed myself through those few pages, and am very glad I didn't quit there. The rest of the story is fairly quick paced and adventureous. When Bilbo leaves his young heir, Frodo Baggins with that ring he found in The Hobbit, Frodo doesn't quite grasp just what he's gotten into. That is until Gandalf gives him a history lesson and warning. Never use the ring. It is evil and gains control over it's "owner" although who owns who could be debated (especially in Gollum's case). Also, Sauron (the maker of the ring) is searching for it and is willing to do whatever it takes to retrieve it. Therefore, Frodo and his three other hobbit friends- Sam, Merry, and Pippin- leave Hobbiton to, hopefully, save it. Facing challenges more difficult and dangerous than they imagined, they are grateful for the company of Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, which Elrond, the Elf sends with them on their journey. At, least I would be grateful, and they should be, but the book never says so... It is decided that simply hiding the ring wouldn't work or would throwing into a river or sea; it must be destroyed in the depts of Mount Doom. A volcano in Mordor, Sauron's country. Facing orcs, blizzards, and ringwraiths, the company makes their way south to destroy the ring once and for all.
I like the loyalty in the characters, especially Sam Gamgee to Frodo. The courage and friendship in The Fellowship of the Ring is a wonderful thing to come across in literature.