Intro: Hah! So here we have the beginning of how Hobbits came into the scene in the story about an evil ring and how its master is causing trouble for the peoples of Middle Earth.
Bilbo Baggins was nothing more than a simple Hobbit until he gets recruited by Gandalf the wizard and Thorin Oakenshield the dwarf to help take back Thorin’s former home in the Lonely Mountain after a ferocious dragon named Smaug showed up and invaded the dwarves’s home. After a few events, Bilbo is dragged into the group of 13 dwarves and led by Gandalf, they make their way to Rivendell, where the Elves live.
First off, Bilbo and his companions are attacked by trolls and Gandalf turns them into stone at the sunrise. for surviving the attack, Bilbo receives a sword which is among the trolls’ treasure. Then the group goes to Rivendell, where Elrond (their leader) reads Thorin’s map and tells them the names of the special swords they found. (Thorin has Orcrist and Gandalf has Glamdring) They leave Rivendell and make their way up the mountains, where they get attacked by orcs and as the orcs flee after being chased off by Gandalf and Thorin, Bilbo gets lost.
He eventually meets Gollum, who (at this point) had had a ring for many years. Gollum offers to show Bilbo a way out the cave if he asks a riddle and Gollum fails to answer; but if Bilbo fails, then Gollum destroys him. Bilbo asks a very hard question and Gollum loses, so he must show Bilbo the way out. But Bilbo had found the ring and escapes from the caves and returns to the group.
The next part of the journey takes them to a forest, where wargs attack them and large eagles save everyone. Then Gandalf takes them to a forest and has them make their way to Laketown, a small town built on the lake in front of the Lonely Mountain. For several weeks, the group is lost and one day, Bilbo gets attacked by huge spiders. He kills the spiders and saved the dwarves and names his sword “Sting”. The dwarves and Bilbo end up in Mirkwood, where the dwarf king captures the dwarves. Bilbo helps his friends escape through barrels and they eventually reach Laketown.
After recovering from those adventures, the companions finally reached a secret door and Thorin finds and unlocks the secret door hidden in the mountain. Bilbo goes in for his biggest test: facing Smaug in all his monstrosity. But he isn’t alone, for a thrush goes in with him. Bilbo taunts Smaug with riddles and makes off with a gold cup. He returns to the others, who are pleased to see that Bilbo is OK and that he has successfully stolen the cup from the dragon. Smaug gets very angry and he attacks the group, who escapes into the mountain.
Bilbo fears that the people of Laketown would be destroyed, so he sends the thrush to warn them. The people see Smaug and flee from their homes, but one man dares to challenge him. His name is Bard and his family had lost their home when Smaug first attacked the Lonely Mountain. Bard hears a message from the thrush and sees a weak spot in Smaug’s armor. He shoots his arrow and it ends up killing the dragon.
Bilbo and Thorin and the rest of the dwarves are trapped in the Lonely Mountain, until they come out and see Bard and the Elf King are here to challenge them for the gold. Thorin refuses to help them and instead arms his companions and Bilbo. Just then, dwarves from the Iron Hills led by one of Thorin’s cousins show up and as everyone prepares to fight, Gandalf returns and tells them that orcs and wargs are coming to attack them. In the Battle of 5 Armies, Bilbo is knocked unconscious.
The battle ends and Bilbo is taken to a tent to recover from his injury. Thorin has been badly hurt in the battle and dies. Bilbo speaks to him and Thorin apologizes for not listening to Bilbo when he said that war is a bad thing. Thorin is buried in the Lonely Mountain and Bilbo and Gandalf head back to Bilbo’s home in the Shire.
My review: Well, once again, I cheated and read LOTR first, but I did say I enjoyed the book.
My recommendation: anyone who likes LOTR will love this book.