Each phrase comes to mind as I think of C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I remember as a teenager devouring the words on the page, joining in the adventure of the characters. Fairy tales at their best. In each of the books I can remember connecting with various concepts presented and thinking they correlated to my faith, but not necessarily giving it much thought because they are works of fiction. In his book On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis, Louis Markos does just that. He explores the works of Narnia and LOTR and discusses the literary background, the themes presented and virtues being taught. Markos does an excellent job presenting quotes, facts, and opinions as he unpacks at a deep intellectual level these works. The book is laid out in a discussion of a specific virtue and then Markos expounds on that virtue and how each author taught that through the books.
On the Shoulders of Hobbits is more academic in nature, an excellent book that required me to think and process all that the author presented. My depth of understanding and how I view the works that I have loved from an early age has increased. Upon finishing the book, I left wanting to re-read all the books to look for and see the points that Markos made in his book. If you are a fan of either series, I recommend reading it and if you enjoy learning about literature, this book will expand your knowledge.
Thank you Moody publishing for my copy to review in exchange for my opinion.