Like many people I read “The Hobbit” after seeing and reading “The Lord of the Rings” series. Personally, I don’t think it matters all that much which order you read them in. The tonal shift between the two books makes for an abrupt image anyways.
“The Hobbit” introduces readers to Bilbo, the One Ring (although we don’t know it’s that yet), Gollum, Gandalf, Elrond, and the world of Middle Earth. It’s a story about taking a risk by going on an adventure, leaving your comfort zone, and discovering the hero inside. At the start of the take, Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who loves a quiet comfortable life and enjoys all the creature comforts of his home. This is interrupted when Gandalf slyly manipulates him into joining the Dwarves who are trying to take back their home, the Lonely Mountain.
By the tale’s end, we see that Bilbo is very much a hero as he uses his own unique skills and taps into his bravery and knowledge to go and accomplish what other more war-like and brash types couldn’t. It’s no only the story of the hero’s journey but of the hero’s emergence.
This is a fun individual or book club read due to the light and sometimes sarcastic tone as well as a fast-paced story.