“Not content to create his own story, he creates, with an almost insolent prodigality, the whole world in which it is to move, with its own theology, myths, geography, history, palaeography, languages, and orders of beings– a world full of strange creatures beyond count.
The names alone are a feast, whether redolent of quiet countryside (Michel Delving, South Farthing), tall and kingly (Boramir, Faramir, Elendil), loathsome like Smeagol, who is also Gollum, or frowning in the evil strength of Barad Dur or Gorgoroth; yet best of all (Lothlorien, Gilthoniel, Galadriel) when they embody that piercing, high elvish beauty of which no other prose writer has captured so much.
Such a book has of course its predestined readers, even now more numerous and more critical than is always realised. To them a review need say little, except that here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart. They will know that this is good news, good beyond hope.”
–C.S. Lewis, “Review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” in On Stories and Other Essays on Literature (New York: Harcourt, 1966/1982), 84.