Wednesday 7 October 2020

The Road Goes Ever On - A.K. Frailey - A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

The Road Goes Ever On: 
A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings
A.K. Frailey
A. K. Frailey Books
eISBN 9781450288118

Wow! This book blew me away. This was the fifth volume I have read from the masterful pen of Ann A.K. Frailey. I have loved everything of hers that I have written. Both the fiction and non-fiction. But as much as I love her fiction, I think this is the best of her works that I have read to date. I honestly believe this is a book any Catholic, any Christian would benefit from reading. To be honest I bought it because of the author, but it was a very timely read. And one I know I will return to again and again. And that I will share with my children when they are older. The description of the book is:

“Tolkien's story, The Lord of the Rings, touches the soul in a profound way. Why is that? What makes the heroes so at-tractive? Can we ever become like them? The power to be strong and valiant is not limited to Middle-earth. We have been given the same tools and gifts that they are offered if we but recognize them. The rings of power in our society tempt us and our children as well. We would be wise if we awakened to that which tries our souls. Take a look at this classic from a Christian perspec-tive, and you might bring Middle-earth a little bit closer to home.”

The sections in this book are:

Chapter One: What Makes Our Heroes So Heroic? 
Chapter Two: Warriors Awake! 
Chapter Three: Gifts From On High 
     Fear of the Lord 
Chapter Four: The Rings of Power 
Chapter Five: Lead Us Not Into Temptation 
     Computers and Television 
     Medical Technology 
     Communication Systems 
Chapter Six: Our Heroes and Saints 
     Frodo and Saint Thomas More 
     Sam and Saint Isidore the Farmer 
     Pippin and Merry and St. Tarsicius 
     Gandalf and Moses 
     Gimli and Saint Patrick 
     Legolas and Saint John the Apostle 
     Boromir and Saint Augustine 
     Faramir and Saint Thomas Aquinas 
     Eowyn and Saint Clare 
     Galadriel and the Communion of Saints 
     Aragorn and the Hidden King 
Chapter Seven: Summary

This book is a walk through the fruit of the spirit, the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues through the characters and events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It is well reasoned, and logically presented. But I believe the book was written through much prayer, for the book has had an immediate impact on my life. There is so much to learn from this volume, And much that will be gleamed from reading it again and again. This was a book that I took my time with. But the further I got into the book, the more I wanted to keep reading. I found myself saying, yes, yes, yes that makes so much sense. Time and time again as I read the book. 

Frailey often draws on dictionary definitions for example:

“Let’s begin with Bilbo as he enters the first story and is the engine behind the thrust of the greater story. Faith is defined in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as “allegiance to duty or person; belief, trust and loyalty to God; something believed with strong conviction.” Faith in The Lord of the Rings is an act where by the characters are called to believe something they cannot fully explain and cannot even fully understand. That belief leads them to take action and that action demands a commitment. As Bilbo said, “It is a dangerous thing, stepping outside your door…..” For the truth of the matter is that any time we take a risk in acting on an inner light, we are depending on a basic underlying faith to guide us. The problem, of course, is to discern who or what is guiding us.”

This book is an excellent volume. It is great for those who are fans of the Lord of the Rings. But even if you are not a fan, or have only seen the movies, the book can still have a huge impact upon your life. This is a journey through the Christian virtues with LOTR as a framework of examples both good and bad. I am not sure what I was expecting when I began this volume, other than I expected it to be good because it came from the pen of Frailey. But it far exceeded my high expectations. I would love to see this book used in youth or college and careers groups at church. I would love to see it on courses that look at faith and film, or religious faction. But most of all I would love for you to pick it up and for the spirit to use it as tool to challenge, encourage and motivate you on to more. To becoming a better version of yourself. 

An amazing book that I strongly encourage you to read. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by A.K. Frailey:
Melchior: Vengeance is Mine
The Adventures of Tally Ho
It Might Have Been: And Other Stories
Encounter Science Fiction Short Stories and Novella

One Day At A Time And Other Stories
New Earth Series:
The Last of Her Kind
NEWEARTH: Justine Awakens

Deliverance Series:
Ishtar's Redemption: Trial by Fire
NEB the Great: Shadows of the Past

Hidden Heritage Series:
Georgios II - A Chosen People

Old Earth Series:
OldEarth ARAM Encounter
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter
OldEarth Neb Encounter
OldEarth Georgios Encounter

The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings
Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey
Hope's Embrace and Other Poems

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