It’s hard to believe, but The Lord of the Rings was written back in 1937, with the Hobbit following soon thereafter.
Tolkien intended it to be a book for children, but it turned out to be a lot darker than he expected when he started writing it, as there were so many dark topics to explore in the third age of Middle Earth.
The setting was one that was bright, cheerful, and innocuous; most of the time, however there were some fundamental elements of darkness building in the setting. The Dark Lord of Mordor has launched an attack on Middle Earth and Frodo must travel to Mordor to unmake the ring, but getting there will not be easy. There is peril at every step along the way.
The book is deep, rich and complex. As much as the writing is, supposedly, aimed to be accessible b children the characters are serious and challenging. There is a reality to everything that happens. It is not didactic, or simplistic. Unlike Scott and Dickens, who rely on big rhetoric, Tolkien lets out his small inner voice, and challenges the reader.
Tolkien took pride in crafting a vivid world with names that are appropriate for each character depending on their history and culture, and languages that bring the cultures to life. He took inspiration from Germanic history, modern England, and even the stories of Beowul and Snorri Sturluson. The rich and varied world is something that allows him to carry the story of Frodo across three books, and is a part of the reason that it appealed to not just children but adults as well.
The narrative is straightforward but virile. It is full of action, but the characters all have strong motives for what they do, and there are no apologies for who each character is. Boromir and Gollum play important roles in the trilogy, and their strong characterisation is what makes it shine.