The Lord of the Rings doesn’t feel like fiction. There are, obviously mythical creatures and things of that nature, however, aside from that it feels like, instead of writing about something he was making up, Tolkien was writing about a place and events and people that occupy a portion of actual history somewhere. From what I understand about Tolkien, that was actually part of his motivation. He was bothered by the fact that England didn’t have its own mythology, but rather borrowed and adapted mythological accounts from its neighbors. I’m not sure about the truth of that account, but nonetheless if there was a gap the work that went into Middle Earth certainly filled it.
I highly recommend this book. There is a lot we can learn from Tolkien’s use of the English language and his wonderfully descriptive writing style. I feel that the Lord of the Rings is a direct result of talent being governed by discipline to produce excellence. What a book!