A biography of the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that devotes equal time to all periods of his life. Tolkien lost both parents by the time he was 12; at 17 he found the love of his life, but his guardian forced him to give her up for three years. Following his schooling, they were reunited, and he convinced her to marry him, a relationship that lasted more than half a century. As a scholar, Tolkien broke ground in the fields of language, literature, and philology. Fans will be heartened to see his life's passion--inventing languages and worlds--succeed in the form of The Hobbit. The Rings trilogy was rejected at first by publishers, so the story of its success is even more sweet. Neimark offers no clues as to her sources for information, so that credible situations include dialogue that--barring information to the contrary--seems invented. Tolkien's fans will find this to be a serviceable look at his life, no more.