Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"The Return of the King" by JRR Tolkien

In middle school I got half way through the Two Towers. I stopped because I found it depressing and the elven was unintelligible, but now that I am an adult nerd, I feel like I should have all four of them under my belt, and not just the movies. At the library I saw all four in audiobook format and decided I could finally finish the series. 

Summary: This story begins right where The Two Towers leaves off. Most of the original fellowship has set to work in defending the lands of Gondor while Frodo and Sam are on their own adventure. Minas Tirith is assaulted by a massive army of orcs from Mordor. The long battle is the balancing point to determine of the evil Saruon will be able to steamroll over Middle Earth or not. Every resource is thrown into the fight on both sides, with several close calls saved at the last minute.

While nearly the whole world is distracted by the battle, Frodo and Sam are able to work their way through many challenges in the lands of Mordor, with Gollum behind them all the while. The power of the ring to corrupt is a constant threat to the mission and to their own survival.

At the end of the book, the hobbits return home to find they don't recognize it anymore. It has been marked by the war and by a new evil leader who has only just taken power in the Shire. Our hobbits are now veterans of a great war, something rare among hobbits, and decide to take on this leader themselves.

What I Liked: I like that it concludes the story. I also really like the way the war is handled in the Shire and when the hobbits come home they get to be the main heroes with no tall folk stealing the spotlight.

What I Didn't Like: This book took me the longest to get through. The grand pronouncements of doom combined with the pining for a lost age makes for a really depressing read. I'm also somewhat sick the idea that heroes must let villains go free so that the heroes aren't turned into villains. There are some villains so dangerous that to let them free is a terrible, terrible idea and this book has a nice example of what happens when that dangerous villain is also a powerful wizard.

Rating: Read it as part of the series.

Also Read by this Author: The HobbitThe Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers.

Reviewed by: Nick

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