Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Two Towers (Book #2 in the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy), by J.R.R. Tolkien
★★★★★ and ♥

Synopsis: The Fellowship is scattered. Some are bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some are contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor—the dark Kingdom where Sauron is supreme. Their guide is Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring
In Sentence: not my absolute favorite in the trilogy, but still much-loved

My Thoughts: Every time I read this series, I end up loving it even more! One thing I really enjoy about this particular book is the fact that the story separates to follow the different members of the Fellowship. I feel like I’m following my favorite characters with more detail this time around (my favorites, by the way, are Legolas and Gimli, and Merry and Pippin.) Plus, this is the story where a lot of the action really starts to unfold, and the battles become much bigger and more significant.
One of my favorite parts is the part involving the Ents. The Ents are awesome creatures! Treebeard is a character you can’t help but love right off the bat, and I really admire them when they go off to war against Saruman. It’s one of those triumphant moments in a story where you feel a sense of justice.
My other favorite parts are the ones involving dialogue with both Legolas and Gimli. This is the book where you really see their friendship growing, and I love to see these two extremely different and distinct personalities overcome their opposing feelings to become almost brothers. Plus, Gimli is such a fun and gruff character, and I love to read his reactions to everything.
The part of the book that I don’t really like but I know is important both as literature and as part of the story, is the final half the book, where we follow Frodo and Sam as they enter Mordor. Compared to the rest of the book, I found this half a little boring (*gasp!*), but I still admired parts of it. For example, I really admire Sam’s strength in this part. He is so loyal to Frodo, and does whatever he can to help and protect him. In my opinion, between Frodo and Sam, I’d say Sam is the strongest character by far.
This part also shows the best and worst of Gollum/Smeagol. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for him, and you begin to wonder where to place him in terms of protagonists and antagonists. At one point Sam turns around to ask Smeagol “do you see yourself as the villain or the hero?”, but he’s not there to answer, so you end up wondering: “is he a hero or a villain?” I found that to be a bit thought-provoking, something I always love in a story.
Overall, this is an excellent middle book in a trilogy, although middle books are never my absolute favorites. Anyone who considers themselves to be a lover fantasy literature would love this book. If you haven’t read this yet, you really should. I also recommend, once again, listening to the audio-lecture conducted by Professor Michael D.C. Drout. It’s called Rings, Swords, and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature, and it really is a fascinating lecture, particularly with regards to the J.R.R. Tolkien and his works.

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