Review: Return of the King

The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I loved this book but it really just dragged on. I mean of the Lord of the Rings series, this was probably my least favorite. The climax felt incredibly short, as did the battle and the ring was destroyed less than three-quarters of the way through. There was an incredibly long journey after the destruction of the ring following the hobbits’ recoveries and their return home.

below are spoilers

I also felt like the fight when they returned to the Shire was rushed, and I’m not entirely sure about its purpose. I mean was it just to show that Saruman was in fact dangerous and should’ve never been allowed to walk free? It was such a short exchange full of death threats, then out of nowhere he gets killed by his abused servant. I don’t know. It was just so rushed.

That was the pace of the whole book though, and the series for that matter. One of its allures was all one of its problems. Though I loved the fast pace of it, and am unsure if I could’ve read a slow paced high fantasy, I felt like I missed so much.

Again, seeing the movie before reading the series helped me visualize everything that was going on, in particular when Aragorn, Legalos, and Gimli traveled into the mountain to recruit the army of the dead.

All in all, I think my favorite of the series was the Two Towers, followed by the Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King was my least favorite (though still a four-star read).

Final note: This complaint is not specific to The Return of the King. I wish Tolkien took more time to explain the role and powers of the wizards. I have no clue what Gandalf’s limitations or actual abilities are. I may sound silly for worrying about that, but sometimes he came across as a god and other times he just seemed like an old man. I mean he single-handedly fought the Balrog in Moria, but then the narrator on multiple occasions referred to Aragorn, and Denethor as equals when staring eye to eye with the wizard. If anyone has more information on wizard lore of middle earth please point me in the right direction.

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Review: Lord of the Rings the Two Towers

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well two down and one to go. One of the first things I have to say about this book is WOW the battle of Helm’s Deep was short. Since I saw the movies before reading the books, so much of what I saw is superimposed over the words I’m reading. This is probably the first book series I’ve read, after seeing the movies, where I feel like seeing the movies helped. I tip my hat to Peter Jackson, personally, after reading the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings, I think he did a fantastic job with his adaptation.

Frodo is such a better character in the books though. All of his actions are the same but we get the internal workings of his mind in the book, which we, unfortunately, did not get in the movies, so he comes across as intelligent and mature in the books and . . . well I’ll just say he comes across as a more deserving ring bearer in the books.

My favorite scenes in this book were two brief interactions between Sam and Frodo. The first when discussing the bread and it’s revealed Sam is trying to keep rations for the journey back home while Frodo is at peace with the thought that it’s a one way journey to Mordor.

The second is Frodo and Sam talking about their adventure as a story in the future. Sam pretending to be his future kids asking to hear more about Frodo, and Frodo jumping right into the role of another child wanting to hear more about Sam. It was just a really cute human moment that made me love the characters even more.

I will begin the Return of the King tomorrow and will hopefully have this series completed by the end of the week. I’m sort of sad about that to be honest, but oh well, on to the next one.

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Review: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was long overdue and I am so happy to have finally read the first book. Finishing Books 2 and 3 will be among my early goals of 2018. I can’t say enough about how much I loved this book. It’s always fun to read about a character who is on the move. The constant action, even if it’s as repetitive as avoiding a trail and walking through the woods for two days, kept the narration grounded, which was important in painting a picture of how vast middle earth was.

I love the movies in their own right, but I think I prefer Frodo in the books over the movies. Nothing against the direction Peter Jackson took it, I just thought Frodo came across as far more mature and wise in the book. We had the benefit of hearing his internal dialogue, rationalizing his decisions.

I know there is not much I can add to reviews that haven’t been said already. This is one of the most read books of all time for a reason though and I’m glad to finally see first hand what that reason is; they are as good as people say they are (or at least the first one is)

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