Review: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingI really don’t have words for how much I loved this book. Definitely the most fast-paced of the three, I was hooked from beginning to end, unable to stop reading (even when I should probably have been doing other more important things, like working or sleeping). Many times when I was reading, I was so engrossed that I felt like I was travelling along with the hobbits, feeling every bit of peril and hopelessness that they too must have been feeling on the final stages of their trek to Mount Doom.

As with the first two books, I find it extremely difficult to write a review that actually does justice to the magnificent detail of the plot, the characters and the world of Middle Earth in general. I’m guessing if you’re here you probably already know the plot of the books, so there’s no point talking about that, but I can’t find the words to describe how much enjoyment I felt from reading these books.

Return of the King on KindleHaving watched the films, I obviously had a good idea of where the plot was heading, but I’d either forgotten substantial parts, or the films were a bit hazy in places, as I still managed to read a few things that surprised me. Once again, Sam was the hero of the hour, carrying Frodo up Mount Doom in a final act of strength and bravery when it looked like all might be lost. It was one of my favourite parts of the three books (my favourite being Eowyn’s “I am no woman”).

I was tricked by the Kindle app on my tablet into thinking there was much more left of the book than there actually was. It said I still had 23% of the book left when in reality I only had 6% and the rest was the appendices. So it was with disappointment that I headed into the final chapter, and with tears in my eyes as Frodo bid farewell to his faithful friends.

I will definitely be starting to read some further Tolkien books now that I’ve finished Lord of the Rings. I don’t know which I will choose first, but I’m sure I’ll have ample assistance from my best friend Abi, as she’s a huge Tolkien fan.

5/5

Review: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Two TowersWhy oh why oh why didn’t I read Lord of the Rings before now?! I was gripped from the first word (‘Aragorn sped on up the hill’) to the last (‘Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy’). I found The Two Towers much more fast-paced than The Fellowship of the Ring, filled with much more action and intensity. I loved the switch between the different character groups, it always happened in a very natural place and didn’t distract from the flow of the story.

Tolkien’s descriptions really came to life in the second book, from the Ents to Isengard to Shelob and her lair, everything was so vividly described and in such detail that it was as if you were there, adding to the sense of peril that was felt at times.

But above all, my favourite part of this book was good old Samwise Gamgee. He really came into his own, his dedication to sticking with Frodo no matter what, and his brave decision to go on without Frodo when he thought all hope was lost made him the hero of this book to me.

I couldn’t help relating the book to the films, which is a shame, but it did mean that I read all of Gollum’s parts in the voice from the films, which was quite fun. I do now really wish I’d been able to read the books before seeing the film.

I started on The Return of the King as soon as I finished this last night, I can’t wait to get stuck in and follow the quest to the end!

5/5

Review: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingI’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time, but when it came to it last year I decided that with my challenge to read 100 books in a year, something as long as this wouldn’t be wise. Although to be honest, if family problems hadn’t stopped me from reading, I would have been finished in about 4 days.

I absolutely loved the book, the world that Tolkien creates is so vividly real that I was completely absorbed by it, even more so than the film, which I have seen many times. I decided to forget about the film while I was reading so I went in with no preconceptions, which I was very glad about. Entire chunks of the book were missed out from the film, like the enchanting Tom Bombadil, who I absolutely adored.

I’ve tried to read this book a couple of times in the past but never got more than 40 pages in, but I have absolutely no idea what my problem was, maybe I had my head stuck too far up the chick-lit branch that it never stood a chance.

Writing a review of this book is really hard, I don’t think I could do justice to the sheer delight of the shire, the enchantment of Rivendell, or the creeping feeling of terror every time I read the Black Riders. So so so much more magical than seeing it on screen, even if the characters in my head do look exactly like Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen and co. Besides, I’m pretty sure we all know the plot of the book without me writing it her.

A big part of me wishes that I’d had the opportunity to read the books before I saw the film, but given that I was about 12 when the first film was released and still reading books akin to ‘Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging’, I’m not sure I would have appreciated Tolkien’s masterpiece.

Really really looking forward to starting The Two Towers now!

5/5