Book Review #12: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Days to Read: Around a month? Give or take a few days.
Synopsis (taken from Waterstones.com): Building on the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the second part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in the battle with an evil spirit in the Mines of Moria; and at the Falls of Rauros, Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape the rest of the company were attacked by Orcs. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin — alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
My Thoughts: Okay, so I realize it took me a long time to get through this story, once again. But to be fair, I had school and a bunch of other things that took up a lot of my time. On the whole, I enjoyed The Two Towers a lot more than I enjoyed The Fellowship of the Ring — it was a shorter story, to be sure, but it also flowed nicer too. I was really excited to get to Gollum’s entrance and I wasn’t disappointed. He was just as manipulative and creepy as the one in the movies. This wasn’t my favourite movie of the series, but I was greatly surprised by the plot of this novel — boy, did Peter Jackson change and shift some things! I’m not sure yet if I liked Tolkien’s choice in having Boromir die in the first chapter of The Two Towers versus Jackson’s idea of killing him off at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring. For Jackson, it was a nice way to tie up some ends and get the movie ready for its sequel. For Tolkien, it provided a way for the reader to get back into the swing of things — and what better way to remind the reader of all the horrors that had ensued than by killing off Boromir?
While this wasn’t my favourite novel in the series (yes, I’m almost done The Return of the King now), I did enjoy it. I loved the chapter when Frodo and Sam get tricked into entering Shelob’s lair. It was descriptive and made me feel as if I was right there with them (which I thankfully wasn’t, seeing as how I’m deathly afraid of spiders). I was, however, mega-disappointed with Tolkien’s description of the battle at Helm’s Deep; it wasn’t as extravagant or interesting as I had expected it to be. However, there was a greater emphasis on the Ents’ war on Isengard which I enjoyed. I was introduced to new characters that I loved in the movie (Faramir, Eowyn, Theoden, the Ents and Gollum) and I was interested in getting to their parts in this saga. Eowyn was less memorable than I had expected her to be — but then I remembered that Tolkien wasn’t a fan of making females a bigger character than he needed them to be. It was an intriguing start though to the figures of Rohan and I began looking forward to reading the last book to getting a fuller development. I think the thing I loved most about this novel was that at the end in Shelob’s lair, Sam was given total control and took centre stage. He’s always been my favourite character in the series and I was proud to see him make a stand and rescue Frodo in every way possible. All in all, this second novel could still have been tighter (a common complaint with this trilogy) but it wasn’t as boring as The Fellowship of the Ring.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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