Sunday, March 3, 2013

LOTR The Two Towers Book Review

So. Good!

So before I even begin the review, I listened to the Two Towers on audiobook.  That being said though, I listened to it TWICE to make sure I caught everything (as I definitely missed some things the first time).

And without further ado, The Two Towers Review!  Now if you saw the movies, you might get to this book thinking...
'This book is going to be hard to get through...'
BUT you'd actually be wrong!

I honestly through this book was better than the Fellowship of the Ring.  It has a much more exciting start, stays pretty exciting, and has even more lore and depth than the first book has!

Each of the Lord of the Rings books are split into two parts, and this book splits the book up by characters.  The first book (Book 3) features Aragorn and his companions, and Merry and Pippin's adventures.  It begins right where the last book left off, and has a very thrilling start.  The book then becomes slightly more tame, but in that tame time, new languages and histories are introduced for new characters.  The incredible thing is that in one chapter alone you find more depth than you find in most 300 page novels.  The ents, for example, have their own language (which you hear at times), have their own songs, and have a troubling love story to boot.

These guys (ents) are AWESOME!
The second book (Book 4) stars Frodo, Sam, and another character they meet along the way.  It takes place about the same time as Book 3, but it's stronger thematically and feels a little darker.  Frodo and Sam are two average hobbits carrying the most evil object in the world into the most evil place in Middle Earth.  In order to overcome this challenge, they rely heavily on each other and help motivate each other to push forward with their task.

The Companions
In terms of the book feeling darker, there is growing feeling among the companions that there may not be a return journey.  This growing sense of foreboding helps to make the journey all the more heroic.  Even though food runs low, and the task seems impossible, they still press on because they know it is the right thing to do.  The way Frodo and Sam come together in the face of their bleak end is truly inspiring, and makes The Two Towers a very powerful read.

The one place they don't want to see any closer, but it's the one place they're trying to go to...

With all this depth and history, it's almost impossible not to get completely sucked into the story.  This engagement is what makes Lord of the Rings so incredible, but it also is what makes it very boring at times.  You'll read about the types of trees they walk by, the sounds of animals, and the nostalgic smells the characters encounter.  This really helps to paint the picture of what the characters are going through, but there are definitely times when you think: "Enough with the descriptions!"  (It's definitely more bearable if you listen to it though).

The Two Towers is a powerfully thematic, thrilling adventure that is absolutely worth your time.
Read this book!


PS - for those curious about how it compares to the MOVIE,

I've seen the movies about 10x each, and I would strongly suggest you read the books too.  They go into much more depth into both the characters and the history of Middle Earth.  Just like in the Fellowship of the Rings, the overall plot is very similar, but there are enough subtle differences to keep you constantly engaged.  Also, unlike the movie, the emphasis of the book is on the journey, rather than the epic battles.  Helms Deep is just one chapter, and gets about as much emphasis as Merry and Pippin walking with the Ents.

And if you have any specific questions about movie and book differences, please let me know in the comments!

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