Friday, March 18, 2011

Quick Review: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

(I'm going to keep this review extremely brief since I will be writing a more detailed review for the entire trilogy as one this weekend. The review for the Fellowship of the Ring can be found here and for The Two Towers here.)

Five-second summary: Good guys army mustered, army of the dead summoned, Gondor defended, good guy army distracts Sauron eith suicide attack, (while at the same time), Sam saves Frodo, the two go on arduous journey through Mordor, Gollum chomps, ring falls in volcano, Sauron's kingdom defeated, huge celebration, King crowned, Hobbits return to and battle for Shire, Frodo and others depart from Middle Earth .

Pros: By this point, almost all the main characters have been introduced and built up. More large battles in this piece of the trilogy. Wrapped up the story beautifully.
Cons: Geography in Mordor was tough to follow, but didn't really take away from the story. Just picking nits here.

I have changed my mind. I thought that The Two Towers would be my favorite part of the trilogy (as it was in the movie trilogy), but I was mistaken. The Return of the King is the full package; it has action, love stories, and everything else you could want in a good story. I thought the story would be pretty much over after the ring was tossed into the volcano, but my favorite part of the novel was actually after that. The celebration, return trip to the Shire, battle for the Shire, and Frodo's departure from Middle Earth were more compelling than almost any other part of the trilogy. Two thumbs up to this one.

I'll have a lengthier review of the entire trilogy up sometime this weekend and the results of the selection of the next book. Stay tuned!