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The Two Tower
By J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Two Towers

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The Two Towers
Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings
By J.R.R. Tolkien
Thorndike Press - Large Print, (2003)
ISBN: 0-7862-5175-1
Genre: Fantasy

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Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 3, 2003
Warning: This review contains some spoilers concerning The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in The Lord of the Rings.
The ending of The Fellowship of the Ring saw the members of the Frodo's entourage scattered to the wind. Having embarked on a quest to carry the One Ring to The Mountain of Fire in order to destroy it before it could fall into evil hands, Frodo and his companions had endured many privations, fought many skirmishes with the enemy, and discovered that they had a traitor within their midst. Inauspiciously, Frodo and his boon companion Sam have set off alone on a suicidal mission, about the same time that the rest of the group was being attached by a band of Orc-soldiers. As this volume drew to a close, the fellowship was in disarray...

The Two Towers is the second part of J.R.R. Tolkien's monumental The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this volume, which consists of books three and four of the story, Tolkien chronicles the fate of the members after the groups break up. Book three details what happened to the members of the group, save for Frodo and Sam, whose adventures are recounted in book four. The Two Towers carries the reader up to the commencement of the War of the Ring, which is detailed in part three of this series, The Return of the King.

In book three of this volume, Tolkien outlines the various fates of the companions of the ring: Aragorn, the human Boromir, the elf Legolas, the dwarf Gimli, the hobbits Pippin and Merry, and the Wizard Gandalf. For some, their fate will lead to a heroic death, to others captivity, and for some, they will be miraculously rescued from certain death.

After the encounter with the Orcs, those of the fellowship that are able, set out to find Frodo and Sam. Their perilous journey includes an encounter with the Rohan, to whom they render aid. Together, they must face the forces of Sarurman the White, a former 'good' wizard who has aligned himself with the forces of evil and now serves Sauron, the Dark Lord.

Meanwhile, two members of the fellowship, who had been taken into captivity, manage to escape. While fleeing their captors they encounter an ancient race of tree-folk called the Ents. This group of mystical beings joins with the forces of good being aligned against the growing evil that is threatening the world.

While the remnants of the fellowship are battling Sarurman's loathsome forces, Frodo and Sam are attempting to reach Mordor, the very land in which the Dark Lord dwells, and wherein the Fiery Mountain is to be found. Their journey, which is chronicled in book four of The Two Towers is both treacherous and frustrating. They find that they are being followed by Gollum, the creature from whom Bilbo stole the magical ring that Frodo wants to destroy. Gollum, is consumed with the idea of getting his ring back. Additionally, the hobbits journey is getting nowhere quickly, as they are finding it impossible to get through the mountain range that guards the entrance to Mordor.

A classic tale of good versus evil, The Lord of the Rings is also a story about redemption and free will. This message is emphasized by the guide that Frodo and Sam select to guide them through the mountains. The guide is someone that they have no reason to trust, yet they entrust their fate, and the fate of mankind into his hands. Should their guide betray them, the One Ring may well fall into the hands of the Dark Lord. If the guide proves honest, they may have acquired a valiant alley against the forces of evil. Will they make it across the mountains and into Mordor, or have they wrongly placed their trust in their guide? To find out, you'll have to read part three of this thrilling tale, The Return of the King.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is meant to be read as a single story, rather than as three unique books. As such, the story continues uninterrupted from one part to the next, and should not be read out of sequence... Part three of this saga, The Return of the King, chronicles the final battle between good and evil. To the winner of this epic battle goes the world!


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