Author: JRR Tolkien.
It’s about time I got around to reviewing this. I read The Two Towers months ago so apologies if I’m a bit rusty on the details.
So, second book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It does what it says on the tin. We continue on the journey towards Mt. Doom and the destruction of the ring. The fellowship has split up so we move between the different groups of the party. We have Frodo and Sam with Gollum; Pippin and Merry with the Ents, and the trio of Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas. I liked the aspect of moving between the various groups as it keeped things interesting.
The book itself is really just a prerequisite to the climax expected in Return of the King. It did have its fair share of drama and action. The Helms Deep sequences were exciting, along with the mountain passages. The highlight for me were the passages where Frodo, Sam and Gollum pass through the Dead Marshes. It was really creepy and the atmosphere was tense. The psychological games that Gollum was playing added a drama/ psychological thriller aspect to the fantasy novel wherein which he was trying to pit Frodo against Sam.
The problem I had with this novel, and I don’t know if this is a problem with High Fantasy as a whole, is that it takes ages for things to actually happen. They spend a long time talking about things instead of just going on the journey. I think this is a typical aspect of the High Fantasy genre, and it’s probably the reason why I stick to Middle fantasy. I just don’t have the capacity or patience for the long, slow narratives of High Fantasy. The problem I had with The Fellowship of the Ring was that it took half the book for them to actually start the journey. With The Two Towers, it does get into the action early enough but there’s an awful lot of talking and discussing about really boring stuff. Like on numerous occasions the characters will describe past events in lengthy detail so we’re getting each event told to us twice. At times it gets so arduous that I was just like “come onnnnn, can we get on with it.” And it keeps happening every time a character meets another person who needs an explanation. Exposition pains me, especially when it’s in dialogue.
I don’t want to be trashing it, because it’s wonderfully written. The characters are varied and interesting, the world building is impeccable as always, and there’s a constant sense of danger from the Orcs, Saruman and Sauron. Just a bit of chopping could’ve helped.