The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
4 / 5
Fascinating, terrific and captivating.
A work of literary brilliance by Tolkien, who meticulously describes in incredible detail, the journeys of The Company following the breaking of the fellowship at the end of the first book. Each of them ventures on and encounters an abundance of evil in their own role within the fellowship,
Merry and Pippin have been taken prisoner by orc-soldiers who have been tasked to bring them to Saurman of Isengard. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli mourn the loss of Boromir, and then they turn their attention to tracking down the captured hobbits having realised that Frodo intends to take the ring to Mordor with Sam tagging along. They pursue the orc-soldiers trail, until they come across riders of Rohan who inform them that they battled with the orcs last night and they killed every living thing and had burned them. However, after discovering the remains of orc corpses and smouldering fires that were used on the hobbits’ captors, they are left perplexed to what end the Halflings have come to as Aragorn finds hobbit prints leading towards Fangorn Forest.
Frodo and Sam are journeying towards Mordor alone and devoid of any members of The Company. But despite this they obtain another companion through the sneaking Gollum, who had been following them because he is still drawn to the Precious. Frodo, knowing that Gollum is to play a part in this tale as Gandalf has previously suspected, he decides to take him on as their guide. Their quest takes them through the Dead Marches and to the Black Gate as the Frodo creeps ever closer to either completing or failing his task.
The threat of Sauron and Saruman is ever-present throughout the novel, with their forces of orc-soldiers, men and the Nazguls providing The Company, Gondor, Rohan and Frodo with trouble as the inevitable war of Middle-Earth draws nearer and the hunt for the ring intensifies. With Sauron’s shadow of darkness painfully encompassing the lands of Men, there are still some light concerning The Company’s cause. None more so brighter, are the Ents’s involvement who take vengeance against Saruman, who sees no place in the new world for nature, only industry.
Tolkien’s depth of detail in his descriptions of all of the landscapes is brilliant and it makes it easy for the reader to picture the scene, and this is done seamlessly which allows us as the reader to get lost in the plot and read on as action flits from one danger to another. I particularly enjoyed the structure of the novel; being split into two books meant that it wasn’t flicking from one action sequence to another. The focus on each storyline meant that we got closer to the individual characters, due to Tolkien’s emphasis on each of their roles in The Company, and its various challenges. The structure also offered a unique double cliff-hanger with events concerning Frodo and Sam as well as the remainder of The Company being left in limbo. Tolkien has gradually built tension surrounding the impending war which is coupled with the suspense, concerning the journey of Frodo, who, if fails, means the destruction of Middle-Earth as they know it.
Readers that have yet to read the Two Towers book, and who have enjoyed The Hobbit and other fantasy genre novels, I urge you to get reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy because they are timeless classics and are fantastically written.