The Two Towers: A Review by Tian Yu

TwoTowersCover-ModernClassics2001EdThe Two Towers, second book in the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, is an incredible novel. Not only is it still interesting more than 50 years after it was published, but it’s still popular because it’s actually a good book, unlike those ‘classics’ that are literally only read for class projects. I’ll assume most of you already know the story of the first book, so I’ll jump right into the plot. After Boromir’s killed and Merry and Pippen get kidnapped, Frodo and Sam sneak away from the party to get to Mordor by themselves. Faced with a tough decision, Aragorn decides to lead what’s left of the fellowship to rescue Merry and Pippen, trusting that Frodo would be able to get into Mordor without their help.
While Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli track down the kidnapped hobbits, Frodo and Sam continue their treacherous journey into Mordor. For better or worse, they capture Gollum who Sam instantly detests, but Frodo believes can change and deserves a second chance. With the only other option being stumbling though Mordor at random, Gollum promises to be their not-so-trustworthy guide through the lands of the enemy. In such a treacherous place, will Gollum break his promise and betray the hobbits? Will the fellowship rescue Merry and Pippen, or will they go the same way as Boromir? The Two Towers answers all these questions, and expertly connects the first book with the finale.


Like I said earlier, the Two Towers is nothing like most ‘classics’ that we all know and have never read. Although the writing style is a little dated, the Two Towers is excellent in nearly every other way. The world of Middle Earth is immersive and well built, the plot remains interesting throughout, with more than enough action and suspense, and there’s actually character development, so you care when someone dies. The Two Towers is a great read in its own right, not only as part of the Lord of the Rings series. It not only connects well from the previous book, but its ending leaves you hanging for what happens in the last, much better than many novels today. Overall, The Two Towers has everything and more, except maybe for a wonky love triangle with two guys, but there are already enough books with one of those.


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