The Return of the King: A Review by Tian Yu

ReturnKinghCover-HoughtonMifflin2ndEdThe Return of the King, the third and final Lord of the Rings book by J.R.R Tolkien, provides a completely expected, but still thrilling, end to the epic adventure. The main focus of this book is on the defenders at Minas Tirith who, surrounded on all sides by Sauron’s army, prepare to fight a hopeless battle. To relieve them, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli set off to recruit the cavalry of Rohan and a cursed army of the dead, a seemingly impossible task. Not only this, but as Sauron’s host of nearly 200,000 orcs completely encircle and besiege Minas Tirith, time is quickly running out for our heroes.


At the same time, Frodo and Sam continue their journey to destroy the ring. After escaping captivity, they make a dangerous trek up mount Doom, avoiding Sauron’s orcs and the gaze of his eyes, but it gets worse upon reaching the Cracks of Doom. Not only does the ring take control of Frodo, preventing him from dropping it, but Gollum manages to catch up, complicating an already impossible task. The real question now is can Sam and Frodo still manage to destroy the ring? And even if they do, will it be fast enough to save their friends in Gondor, which is falling right before their eyes?


Well the answer is pretty clear, since the Lord of the Rings is sort of the poster child for modern fantasy books, which tend to have (somewhat) happy endings. But that’s not what’s important. Like most books, except Game of Thrones, the best part of The Return of the King is watching the characters reach that ending. Seeing how Minas Tirith repels Mordor’s army, and how Frodo and Sam sneak into and escape Mordor. The Return of the King does this part extremely well. The story itself flows excellently, and remains extremely interesting and action packed, even more so than the last two books. The Return of the King wraps up the classic and renowned Lord of the Rings series extremely well, not only wrapping it up, but wrapping it up in a way that seems natural, and in no way rushed. All in all, the Return of the King is an excellent book, not just as a conclusion for the Lord of the Rings, but in every way (except for the lack of a love triangle).


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