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The Last Ringbearer

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  611 ratings  ·  122 reviews
J. R. R. Tolkien ve svém Pánu prstenů představil čtenářům příběh boje dobra a zla. Boje, ve kterém se krásní a ušlechtilí elfové a hrdinští lidé jako spojenci staví proti skřetům, pokřiveným a zkaženým lidem i stvůrám temnot v čele se samotným Sauronem. Po těžkých a úporných bojích za cenu nesmírných obětí je zlo poraženo a konečně může nastat čas míru. Pán prstenů je přek ...more
ebook, 269 pages
Published 2010 (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,014)
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Terence
Mar 06, 2011 Terence rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Terence by: Referred by Doug
Saying that The Last Ringbearer is The Lord of the Rings told from Mordor’s point of view is not entirely accurate. True, the principal characters are an army medic and scout of Mordor and an erstwhile Ranger of Ithilien but all the action takes place after the War of the Ring. Middle Earth is recast as Europe during the Cold War, with Gondor and Mordor assuming the roles of the superpowers. The “magic” of Tolkien’s vision becomes window dressing, and the novel reads more like John Le Carré fanf ...more
Hudson
UPDATE: A lot of the negative reviews of this book seem to be based on people not being able to deal with the author’s (very clever) undercutting of long-held assumptions about who were the good guys in The Lord of the Rings. I found the text lively in terms of plot, inventive in terms of literature, and incisive in terms of geopolitics. A second reading was even better than the first go-round.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: This is a cut way above your typical fan fiction, satire, and fantasy lit in general.
...more
Aedan Lake
Note... reading fan translation issued as a free PDF.

http://ymarkov.livejournal.com/270570...

Great fun - a revisionist Lord of the Rings set after the defeat of Mordor, in which two Mordorians (the Orc Ranger Tzerlag and Umbarian Field Medic Haladdin) embark on a desperate plan to save their homeland (and the world) from Elvish domination, against a backdrop of power plays by Aragorn, Faramir, Galadriel and other familiar characters.

Enjoyable for a shades-of-grey morality and the endless schemin
...more
Michele
It's probably a good idea to read the author's essay on Salon.com before tackling this book. He's a Russian geologist or palaeontologist or something and wrote it because he was puzzling over some geological oddities of Middle Earth (i.e., single continent but no mid-continent mountain range, and also what's on the rest of the map south and east of Morder that you never see?).

The first part, where LoTR is recapped from the Mordorians' perspective, was interesting and rather creative (who knew i
...more
Tatiana
I want to thank Terence for putting his soul in my soul's stead, so to speak, by finding and reading this book for me, so I don't have to. His analysis is so accurate and detailed (though I did bite the bullet and read it myself last night) that I won't even try to go into any depth about it, other than to say I completely agree that this isn't worth reading, and that the story isn't really worthy of the grandeur of the setting, and could easily have been set in any other fictional world like Du ...more
Christopher
Take the Lord of the Rings, add the premise that "History is written by the victors," and consider further that:

* The elves are generally considered dangerous and untrustworthy
* The riders of Rohan are basically illiterate peasants, albeit very dangerous ones
* There is indication that Mordor has something to do with technological advances

This tale begins with a Mordorian military scouting unit that was out of contact at the time of the destruction of Sauron's forces. In keeping with "History wri
...more
International Cat Lady
Absolutely brilliant! We've all heard that history is written by the victor. Well, imagine that The Lord of the Rings is a historical text written by the victors in the War of the Ring, and imagine that the absolute Good vs. Evil depicted in TLOTR is nothing but propaganda written by said victors to excuse/justify their acts. Russian scientist and author Kirill Eskov has written a brilliant reimagining of the War of the Ring (and the time following the defeat of Morder) from the point of view of ...more
Mike
I thought this was a ripping good tale . It retells the LoTR from the perspective of Mordor and with a more realist spin on the world. Real politick is injected into Middle Earth and informs the actions of the nation states. Events aren't driven by some abstract sense of good and evil, but by realistic people making rational decisions in their own self interest. It gives the story a much more compelling thrust in my opinion. In this retelling orcs aren't doing evil for evil's sake (AKA: The Skel ...more
heidi
(I am humbled by the amount of love and devotion it takes to 1) Write a novel-length transformational/derivative work 2) Translate it into another language.)

This is one of the books I read for the Good Books panel at FOGcon. I would not have if it hadn't been an "assignment", and I'm glad I did. It is interesting and varied. There is a story about strategic war decisions, and a story about spycraft, and a story about weapons design, and a palace intrigue story, and an overarching story of compet
...more
Tim Byron
This book is basically a sequel to Lord of the Rings told from the point of view of the other side, which basically paints Mordor as a place of science and learning which became a threat to the ignorant medieval elves who ran the place with magic (Yeskov paints Arwen as the power behind Aragorn's throne, for example). It was written by a Russian archaeologist and it really is a fascinating idea, really cleverly thought out. The idea of it - that Lord of the Rings is myth, and that there was a le ...more
Deadwish
Advertencia: ningún fanático ortodoxo de Tolkien debe acercarse a este libro.
Ahora sí, pasemos a mi opinión personal.
"Si la historia la escriben los que ganan, eso quiere decir que hay otra historia"
Este libro aporta una mirada diferente a la Tierra Media. Por suerte (y en algunos momentos por desgracia) el autor no intenta emular el estilo de Tolkien. La novela está escrita con un lenguaje actual, y abundan los insultos y alguna que otra alusión sexual. La idea es interesante, los personajes ta
...more
Daniel
The Last Ringbearer is based on the premise that The Lord of the Rings was a history written by the victors, to make them look noble and justified in their actions. It is written as a revisionist history of the events following the War of the Ring.

It's a very different picture. Mordor had been a peaceful civilization, developing technology and on the verge of an industrial revolution. Barad-Dur was a thriving city of poets, writers, and intellectuals. Then the traditionalist forces of the west,
...more
Eh
I made the mistake of trying to read The Last Ringbearer. I will say that the book is priced appropriately, it's free. And that's the extent of the good. When I read the puff piece in Salon I should have known that the book would be as epically awful as the review was ecstatic, but I was so taken by the idea that I had to read it anyway.

The basic idea is a re-telling of the War of the Ring from the other side. OK, excellent start. If you read Tolkien in anything but a facile way there is room fo
...more
Ray Blaak
Excellent, required reading for LoTR fans, a wonderful "Real Politik" antidote to the unquestioning heroic stances of LoTR characters.

For example, hobbits are hardly mentioned, Elves are assholes, Wizards are devious and untrustworthy, Orcs are effective soldiers, Mordor is the secular jewel of the world, the main character is a regular human using science to get things done.

In other words, imagine a more balanced point of for interpreting the state of affairs in Middle Earth.

Some commenters co
...more
Jrubino
My first thought was “Not another writer so devoid of ideas that he has to ‘borrow’ The Lord of the Rings mythology.” In the first 5 pages, the dread set in. Yet, I continued, and I’m so glad I did.

This novel has a great sense of detail. It mixes realism and magical elements with ease. It’s political. It’s funny. At times it reads like a documentary. The mixture of these elements is blended perfectly.

This novel turns Tolkien’s original perspective upside down. Throughout the novel, I kept rememb
...more
Ross Lockhart
The idea behind Kirill Yeskov's The Last Ringbearer is killer: Retell The Lord of the Rings from a Mordorian perspective. And at times, this tale comes close to living up to the promise of this premise. Mordor is a fallen superpower, its industrial riches and technological innovation stripped and stolen by the Elven victors in the War of the Rings, and the hapless Orc medic Haladin seems set to be a compelling protagonist as he begins his Nazgûl-given quest, the object of which is a Mission: Imp ...more
Helen
I started this book with high hopes, since I rather like alternative viewpoint stories. The very beginning was promising, with a lovely description of a desert sunset. However, I was jerked out of the land of Middle-earth by the use of the word "smartass". I certainly don't want the author to be emulating the writing style of Tolkien, as I think that might be very difficult, but the modern writing style did nothing for me. In addition, the constant misspelling of Middle-earth as Middle Earth I f ...more
Hazel
This is a rather sweet fan-fiction re-imagining of The Lord of the Rings. Eskov badly needs an editor, for structure and content and language. (Some of the US slang made me cringe. Faramir calls Eowyn 'Honey'. Or is it 'Baby'?) But it's very amusing to see Middle Earth in terms of geopolitics. And would you believe the Elves are the sinister bad guys, bent on global domination? And the Nazgul are philosopher-priests; tee-hee. Lovely idea, but I'm probably too old to buy it. I've gotten almost 40 ...more
Mike
A must-read for Lord of the Rings junkies. What if LOTR was merely the whitewashed story of the War of the Ring as told by the victors? This is the story of that war from the Southern and Eastern perspective...along with a new post-war quest. At points it gets a bit too obsessed with technical detail, but overall it's an engrossing new take on Middle Earth.

Read Salon's review of the book: http://www.salon.com/books/laura_mill...

Download the free official pdf: http://ymarkov.livejournal.com/27057
...more
Aziff
I first found interest for The Last Ring-Bearer after being told that it was an alternative take on the beloved J.R.R.Tolkien classic told from the other side. To my dismay, what I was met with was something closely, if not resembling an ideal fan fiction written devoid of Tolkien lore and what made The Lord of the Rings well-loved. Kirill Y. instead reimagines a Middle-Earth that takes setting in a Cold War-like era.

While the geopolitics of Middle-Earth was interesting to an extent, the charact
...more
Jake
This book is a little different, in that you can't get it on amazon or a book store. The author posted it in PDF format for free on the web. Some time after that, it was translated into English and made available as an english PDF for free as well. That's a lot of work for free. Anyway, the book itself follows the story of Lord of the Rings as if it were a history book. This is a look at that history from a different angle, Middle Earth from the view of Mordor.

It's filled with secret wars, doubl
...more
Jeff Wilson Junior
DISCLAIMER: Yeskov is not Tolkien; Yeskov is not trying to be Tolkien.

Now that that's out of the way, I have to say that The Last Ringbearer is without a doubt the best standalone fantasy novel I've read since Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. If the War of the Ring is indeed the World War II of Middle Earth, Ringbearer works because it depicts a mythical Cold War between the sinister, inhuman Elves (you heard me) and their unsavory, erstwhile allies. Yeskov's descriptions of scenery in particular are g
...more
Christy
I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this one. I like the concept and I enjoyed parts of the very beginning, but once Eskov moved past setting up this vision of Middle Earth and the events of LOTR from a different perspective and into plotting and character development he completely lost me. I just don't care about these people and their intrigues. Maybe others will.
Alex
Smart, well-written and surprising at points.

Where the original LOTR take a highly romantic view of Middle Earth, this book views history through a much more cynical and rational lense.

I started reading it mostly as a novelty, but was impressed by how well-written it was and how believable the characters are. Very much recommended!
Bill Shubert
Another book that has a great idea, but done poorly. The idea: Tell the story of Lord of the Rings and it's aftermath, from the point of view of one of Sauron's minions. And based on the concept of "history is told by the winners," the author assumes that what Tolkien wrote is not just biased towards the heroes of that book, but is in some cases wildly incorrect propaganda.

From this idea, there are some great moments, like when Gandalf is shown to be not the noble hero that Tolkien said he was,
...more
Bryan Frink
I have so little (perhaps nothing?) to add to what has already been said in other reviews.

The theme that most deeply resonated with me was:

The western kingdoms of Middle Earth viewed as a theocracy threatened by scientific progress. In both the Muslim and Christian worlds, we face similar contention today.
Emelie
This seems to be an interesting concept, but I couldn't get into it. Might give it another shot in the future, it would be interesting to read about the world and happenings of LotR in another perspective.
Michel Clasquin-Johnson
A weird one. This book reimagines Tolkien's Middle Earth from a more realistic perspective. Orcs are not monsters, they are desert nomads. Trolls are mountain peasants. Both are quite human. Elves and wizards are assholes from a parallel dimension

There is magic, at least there is (view spoiler)
...more
Honza Andrš
Just better than original saga.
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2759191
Eskov graduated from the MSU Department of Entomology from Moscow State University in 1979. In 1986 he defended a dissertation for the Candidate of Biological Sciences at the A.N.Severtsov Institute of Animal Evolutionary Morphology and Ecology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the theme being "Spiders of Northern Siberia (horology analysis)".[1] His main scientific interests as a biologist are spi ...more
More about Kirill Yeskov...
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