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The Last Ring-Bearer

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  903 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
The premise of The Last Ringbearer is the proverb "history is written by the victors", and that the Tolkien account is just that – the history as dictated by the victorious side. In Eskov's version of the story, Mordor is described as a peaceful country on the verge of an industrial revolution, that is a threat to the war-mongering and imperialistic faction represented by ...more
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published 2010 (first published 1990)
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Ashihmin Stanislav It's free. :)
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Yeskow does not admit copyright.
But he has the account for donations.

It's free. :)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,750)
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Mar 06, 2011 Terence rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2013 Hudson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aedan Lake
Mar 29, 2011 Aedan Lake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note... reading fan translation issued as a free PDF.

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
Dec 11, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 06, 2011 Tatiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fanfic
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
Feb 28, 2011 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 08, 2012 heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fanfic, fantasy, wiscon
(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
Jul 03, 2011 Michele rated it it was ok
It's probably a good idea to read the author's essay on 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
Jan 10, 2015 sologdin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative
unauthorized sequel to tolkien. attempts to present mordor's perspective of the war, i.e., that feudal-fundamentalists turned back the clock of history by destroying a progressive industrial state. that's damned interesting, and there's plenty of speculation as to how the setting and story might have developed along these lines.

so, then, kinda a cool experiment in bakhtinian dialogic reimagining of a well known text, which text is a nasty old right vision of monarchism, ethnic cleansing, xenopho
Ray Blaak
Sep 15, 2012 Ray Blaak rated it really liked it
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
Dec 19, 2013 Jrubino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2016 Almielag rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Bumped up from 3 to 4 stars based purely on the introduction of a character named "Tina" into the Lord of the Rings
Tim Byron
Dec 17, 2012 Tim Byron rated it liked it
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
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
Oct 03, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jan 11, 2014 Eh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:

Download the free official pdf:
Jun 16, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
To the victor go the spoils, up to rewriting the history and dehumanizing the losing side (one has to have a legit excuse to calm one's conscience after all).
That's what could have happened in the Middle Earth following the War of the Ring. We were given one side of the story by Tolkien. What stops us from imagining the other? It's of course a sheer speculation, what Yeskov wrote on what if's and how it could be's, but brilliant nonetheless.
Quoting one of the characters: "Do you see the kind
May 14, 2016 Tepintzin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love fanfic. I love Lord of the Rings. I love alternate and revisionist versions of familiar stories. Unfortunately, this one really doesn't deliver.

It starts off well, with the first third of the book being about two Orc soldiers who eventually ally with a Gondorian noble, all trying to get home. Then a Nazgul shows up and gives one of the soldiers a mission to destroy Galadriel's Mirror. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, Yeskov then decides to spend another third of the book in Umbar, an area
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
Jun 09, 2016 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot. Some chapters really do have the feel of Tolkien, but other chapters read more like a spy thriller. The first third or so reads much more like LOTR. Later it feels a bit rushed and a bit like Robert Ludlum. Other reviewers correctly point out that at times the style jumps. It feels like it needs one more rewrite, one more copy edit. Still it is a good thriller and it brought back great memories of reading the LOTR the first time.
Mar 15, 2014 Helen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
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
Oct 28, 2011 Hazel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Interesting, and a fun thing to read while staying awake with a newborn who needed to be held all night. (thankfully she has passed that phase!) In any event, it might have warranted four stars if it were fully edited and with a more robust translation... as it stands it's unofficial because the Tolkiens would apparently sue if it were released.

I liked the idea of Mordor as a science-minded industrializing state rather than just 'evil', i liked the sections that broadened the world-building and
Aug 25, 2015 Michel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eenandere vertelling van Lord of the Rings, dit.Het uitgangspunt is dat de geschiedenis geschreven wordt door de winnaars — en dat Lord of the Rings zoals neergeschreven door Tolkien niet veel meer is dan een na-de-feiten-verheerlijking vanéén zijde in een conflict dat veel ingewikkelder was dan simpelweggoed versus kwaad.

Een aantal zaken op voorhand: een “orc” iswatmensen uit het Gandalf-kamp de mensen van Mordor noemen, het is geen apart ras of zo. Dwergen bestaan niet, draken bestaan niet (al
Dec 28, 2014 Kibbin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The first casualty in war is often the truth”

The lord of the rings while a complex book with rich history and characters that have echoed through the years is at it’s a heart a rather simple tale of good against evil. This sits at odds with the world around us and is perhaps why for some it is so treasured, for others though this has lead to it being dismissed as little more than a children’s story but for one this was the foundation for another tale altogether.

Released in 1999 by Kirill Eskov
Michael J.
Sep 27, 2016 Michael J. rated it it was amazing
A lot of fun if you enjoy LOTR and also revisionist history. As Yeskov stated himself, this is not for truant fans who want a sequel in the same tone and ideology of the original story. It's worth noting too that this is written much more in the style of John le Carré than Tolkien.

Although The Last Ring-Bearer is a tonal and perspective 180 from LOTR, you can feel the admiration Yeskov had for the source. How else would he have such intimate knowledge of the geography, names, and history of Mid
Feb 16, 2014 Aziff rated it did not like it
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
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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
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