Bryce's Reviews > The Return of the King

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Oct 12, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: everyone. This is an absolute must-read
Read in May, 2005

I consider the Lord of the Rings trilogy the best fantasy, and perhaps the best fiction, ever written. Middle Earth is a beautiful, rich, complete land to which Narnia pales by comparison (don't get me wrong, I very much like Narnia, too).

The conclusion of the quest, Frodo and Sam claw their way to the steps of Mount Doom, looking up at Barad-dur, Sauron's throne. Meanwhile, the rest of the broken Fellowship desperately fight to slow the spread of Sauron's darkness. The Hammer of Sauron falls on Minas Tirith, the last true Numenorrian bastion that could possibly challenge him. The world hangs by a thread and an old alliance, almost forgotten. The book is perhaps the most powerful literature I have ever consumed. I actually wept by the end, it was so powerful and moving. That is something that has only happened twice.

The depth and beauty of Tolkien's work stems from his obsession with language and how world events impact its evolution. To create this book and its wealth, Tolkien developed 14 complete languages, all of which can be learned and spoken, written, and read. He created the lore and legend that each population clung to for their heritage. The relationships, distrusts, friendships, and animosities between the races stem from ancient and powerful roots. The detail of the world before the series lends it a believability that is virtually unparalleled even in many nonfiction works.

I've read this series 4 or 5 times, which is something I have not done with any other work, aside from formative Christian religious texts. No one book is complete without the other two, so I consider them all to be the same book, divided into several parts--so as to allow for the faint of heart to enter Middle Earth in safer, smaller pieces.
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Fred D Excellent review. I agree with what you said. Very well expressed.


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