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on May 6, 2015
Frodo's group have gotten separated following the premature passing of Boromir who succumbed to fatal injuries when fending off goblin troops. Aragorn, Gimli (Gloin's son), and Legolas Greenleaf put his body to rest on a boat to cast it off into the mournful stream. Where the currents will soon carry him away to his dearest brother, Faramir. Elsewhere, the two Hobbits Pippin and Merry eluded their captivity of the Orcs. They unite with the Ent trees backed by jolly Treebeard so they can confront the traitor warlock Saruman at Dark Tower Orthanc for mercilessly chopping down and killing numberous Ents. Gandalf fans need not despair anymore; the wizard had triumphantly come back from death and had been revived as Gandalf the White! We're introduced to the infamous Grima Wormtongue: Theoden's faithful servant and Saruman's underhand spy with a manipulative streak! Meanwhile, Gollum remains on the loose, having somehow escaped imprisonment by the Wood-elves. Attaboy! He again tracks down Sam and Frodo by nightfall, despite detesting moonlight. But Bilbo Baggins' nephew manages to subdue the imp. Frodo brings out the nicer Smeagol personality in Gollum, and he agrees to help him and Sam out on their venture in destroying the One Ring as a guide. Samwise Gamgee continues to be wary of ''Stinker'' and suspects he's hatching some sort of scheme.

I had been pleased J.R.R. Tolkien finally decided to place focus on Gollum by his long-awaited reappearance in Book Four of The Two Towers. The imp played too small a role back in The Hobbit, and I really have a thing for that Middle-earth character. He cracked me up in certain parts of the second Lord of the Rings novel! Had no idea the little rascal's a finicky eater! Whether Smeagol will stay good or regress back to his devious Gollum self, I will not say. Read on and find out what happens!!
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The second volume of Tolkien's epic trilogy never even wavers. If anything, it seems steadier and more controlled than "Fellowship of the Ring," as several characters become more central and the plot focus widens to envelop all of Middle Earth. It suffers from a bit of sequelitis in places, but the overall book is just as enthralling as the first.

Aragorn finds that Merry and Pippin have been abducted rather than killed -- for what reason, no one knows. Frodo and Sam have left on their own. So Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to find the orcs and retrieve the hobbits, but are stopped by the fierce Riders of Rohan, and then by an old and dear friend: Gandalf, who has been resurrected in the new form of a White wizard. Elsewhere, Merry and Pippin must use all of their wits to escape the orcs, and then find a strange band of allies that no one could have hoped for.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam head into Mordor -- with an eerily familiar figure, Gollum, following them. Frodo subjugates Gollum, forcing him to swear on "the precious" that he won't harm him. In return, Gollum promises to guide the two hobbits through Mordor, straight to Mount Doom. But the Ring is weighing more heavily than ever on Frodo, and is starting to reassert its old sway on Gollum...

One of the most noticeable changes in this book is the shift of focus. "Fellowship" was Frodo-centric, since the narration revolved around him, as did all the events and thoughts. But with the breaking of the Fellowship, the narration falls into three categories: Frodo and Sam; Merry and Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This triple style allows individuals to shine more brightly, when they are called on to do more than hike with Frodo.

Tolkien also presented a wider view of Middle-Earth in general. While the slow slog through Mordor doesn't really tell or show readers much -- aside from what a hellhole Sauron is the middle of -- it's shocking to see the the effects of the orcs, Saruman and Sauron on places such as Gondor and Rohan.

Changes can be seen in Frodo even in this book, and which become more pronounced in the third book of the trilogy, "Return of the King." He becomes sadder and more introspective, and the Ring's growing hold on him can be glimpsed at times. Aragorn is also changing. He is no longer merely the rugged outcast Ranger, but displays the hints of a future great king, if he can only get to his throne.
Merry and Pippin also change: these two innocent young hobbits have to suddenly Sam is more promiment in this book, as Frodo's friend and personal pillar of strength.

But where Tolkien really outdid himself is Gollum. Gollum returns, in a substantially different state. Oh, he's still addled and addicted to the Ring, but he displays a dual love/loathing for the Ring, a weird affection for Frodo (who, from his point of view, is probably the only person who has been kind to him), and displays a Ring-induced multiple-personality syndrome. Very rarely can bad guys elicit the sort of loathing and pity from the reader that Gollum does.

One noticeable aspect of this book is friendship. When the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell, virtually everyone is a stranger, with the exception of the hobbits. However, in this book we get our view of how much Sam loves Frodo and wants to help him. Sam is fully aware of how much Frodo needs emotional support, and he's quite willing to be a pillar of strength for his friend. We see Gimli and Legolas's affection for Merry and Pippin; and Legolas's willingness to kill Eomer if Eomer hurts Gimli shows how far this Elf and Dwarf have come.

This book is substantially darker than "Fellowship." Frodo is starting to stumble under the weight of the Ring, and other characters die or are seriously hurt. The scene where Pippin's mind is trapped by Sauron is a very disturbing one, as is a violent and saddening scene late in the book. But there is also some wry humor: Gandalf's joke as he hears Saruman throttling Grima Wormtongue, Legolas's snippy comments about pipeweed as Gimli and the hobbits smoke up a storm, and Sam's debate with Gollum about whether they should cook the rabbits.

Tolkien's second Lord of the Rings novel is a thrilling fantasy adventure, exploring more of his invented world than "Fellowship of the Ring" did. A truly enthralling experience.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 23, 2013
This is the second volume in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. It follows The Fellowship of the Ring and is followed by The Return of the King.

In this part of the story, the original fellowship of nine travelers is fragmented. Some seek Mordor and the forlorn hope of destroying the one ring in the volcanic fires that produced it. Others are taken captive, and pursued by would-be rescuers. As the travelers disperse, readers become acquainted with the lands and peoples of Middle Earth. We meet the independent horsemen of Rohan, the foul orcs of Mordor, the proud men of Gondor, and the shades of past oath-breakers, eager for redemption. The schemes of wizards, stewards and wraiths become more clear. The tension builds.

The middle book of the trilogy covers a lot of ground, both geographically and in character development. The characters gather their strength for war with the forces of evil. Tolkien gives his characters distinct strengths which complement the abilities of their companions. There is a growing sense that each will have a part to play in the coming conflict--a unique and indispensable part.

If you have already read volume one of the trilogy, you are going to read volume two. No choice, really.
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on December 12, 2011
I always enjoy reading this as part two of "the Lord of the Rings". To approach it any other way is to rob it of the proper context, and therefore its true potential to entertain and transport the reader to another world. If approached properly, this author's works should be enjoyable for many.

To anyone considering this 3 part story, try reading "the Hobbit" first. It is a valuable introduction to this world of characters and an easy way to find out if you have a taste for J.R.R.Tolken's works. It also gives you information on events and characters that are often referred to throughout "the lord of the rings" and a sense of this story's background. This adds valuable context.
Bottom line: If a person is familiar with "the Hobbit" then they will simply find it easier and more enjoyable to read "the lord of the rings" for the first time.

The two towers is the most detailed section of this story, and the easiest in which to get lost, (or bored)so it should be read in the proper order; after "the fellowship of the Ring" and (preferably) after "the hobbit"
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The second volume of Tolkien's epic trilogy never even wavers. If anything, it seems steadier and more controlled than "Fellowship of the Ring," as several characters become more central and the plot focus widens to envelop all of Middle Earth. It suffers from a bit of sequelitis in places, but the overall book is just as enthralling as the first.

Aragorn finds that Merry and Pippin have been abducted rather than killed -- for what reason, no one knows. Frodo and Sam have left on their own. So Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to find the orcs and retrieve the hobbits, but are stopped by the fierce Riders of Rohan, and then by an old and dear friend: Gandalf, who has been resurrected in the new form of a White wizard. Elsewhere, Merry and Pippin must use all of their wits to escape the orcs, and then find a strange band of allies that no one could have hoped for.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam head into Mordor -- with an eerily familiar figure, Gollum, following them. Frodo subjugates Gollum, forcing him to swear on "the precious" that he won't harm him. In return, Gollum promises to guide the two hobbits through Mordor, straight to Mount Doom. But the Ring is weighing more heavily than ever on Frodo, and is starting to reassert its old sway on Gollum...

One of the most noticeable changes in this book is the shift of focus. "Fellowship" was Frodo-centric, since the narration revolved around him, as did all the events and thoughts. But with the breaking of the Fellowship, the narration falls into three categories: Frodo and Sam; Merry and Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This triple style allows individuals to shine more brightly, when they are called on to do more than hike with Frodo.

Tolkien also presented a wider view of Middle-Earth in general. While the slow slog through Mordor doesn't really tell or show readers much -- aside from what a hellhole Sauron is the middle of -- it's shocking to see the the effects of the orcs, Saruman and Sauron on places such as Gondor and Rohan.

Changes can be seen in Frodo even in this book, and which become more pronounced in the third book of the trilogy, "Return of the King." He becomes sadder and more introspective, and the Ring's growing hold on him can be glimpsed at times. Aragorn is also changing. He is no longer merely the rugged outcast Ranger, but displays the hints of a future great king, if he can only get to his throne.
Merry and Pippin also change: these two innocent young hobbits have to suddenly Sam is more promiment in this book, as Frodo's friend and personal pillar of strength.

But where Tolkien really outdid himself is Gollum. Gollum returns, in a substantially different state. Oh, he's still addled and addicted to the Ring, but he displays a dual love/loathing for the Ring, a weird affection for Frodo (who, from his point of view, is probably the only person who has been kind to him), and displays a Ring-induced multiple-personality syndrome. Very rarely can bad guys elicit the sort of loathing and pity from the reader that Gollum does.

One noticeable aspect of this book is friendship. When the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell, virtually everyone is a stranger, with the exception of the hobbits. However, in this book we get our view of how much Sam loves Frodo and wants to help him. Sam is fully aware of how much Frodo needs emotional support, and he's quite willing to be a pillar of strength for his friend. We see Gimli and Legolas's affection for Merry and Pippin; and Legolas's willingness to kill Eomer if Eomer hurts Gimli shows how far this Elf and Dwarf have come.

This book is substantially darker than "Fellowship." Frodo is starting to stumble under the weight of the Ring, and other characters die or are seriously hurt. The scene where Pippin's mind is trapped by Sauron is a very disturbing one, as is a violent and saddening scene late in the book. But there is also some wry humor: Gandalf's joke as he hears Saruman throttling Grima Wormtongue, Legolas's snippy comments about pipeweed as Gimli and the hobbits smoke up a storm, and Sam's debate with Gollum about whether they should cook the rabbits.

Tolkien's second "Lord of the Rings" novel is a thrilling fantasy adventure, exploring more of his invented world than "Fellowship of the Ring" did. "The Two Towers" starts heading into darker territory, and will leave readers panting for more.
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The second volume of Tolkien's epic trilogy never even wavers. If anything, it seems steadier and more controlled than "Fellowship of the Ring," as several characters become more central and the plot focus widens to envelop all of Middle Earth. It suffers from a bit of sequelitis in places, but the overall book is just as enthralling as the first.

Aragorn finds that Merry and Pippin have been abducted rather than killed -- for what reason, no one knows. Frodo and Sam have left on their own. So Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to find the orcs and retrieve the hobbits, but are stopped by the fierce Riders of Rohan, and then by an old and dear friend: Gandalf, who has been resurrected in the new form of a White wizard. Elsewhere, Merry and Pippin must use all of their wits to escape the orcs, and then find a strange band of allies that no one could have hoped for.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam head into Mordor -- with an eerily familiar figure, Gollum, following them. Frodo subjugates Gollum, forcing him to swear on "the precious" that he won't harm him. In return, Gollum promises to guide the two hobbits through Mordor, straight to Mount Doom. But the Ring is weighing more heavily than ever on Frodo, and is starting to reassert its old sway on Gollum...

One of the most noticeable changes in this book is the shift of focus. "Fellowship" was Frodo-centric, since the narration revolved around him, as did all the events and thoughts. But with the breaking of the Fellowship, the narration falls into three categories: Frodo and Sam; Merry and Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This triple style allows individuals to shine more brightly, when they are called on to do more than hike with Frodo.

Tolkien also presented a wider view of Middle-Earth in general. While the slow slog through Mordor doesn't really tell or show readers much -- aside from what a hellhole Sauron is the middle of -- it's shocking to see the the effects of the orcs, Saruman and Sauron on places such as Gondor and Rohan.

But where Tolkien really outdid himself is Gollum. Gollum returns, in a substantially different state. Oh, he's still addled and addicted to the Ring, but he displays a dual love/loathing for the Ring, a weird affection for Frodo (who, from his point of view, is probably the only person who has been kind to him), and displays a Ring-induced multiple-personality syndrome. Very rarely can bad guys elicit the sort of loathing and pity from the reader that Gollum does.

One noticeable aspect of this book is friendship. When the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell, virtually everyone is a stranger, with the exception of the hobbits. However, in this book we get our view of how much Sam loves Frodo and wants to help him. Sam is fully aware of how much Frodo needs emotional support, and he's quite willing to be a pillar of strength for his friend. We see Gimli and Legolas's affection for Merry and Pippin; and Legolas's willingness to kill Eomer if Eomer hurts Gimli shows how far this Elf and Dwarf have come.

This book is substantially darker than "Fellowship." Frodo is starting to stumble under the weight of the Ring, and other characters die or are seriously hurt. The scene where Pippin's mind is trapped by Sauron is a very disturbing one, as is a violent and saddening scene late in the book. But there is also some wry humor, like Legolas's snippy comments about pipeweed as Gimli and the hobbits smoke up a storm, and Sam's debate with Gollum about whether they should cook the rabbits.

Tolkien's second "Lord of the Rings" novel is a thrilling fantasy adventure, exploring more of his invented world than "Fellowship of the Ring" did. "The Two Towers" starts heading into darker territory, and will leave readers panting for more.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The second volume of Tolkien's epic trilogy never even wavers. If anything, it seems steadier and more controlled than "Fellowship of the Ring," as several characters become more central and the plot focus widens to envelop all of Middle Earth. It suffers from a bit of sequelitis in places, but the overall book is just as enthralling as the first.

Aragorn finds that Merry and Pippin have been abducted rather than killed -- for what reason, no one knows. Frodo and Sam have left on their own. So Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli race to find the orcs and retrieve the hobbits, but are stopped by the fierce Riders of Rohan, and then by an old and dear friend: Gandalf, who has been resurrected in the new form of a White wizard. Elsewhere, Merry and Pippin must use all of their wits to escape the orcs, and then find a strange band of allies that no one could have hoped for.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam head into Mordor -- with an eerily familiar figure, Gollum, following them. Frodo subjugates Gollum, forcing him to swear on "the precious" that he won't harm him. In return, Gollum promises to guide the two hobbits through Mordor, straight to Mount Doom. But the Ring is weighing more heavily than ever on Frodo, and is starting to reassert its old sway on Gollum...

One of the most noticeable changes in this book is the shift of focus. "Fellowship" was Frodo-centric, since the narration revolved around him, as did all the events and thoughts. But with the breaking of the Fellowship, the narration falls into three categories: Frodo and Sam; Merry and Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. This triple style allows individuals to shine more brightly, when they are called on to do more than hike with Frodo.

Tolkien also presented a wider view of Middle-Earth in general. While the slow slog through Mordor doesn't really tell or show readers much -- aside from what a hellhole Sauron is the middle of -- it's shocking to see the the effects of the orcs, Saruman and Sauron on places such as Gondor and Rohan.

Changes can be seen in Frodo even in this book, and which become more pronounced in the third book of the trilogy, "Return of the King." He becomes sadder and more introspective, and the Ring's growing hold on him can be glimpsed at times. Aragorn is also changing. He is no longer merely the rugged outcast Ranger, but displays the hints of a future great king, if he can only get to his throne.

Merry and Pippin also change: these two innocent young hobbits have to suddenly Sam is more promiment in this book, as Frodo's friend and personal pillar of strength.

But where Tolkien really outdid himself is Gollum. Gollum returns, in a substantially different state. Oh, he's still addled and addicted to the Ring, but he displays a dual love/loathing for the Ring, a weird affection for Frodo (who, from his point of view, is probably the only person who has been kind to him), and displays a Ring-induced multiple-personality syndrome. Very rarely can bad guys elicit the sort of loathing and pity from the reader that Gollum does.

One noticeable aspect of this book is friendship. When the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell, virtually everyone is a stranger, with the exception of the hobbits. However, in this book we get our view of how much Sam loves Frodo and wants to help him. Sam is fully aware of how much Frodo needs emotional support, and he's quite willing to be a pillar of strength for his friend. We see Gimli and Legolas's affection for Merry and Pippin; and Legolas's willingness to kill Eomer if Eomer hurts Gimli shows how far this Elf and Dwarf have come.

This book is substantially darker than "Fellowship." Frodo is starting to stumble under the weight of the Ring, and other characters die or are seriously hurt. The scene where Pippin's mind is trapped by Sauron is a very disturbing one, as is a violent and saddening scene late in the book. But there is also some wry humor: Gandalf's joke as he hears Saruman throttling Grima Wormtongue, Legolas's snippy comments about pipeweed as Gimli and the hobbits smoke up a storm, and Sam's debate with Gollum about whether they should cook the rabbits.

Tolkien's second "Lord of the Rings" novel is a thrilling fantasy adventure, exploring more of his invented world than "Fellowship of the Ring" did. "The Two Towers" starts heading into darker territory, and will leave readers panting for more.
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on February 21, 2004
If you want to read the best book in the world, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien is the one! This fantasy, adventure-filled novel, takes place in Middle Earth. Frodo Baggins continues his journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring of Power, with his guide and best friend, Samwise Gamgee. With the death of Gandalf in the Mines of Moria, and Boromir in the woods, Frodo and Sam must be strong to continue their long, dreadful, and dangerous road to Mordor. They had been separated from their fellow companions Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli. Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin were kidnapped by the Uruk-Hai, and now Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are in hot pursuit. Frodo and Sam soon realize that they aren't alone. While they are sleeping, Gollum attacks Frodo and tries to take 'The Precious' (the Ring) from him. Gollum is held captive until he offers to take them to the Black Gates of Mordor, and in return he will be set free. Gollum make a solemn promise by swearing on 'The Precious.' After making it to the Black Gates, Gollum says that there is another safer and more secret way to get to Mount Doom. Frodo and Sam unknowingly agree, and don't know that Gollum actually has another plan in store for them. To find out what happens in this exciting, page turner epic, you must read this book! Having reading this book, I can truly die a happy person, knowing that this is the best book I will ever read in my entire life!
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on January 30, 2004
Ever have had something that many want people want to possess? Try overcoming being chased by nonliving warriors riding dragons. Have you ever felt like the fate of the world hung around your neck? If you have experienced this then you know how Frodo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings felt. Frodo was young hobbit from the Shire who really looked for adventure when ever he could find. He wanted to meet new people and see different creatures he had never seen in his life. But the only reason Frodo got to go on adventures was because his uncle gave him the ring of power. Frodo had to get the ring to Mordor and not let the ring get into the wrong hands. The ring has such power that it could conquer the whole world.

I really liked the Two Towers. It is a great fantasy novel because it contains all elements that a good fantasy novel should contain. In my opinion J.R.R Tolkien created the greatest quest in the entire fantasy genre. If you read the story very carefully you can see that Tolkien kept on switching settings between characters. For instance in one chapter Tolkien would focus on Pippin and Merry then in the next chapter he would focus on Aragorn, Legalos, and Gimli. The best battle in the book in my opinion was the Battle of Helm's Deep. The only flaw was in the beginning Tolkien only focused on the other three companions that Frodo abandoned. I would highly recommend the Two Towers to any who is a fan of fantasy.
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on December 6, 2003
This review is in reference to what Jacobs (see review below) and others have written. I have not listened to this audio narration, but I have read the books. It's true that the story goes a little overboard when it comes to details. But it's important for everyone to realize that Tolkien was a linguist. He was most interested in languages, not fantasy. He had invented a completely new language (Elvish) and wanted to share that language with the world. Plus, he was very interested in what kinds of songs & stories different races would have. The Lord of the Rings was the best way he saw to present his new language and songs to the world, to wrap it up within a story. He researched ancient myths and runes from countries around the world and put them all together to create a world called Middle Earth. So if the story seems to go too slowly for you, just remember that it was NOT Tolkien's aim to tell a great fantasy story. His primary aim was to share with the world the songs/stories of the different races, the Elvish language, and his invented Hobbit race. Naturally, that means that he'll go a little overboard describing every little detail about Hobbits and Elvish. Tolkien was surprised by the big response his trilogy recieved, and even more surprised by how many people tried to make his story into something it wasn't intended to be.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the world he created and I enjoy how he brought so many old, mythological creatures to life. If it wasn't for Tolkien, the modern fantasy genre wouldn't have taken off the way it did. If it wasn't for Tolkien, the Dungeons and Dragons world (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc. books) wouldn't have existed. In fact, if it wasn't for Tolkien, many of our modern fantasy novels wouldn't be full of the dwarves, elves, and other creatures in the form they are in now. All those things took off because of the hype over his trilogy during the 1960's. I'm very grateful for the impact his story had. It's just important when you go back and read his trilogy to realize that his aim wasn't to cause any of that. His main aim was not to tell a good story. His main aim was to teach everyone what he had invented (namely, the languages and folklore of the races). I know this because Tolkien himself said so many times. Don't go into the story expecting something different.
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