Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

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BOOK review
Started on: 2.December.2012
Finished on: 19.December.2012

Title : The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
Author : J.R.R. Tolkien
Publisher : Ballantine Books
Pages : 398 Pages
Year of Publication : 1954
Price : $ 11.16 (http://www.amazon.com)

Rating: 5/5
*for those who haven't read the first book, this review may contain spoiler. 
Review for The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) here.
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"Upon them stood the Teeth of Mordor, two towers strong and tall... Now the watch-towers, which had fallen into decay, were repaired, and filled with arms, and garrisoned with ceaseless vigilance. Stony-faced they were, with dark window-holes staring north and east and west, and each window was full of sleepless eyes."
The journey continues, right after Frodo and Sam had left the group when there's battle happening with Saruman's Uruk-hai. Sadly, Boromir died and Merry and Pippin were kidnapped by the enemy. And so, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli goes off searching for the lost hobbits. While on the other side, Merry and Pippin are both trying their best to save themselves and escape. Aragorn met Rohirrim, the Riders of Rohan; who attacked the Uruk-hai and burned them - but the Riders of Rohan didn't see any hobbits. The companions then concluded that Merry and Pippin has escaped, so they went on, hoping to be able to find the hobbits.

Merry and Pippin then come across the giant tree-like Ents, which actually looks like a tree - but with the ability like human beings. The hobbits then tells Treebeard, the leader of the Ents, about the evil doings of Saruman. After hearing about it, Treebeard tried persuading the Ents to stop Saruman because he has cut down so many trees for his troops armory. While on their journey, Aragorn who's been following the Hobbits' tracks, comes across an old man - which they thought was Saruman. But it was actually Gandalf that he saw - Gandalf who actually survived the fall in Moria. And so the four of them went to Rohan's capital to rouse King Théoden - who has been threatened by Saruman for too long. Together, they're going to battle against Saruman's dark army.
"Yes, you may still call me Gandalf... Get up, my good Gimli! No blame to you, and no harm done to me. Indeed my friends, none of you have any weapon that could hurt me. Be merry! We meet again. At the turn of the tide. The great storm is coming, but the tide has turned."
"Andúril! Andúril goes to war. The Blade that was Broken shines again!"
On a different journey, there's Frodo and Sam - who separated themselves from the fellowship. They have been followed by Gollum for some time, and so they decided capture the creature and use him as a guide. Although they know Gollum must've had plans to take away the Ring from Frodo, he promised to take the Hobbits to the Black Gate of Mordor. Even though Sam wasn't very fond of Gollum because he suspect Gollum's planning something evil, they finally reached their destination. Frodo and Sam also met people of Gondor, including Faramir - Boromir's brother. They're so close to their final destination, where Frodo would have to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom; but their journey was never smooth. Enemies are obstructing , and even death might come and take their lives away.
"I am commanded to go to the land of Mordor and therefore I shall go,' said Frodo. "If there is only one way, then I must take it. What comes after must come."
 
Before continuing on with my review about the book, I have to say I really feel guilty for not being able to write a book review these past weeks. Yes, I was reading this book very very slowly - although not because I didn't enjoy it, but because some activities I did in my holidays (such as cleaning up my super-messy room, organizing Christmas celebration, and so on). But when I have time to read this book, I enjoyed every second of it. As what I've experienced with The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring, the beginning of the book always starts off slow - probably some kind of warming up before the 'real' story begins. It started with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli who started searching for Merry and Pippin - who was taken away by the orcs; also the story of Merry and Pippin who miraculously escaped from death (as I've written in the plot summary above). In my opinion, the story started to climb upwards with the arrival of Gandalf! Yes, Gandalf! Who was supposed to be dead after his fall in Moria. You want to know how he survived the fall? That part you should read for yourself ;) And so, after meeting with Gandalf, the plans are set out to go to Isengard - where Saruman is. This is the good part, war it is.

I didn't write a lot in the plot summary - just telling bits of the overall story, so that I won't spoil the fun for those who haven't read yet. In the first part of the book (Book III) Frodo and Sam is nowhere to be seen at all. Which is natural, because they separated and are on their way to Mordor. But I kind of miss Frodo's presence in the story - I don't even know why (?); I guess the story doesn't feel complete yet without the ring-bearer. The opposite happens in Book IV, in which we get to see Frodo and Sam's adventure going to Mordor, and there's only the two of them (with Gollum as additional companion). Needless to say, Book IV is so intense and much more nerve-wrecking than the previous part - because Frodo and Sam are both kind of incapable if compared to Aragorn or Gandalf. In the middle of the book, I had the thought of giving this book a 4; but towards the end of the book I changed my mind all over again - just because it was such a page-turner and I couldn't resist it.

"Do I not say truly, Gandalf, that you could go whithersoever you wished quicker than I? And this I also say: you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has Nine. But we have One, mightier than they: the White Rider. He has passed through the fire and the abyss, and they shall fear him. We will go where he leads."
In the first book review, I said my favorite character was Aragorn; but now in the second installment of The Lord of the Rings, my favorite character is Gandalf the White - yes this old guy. But he's very wise, that's what I love most about him. And everytime he speaks, I feel power and charisma through his words. Even when I'm just reading the words, it seems like I can feel his presence and give me goosebumps. Well, I guess it's probably the marvelous magical works of Tolkien :)) Another character that attracted my attention in this book is Samwise Gamgee - the loyal gardener and companion of Frodo Baggins. I think his character is explored far better in this book rather than in the previous one - I can really see his loyalty towards his master. Especially the ending of this book! I almost cried, because I honor his friendship with Frodo (no more explanation, no spoiler).

Even though this is the second book, I still can't get over my awe over Tolkien's work and the details in it. Honestly, the name of the places in this book is too much - and my small-sized memory cannot take it all at once. Same thing goes for the names; sometimes I even questioned myself: "Who's Mithrandir?" when it was only Gandalf's other name.... ( ̄、 ̄ ) But then again, that's always a thing to be praised about Tolkien - the amount of detail, as well the history of things are described very well in this book. There are more creatures in this book as well! Such as Ents and Oliphaunt - which I'm looking forward to see in the movie adaptation soon!

"You knew you were behaving wrongly and foolishly; and you told yourself so, though you did not listen. I did not tell you all this before, because it is only by musing on all that has happened that I have at last understood, even as we ride together. But if I had spoken sooner, it would not have lessened your desire, or made it easier to resist. On the contrary! No, the burned hand teaches best. After that advice about fire goes to heart."
"I do not feel any pity for Gollum. He deserves death.
Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends."
Those two quotes are my favorites from the book - and both are said by the wise-man Gandalf. The first one is when Pippin made a terrible mistake by "stealing" something away from Gandalf out of curiosity; and that was Gandalf's 'lecture' for Pippin. The second one is when Frodo and Sam are trying to tame Gollum/Smeagol - but Sam kind of lost his temper and wanted to kill the creature. Then Frodo remembered what Gandalf said and decided not to kill Gollum. And so this book made me admire Gandalf even more.

I am so looking forward to reading The Return of the King (the next installment of Lord of the Rings series)! But as I've said in The Fellowship of the Ring review, reading LOTR books seriously took a whole lot of my time and I can't write reviews - because I'm probably too immersed in it. And sometimes I'm having difficulty with the old English usage in the story. So I will probably read the last book by next year :D Going to watch the movie adaptation for The Two Towers soon, and write a review for it - hopefully it's as great as (or even better than) the book :)))) I am officially a Tolkien fan and I'm proud of it.

*on a side note, I'm DYING to watch The Hobbit's movie adaptation. Hopefully I'll be able to do that :))) Bye for now !
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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