Frodo and his Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in a battle in the Mines of Moria. And Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs.
Now they continue the journey alone down the great River Anduin — alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
Okay so here’s the thing. I think I enjoyed the second book of the Lotr trilogy more than its predecessor. This book felt more like a character-driven book to me. Let me explain: First of all, I, weirdly, felt like not many things happened. I have no idea why; so many new characters were introduced, so many new places were visited, and there were some truly magical scenes that fully caption the essence of Middle-Earth. The action picked up at the end of the book, which I found extremely helpful, since it motivates me to pick up the next book right away. We got to see more of who the characters really are, we got to see them grow and develop. I said something about these characters on my Fellowship of the Ring review and I still stand by it: They all fall into the good vs. bad dichotomy that doesn’t really work for me anymore. The characters still grew on me, however, especially Aragorn and Sam.
So here’s the thing. This series is a freaking masterpiece. Tolkien has created an extraordinary world, the first of its kind, the one that paved the path for every other popular high fantasy series. No one can ever compete to what he has done with the Middle-Earth, its languages, its traditions, its entirety. We are talking about a world so rich in history, so unique in this exact richness, that I can’t help but admire and adore his work every step of the way.
I feel like this is going to be a series I’ll re-read many times over. I already find myself yearning for more of this beautiful world, wishing to learn more about its history and past. I truly wish I had read this sooner, just because I feel like I would have appreciated it even more.