The middle novel in The Lord of the Rings—the greatest fantasy epic of all time—which began in The Fellowship of the Ring, and which reaches its magnificent climax in The Return of the King.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
The Fellowship is scattered. Some are bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some are contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the accursed One Ring, ruler of all the Rings of Power, to be destroyed in Mordor, the dark realm where Sauron is supreme. Their guide is Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Series:||Lord of the Rings Series , #2|
|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Lexile:||810L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in World War I, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of eighty-one.
Date of Birth:January 3, 1892
Date of Death:September 2, 1973
Place of Birth:Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)
Place of Death:Oxford, England
Education:B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919
Read an Excerpt
The Two TowersThe Lord of the Rings-Part Two
By J.R.R. Tolkien
Random HouseCopyright © 1986 J.R.R. Tolkien
All right reserved.
THE DEPARTURE OF BOROMIR
Aragorn sped on up the hill. Every now and again he bent to the ground. Hobbits go light, and their footprints are not easy even for a Ranger to read, but not far from the top a spring crossed the path, and in the wet earth he saw what he was seeking.
'I read the signs aright,' he said to himself. 'Frodo ran to the hill-top. I wonder what he saw there? But he returned by the same way, and went down the hill again.
Aragorn hesitated. He desired to go to the high seat himself, hoping to see there something that would guide him in his perplexities; but time was pressing. Suddenly he leaped forward, and ran to the summit, across the great flag-stones, and up the steps. Then sitting in the high seat he looked out. But the sun seemed darkened, and the world dim and re- mote. He turned from the North back again to North, and saw nothing save the distant hills, unless it were that far away he could see again a great bird like an eagle high in the air, descending slowly in wide circles down towards the earth.
Even as he gazed his quick ears caught sounds in the woodlands below, on the west side of the River. He stiffened. There were cries, and among them, to his horror, he could distinguish the harsh voices of Orcs. Then suddenly with adeep-throated call a great horn blew, and the blasts of it smote the hills and echoed in the hollows, rising in a mighty shout above the roaring of the falls.
'The horn of Boromir!' he cried. 'He is in need!' He sprang down the steps and away, leaping down the path. 'Alas! An ill fate is on me this day, and all that I do goes amiss. Where is Sam?
As he ran the cries came louder, but fainter now and desperately the horn was blowing. Fierce and shrill rose the yells of the Orcs, and suddenly the horn-calls ceased. Aragorn raced down the last slope, but before he could reach the hill's foot, the sounds died away; and as he turned to the left and ran towards them they retreated, until at last he could hear them no more. Drawing his bright sword and crying Elendil! Elendil! he crashed through the trees.
A mile, maybe, from Parth Galen in a little glade not far from the lake he found Boromir. He was sitting with his back to a great tree, as if he was resting. But Aragorn saw that he was pierced with many black-feathered arrows; his sword was still in his hand, but it was broken near the hilt; his horn cloven in two was at his side. Many Orcs lay slain, piled all about him and at his feet.
Aragorn knelt beside him. Boromir opened his eyes and strove to speak. At last slow words came. 'I tried to take the Ring from Frodo,' he said. 'I am sorry. I have paid.' His glance strayed to his fallen enemies; twenty at least lay there. 'They have gone: the Halflings: the Orcs have taken them. I think they are not dead. Orcs bound them.' He paused and his eyes closed wearily. After a moment he spoke again.
'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.
'No!' said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. 'You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!
'Which way did they go? Was Frodo there?' said Aragorn.
But Boromir did not speak again.
'Alas!' said Aragorn. 'Thus passes the heir of Denethor, Lord of the Tower of Guard! This is a bitter end. Now the Company is all in ruin. It is I that have failed. Vain was Gandalf's trust in me. What shall I do now? Boromir has laid it on me to go to Minas Tirith, and my heart desires it; but where are the Ring and the Bearer? How shall I find them and save the Quest from disaster?
He knelt for a while, bent with weeping, still clasping Boromir's hand. So it was that Legolas and Gimli found him. They came from the western slopes of the hill, silently, creeping through the trees as if they were hunting. Gimli had his axe in hand, and Legolas his long knife: all his arrows were spent. When they came into the glade they halted in amazement; and then they stood a moment with heads bowed in grief, for it seemed to them plain what had happened.
'Alas!' said Legolas, coming to Aragorn's side. 'We have hunted and slain many Orcs in the woods, but we should have been of more use here. We came when we heard the horn-but too late, it seems. I fear you have taken deadly hurt.
'Boromir is dead,' said Aragorn. 'I am unscathed, for I was not here with him. He fell defending the hobbits, while I was away upon the hill.
'The hobbits!' cried Gimli. 'Where are they then? Where is Frodo?
'I do not know,' answered Aragorn wearily. 'Before he died Boromir told me that the Orcs had bound them; he did not think that they were dead. I sent him to follow Merry and Pippin; but I did not ask him if Frodo or Sam were with him: not until it was too late. All that I have done today has gone amiss. What is to be done now?
'First we must tend the fallen,' said Legolas. 'We cannot leave him lying like carrion among these foul Orcs.
'But we must be swift,' said Gimli. 'He would not wish us to linger. We must follow the Orcs, if there is hope that any of our Company are living prisoners.
'But we do not know whether the Ring-bearer is with them or not,' said Aragorn. 'Are we to abandon him? Must we not seek him first? An evil choice is now before us!
'Then let us do first what we must do,' said Legolas. 'We have not the time or the tools to bury our comrade fitly, or to raise a mound over him. A cairn we might build.
'The labour would be hard and long: there are no stones that we could use nearer than the water-side,' said Gimli.
'Then let us lay him in a boat with his weapons, and the weapons of his vanquished foes,' said Aragorn. 'We will send him to the Falls of Rauros and give him to Anduin. The River of Gondor will take care at least that no evil creature dishonours his bones.
Quickly they searched the bodies of the Orcs, gathering their swords and cloven helms and shields into a heap.
'See!' cried Aragorn. 'Here we find tokens!' He picked out from the pile of grim weapons two knives, leaf-bladed, damasked in gold and red; and searching further he found also the sheaths, black, set with small red gems. 'No orc-tools these!' he said. 'They were borne by the hobbits. Doubtless the Orcs despoiled them, but feared to keep the knives, knowing them for what they are: work of Westernesse, wound about with spells for the bane of Mordor. Well, now, if they still live, our friends are weaponless. I will take these things, hoping against hope, to give them back.
'And I,' said Legolas, 'will take all the arrows that I can find, for my quiver is empty.' He searched in the pile and on the ground about and found not a few that were undamaged and longer in the shaft than such arrows as the Orcs were accustomed to use. He looked at them closely.
And Aragorn looked on the slain, and he said: 'Here lie many that are not folk of Mordor. Some are from the North, from the Misty Mountains, if I know anything of Orcs and their kinds. And here are others strange to me. Their gear is not after the manner of Orcs at all!
There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands. They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs; and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men. Upon their shields they bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms was set an S-rune, wrought of some white metal.
'I have not seen these tokens before,' said Aragorn. 'What do they mean?
'S is for Sauron,' said Gimli. 'That is easy to read.
'Nay!' said Legolas. 'Sauron does not use the Elf-runes.
'Neither does he use his right name, nor permit it to be spelt or spoken, said Aragorn. 'And he does not use white. The Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye.' He stood for a moment in thought. 'S is for Saruman, I guess,' he said at length. 'There is evil afoot in Isengard, and the West is no longer safe. It is as Gandalf feared: by some means the traitor Saruman has had news of our journey. It is likely too that he knows of Gandalf's fall. Pursuers from Moria may have escaped the vigilance of Lorien, or they may have avoided that land and come to Isengard by other paths. Orcs travel fast. But Saruman has many ways of learning news. Do you remember the birds?
'Well, we have no time to ponder riddles,' said Gimli. 'Let us bear Boromir away!
'But after that we must guess the riddles, if we are to choose our course rightly,' answered Aragorn.
'Maybe there is no right choice,' said Gimli.
Taking his axe the Dwarf now cut several branches. These they lashed together with bowstrings, and spread their cloaks upon the frame. Upon this rough bier they carried the body of their companion to the shore, together with such trophies of his last battle as they chose to send forth with him. It was only a short way, yet they found it no easy task, for Boromir was a man both tall and strong.
At the water-side Aragorn remained, watching the bier, while Legolas and Gimli hastened back on foot to Parth Galen. It was a mile or more, and it was some time before they came back, paddling two boats swiftly along the shore.
'There is a strange tale to tell!' said Legolas. 'There are only two boats upon the bank. We could find no trace of the other.
'Have Orcs been there?' asked Aragorn.
'We saw no signs of them,' answered Gimli. 'And Orcs would have taken or destroyed all the boats, and the baggage as well.
'I will look at the ground when we come there,' said Aragorn.
Now they laid Boromir in the middle of the boat that was to bear him away. The grey hood and elven-cloak they folded and placed beneath his head. They combed his long dark hair and arrayed it upon his shoulders. The golden belt of Lorien gleamed about his waist. His helm they set beside him, and across his lap they laid the cloven horn and the hilts and shards of his sword; beneath his feet they put the swords of his enemies. Then fastening the prow to the stern of the other boat, they drew him out into the water. They rowed sadly along the shore, and turning into the swift-running channel they passed the green sward of Parth Galen. The steep sides of Tol Brandir were glowing: it was now mid-afternoon. As they went south the fume of Rauros rose and shimmered before them, a haze of gold. The rush and thunder of the falls shook the windless air.
Sorrowfully they cast loose the funeral boat: there Boromir lay, restful, peaceful, gliding upon the bosom of the flowing water. The stream took him while they held their own boat back with their paddles. He floated by them, and slowly his boat departed, waning to a dark spot against the golden light; and then suddenly it vanished. Rauros roared on unchanging. The River had taken Boromir son of Denethor, and he was not seen again in Minas Tirith, standing as he used to stand upon the White Tower in the morning. But in Gondor in after-days it long was said that the elven-boat rode the falls and the foaming pool, and bore him down through Osgiliath, and past the many mouths of Anduin, out into the Great Sea at night under the stars.
For a while the three companions remained silent, gazing after him. Then Aragorn spoke. 'They will look for him from the White Tower,' he said, 'but he will not return from mountain or from sea.' Then slowly he began to sing:
Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.
Then Legolas sang:
From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell-so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth.
Then Aragorn sang again:
From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.
So they ended. Then they turned their boat and drove it with all the speed they could against the stream back to Parth Galen.
'You left the East Wind to me,' said Gimli, 'but I will say naught of it.
'That is as it should be,' said Aragorn. 'In Minas Tirith they endure the East Wind, but they do not ask it for tidings. But now Boromir has taken his road, and we must make haste to choose our own.
He surveyed the green lawn, quickly but thoroughly, stooping often to the earth. 'No Orcs have been on this ground,' he said. 'Otherwise nothing can be made out for certain. All our footprints are here, crossing and re-crossing. I cannot tell whether any of the hobbits have come back since the search for Frodo began.' He returned to the bank, close to where the rill from the spring trickled out into the River. 'There are some clear prints here,' he said. 'A hobbit waded out into the water and back; but I cannot say how long ago.
'How then do you read this riddle?' asked Gimli.
Excerpted from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien Copyright © 1986 by J.R.R. Tolkien
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
What People are Saying About This
“An extraordinary work—pure excitement, unencumbered narrative, moral warmth, bare-faced rejoicing in beauty, but excitement most of all.”—The New York Times Book Review
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This novel made me happy and sad, angry and frightened. Now, I don't know if adults want this for teenagers, but this book made me think and wonder. This book made me want to close my eyes in corporate America, and open them in Middle Earth. I saw the story with my eyes, and every time I put the book down I kept seeing it. I would be walking around and my peers would turn into Elves, and my teachers would turn into Orcs! I connected to this book so much. It made me feel like Frodo is my closest friend and Saruman my most loathed enemy. The return of Gandalf the White made me feel like my Grandfather was back from the Dead! However, by putting me in a world so different from this one, it made me wish I could never leave the world of J. R. R. Tolkien. This book put me in a different world entirely and filled me with wonder. And I wish that it gives you the same. ~ERH
Let me first say that I struggled terribly to get through the first book. Reading it was like pushing myself through a marathon I had not yet trained for. But I read The Two Towers in just one week, and I read slow and have a busy schedule. The most amazing things about the books, to me, is how they tend to build your respect for Peter Jackson and his writing team to an all-time high. The changes they made for the movies were many, but necissary. This book doesn't read straight through following a chronological timeline. It jumps back and forth quite often (but Tolkein at least kept that very easy to follow). The Two Towers was extremely suspensful and terrifying at times even though I know the movies very well. I am sad for anyone who does not read The Lord of the Rings books even if they've seen the movies. There's a reason these books are on nearly ever Must Read List in the world. Pick 'em up and see why for yourself.
The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was GREAT. The Two Towers stood out because of its pace and action. I loved the first and third books of Tolkien's best ever fantasy, but this book is the gem which made LOTR truly great. Aragorn and the wonder of Middle Earth shine!
This was a very good book it makes you keep turning the pages one after another. It picks up where the previous book, The fellowship of the Ring left off. The book starts out with the fellowship together but they soon get separated. Frodo and Sam set out on a great journey. They find someone to show them the way to Mordor. And the rest of the fellowship has fought orcs and found the ents, which are really cool. I thought the book was amazing. One of the best books I've ever read. I almost could never put the book down. I loved the book and if you like fantasy you'll love this book.
I love this book...i love all Tolkien's books...they're amazing. My favourite character is Legolas, so I'd like to read more about him :)
The Two Towers by J.r.R Tolkien is by far one of the best books out there, second in my opinion only to the Return of the King. The book starts of with the hobbits Merry and Pippin going missing, and Legolas the Elf, Gimli, the Dwarf, and Aragorn, heir of Elendil, belive they have been taken by orcs. Thus, they embark on a thrilling orc hunt. Merry and Pippin, meanwhile, get lost in Fangorn Forest, and discover some interestingly epic creatures and storm Isengard, fortress of Saruman, the left-hand man of Sauron himself. Off in the East, however, Frodo the Ring-Bearer and Samwise Gamgee discover Gollum, who offers to be their guide into Mordor. Sam doesn't trust him, but Frodo says the have no choice, and that they must follow Gollum's route into Mordor. With such gripping things as the orc hunt, the return of a surprise character, the seige of Isengard, the crossing into Mordor, the Battle at Ithilien, the climbing of the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, and a twist ending, die-hard fantasy fans will not want to miss this one. (review by VM)
This is one of my most beloved books!!! If you are a Tolkien fan or a fiction/fantasy fan in general, find some free time and start reading this!!! This is a wonderful continuation of the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part in this epic story. In this book, every time the good side is victorious, you feel victorious too. Those who believe or write the negative one-star and two-star reviews on this book or any work of Tolkien's obviously don't know what good fiction means. Intensely moving, positively thrilling, and incredibly inspiring, this book is certain to add a little touch of excitement and action to your day (for those who DO KNOW what good fiction is).
This book is great! If you like the book, I recommend you to watch the movie. If you like the movie, read the book! If you never read the book or watched the movie, I recommend you read the book first, because the movie cuts out a few scenes, like in the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring. If you never heard of Lord of the Rings, read all of the books first, then watch all of the movies so you understand the plot better in both the movie and the books, since they both have different story plots.
I have read this trilogy [The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and the Return of the King] Numerous times and never tire of them. For further enjoyment and understanding of the story, Before reading the trilogy, read, The Hobbit. No necesary but I recommend it.
In this part of the trilogy, there are several story lines being followed and every thing is much darker, more sinister. Frodo and Sam have struck out for Mordor on their own and have enlisted the aid of Gollum to show the way. Their journey is harrowing and grueling. A far cry from life in the Shire. Gollum is such an interesting character. You hate him, don't trust him, but you can't help pitying him, just the same. He used to be a Hobbit-like being but has been completely poisoned and destroyed by The Ring. The White Wizard, Saruman, has joined forces with Sauron and is planning on taking over the Kingdom of Rohan. Rohan is his neighboring country of men and they are known far and wide for their skill with horses. There is so much going on in this book, but I'd have to say my favorite beings are the Ents. I found them fascinating and, yet so familiar. I loved their language and stories. Like the first book, this one was very difficult to put down.
The Lord of the Rings novel (though sometimes called a trilogy) is perhaps the most recognized trendsetter in the arena of fantasy. The level of detail and character evolution is incredible with no limits spared. Tolkien is truly a gifted writer that has established a place in history for his endeavor to bring to the reader a completely new world. Each book in the series builds on the last until the reader finds they are unable to put the books down. While not directly part of the Lord of the Rings novel, a favorite book about Bilbo's adventures in The Hobbit or There and Back Again is a not-to-be-missed read for those hoping to understand how the adventures of the Hobbits and the Ring first began.
this book is just as good as the first one was. the most vivid chapters in my mind from having read this book are the ones that talk about the Ents. they're amazing. the best part of the book is the last few chapters. things really start to pick up, especially when Frodo is in Shelob's lair. read this book.
this is a book i couldn't put down!this is the best book i read for a long time! if you like adventure books, you'll love this one, and the other series by this author.i read this book in two days.this is a 'can't put it down' kind of book. IF YOU LIKE THIS BOOK YOU'LL LOVE THE MOVIES!
I've always wanted to sit back and read Tolkien's works and finally have done so. and all I can say is wow. there is still nothing better then a good book or series of books. and what the movie maker did was ruin a perfect work of art. and twist it to make money. I find it funny that many year ago I seen the cartoon version of the lord of the rings, and wished he had finished that it was closer to the book then the actual live action movies. I am shocked and impressed with the way the book is laid out then I see the movies and while parts remain true to the book the rest is the imagination of the director. A sad statement of the times we now live in a modern era of everything has to be high speed or people don't care. like a look at star wars when lucas did the first films back in the 70's with less technology they were great. then came CGI and all its glossy effect and the story was lost but the movie was considered a success. I am ever so glad lucas based his world on his imagination and had not wrote a book before the movies or it would be a trivial waste like the movies for the Lord of the rings. After reading as far as I have I am now about to purchase the final book in this installment and have high hopes it's even that much better then the movie. The books have also jaded me in the fact I don't think I will watch the Hobbit movies after having read the books Because I know I will be just disillusioned by the tripe that hollywood dumbs us down to. Fats paced no plot and maybe 3 lines of a small book stretched to death in a three part movie. Unfortunately Hollywood seems to have mind control over everyone now. and it's what Is running away with the world. I think everyone needs to take a step back from hollywood for a moment or two and sit back and read the great works of Tolkien and others before seeing the movies the books are so much better written out then the movies will ever be (Sorry peter but you stink) as far as what kind of reader this book is for it's for all kinda and all ages in my opinion, I wish I had read it when I was a kid, it's a tough read a lot of strange words that are slowly dying in the english language now that everyone writes in simpleness. This book is perfect for any book club and for someone who wants to be a role player you can pick a couple people and follow their roles in your mind and see what they see and feel how they feel. if I could give this book ten stars I would along with the rest of Tolkien's works. Sorry for rambling but it has to be said by someone, the Dumbing of America is happening and it shows in the lack of literature and literacy. soon all anyone will knows is "would you like that super sized".
It is awsome. It is very loooong,but very exiting. You instatly are sucked into the world of Pipin and Merry, Strider,and Frodo.
The book that I read is the "Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers," written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The book takes place in the Medieval Times, so they talked differently and there were dragons, magic and other effects of that period. There are like 5 main characters that have a big role in the book, but the character that is most important is Frodo. He is the new ring bearer, (a ring bearer is someone who has the mythical ring of Saron). There are other main characters too, like Gimli, Aragon, Legolas, and Gandalf. What their role is, is to help cities, towns and just random people that they meet, to defend themselves against Orcs and people that are working and fighting with the evil Dark Lord Saron and his helper Seroman. Seroman, was once a good wizard, that was really good friends with Gandalf. The brave warriors have traveled to two major cities, Helm's Deep and Isengard. The most important city is Helms Deep. That is where our three heroes, Gimli, Aragon, Legolas, and Helm's Deeps Soldiers, the Rohan Riders, and elves, fought against over one million Orcs. It wasn't just a battle; it was a war. That is all I can tell you, because I don't want to spoil the surprise. What I can tell you is that the book is interesting and entertaining at the same time. One hero Gimli is a dwarf that doesn't like to be teased about his size. He and Legolas, another hero, have competitions that make you laugh at times, but at the same time, you are wondering what is going to happen next. This is a book that people that have seen the movie will also like the book. The book and series itself are excellent choices is you are looking for a great book to read.
Yes, this was an amazing book. It's a good read for anyone, young or old. It's my favorite J.R.R. Tolkien book yet! It's the third installment in the wonderful series, and the books keep improving above the amazing standards J.R.R. Tolkien has set for this series. My criteria is only how fun it is to read. Basically, this book was Frodo's quest to destroy the one ring, and the Fellowship's fight for survival. I simply could not put it down. Thinking about the willpower that Frodo must have had to have kept going, not giving in, through all those hardships, was amazing! It's definitely one of the best books I've ever read. There will never be such a fictional adventure like this series. It's a must read.
The lord of the rings the two towers is a classic piece of literature. If you haven¿t read it you should. If you have not really gotten to know the lord of the rings you should read first and then watch the movies. You should be instantly drawn in. I love the lord of the rings stories. It has unusual surprises and leaves you wanting to know more, it is a real page turner. I personally love fantasy it throws you into a new environment and lets you figure out how exactly it works. That is another thing I love about this book. It lets you think about some stuff and try to fill in the gaps left. If you have seen the movie then reading the book is a smart thing to do. Also you should read the fellowship of the ring. It leads nicely into this book and will help you follow the story.
This book was one of the best in the LOTR series because so much happens during the novel. i watched the movies first and decided to read the books. i thought the books would be drawn out and really boring. boy was i wrong!! reading the two towers is like being in the story and the detail Tolkien uses is outstanding. i love how you can feel the shift of the characters and the growing threat of the enemy. at points it gets a little slow but never for more than like two pages. it is such a good story that i think everyone should read it in their lifetime.
Where The Fellowship of the Ring dragged on for an age (thanks, Council of Elrond!), The Two Towers swiftly picks up its pace. The fellowship have now gone their separate ways and are having battles and adventures of their own. Merry and Pippin have teamed with the Ents. Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn connect with an old friend. And as for Frodo and Sam? The two Hobbits are following the perilous journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. While as a whole I think The Fellowship of the Ring is a more successful novel in that it feels like things are actually getting done, I do find The Two Towers more enjoyable. With the fellowship separated, the pacing of the story really picks up, and I found my attention was less apt to wander. Tolkien’s writing is very dense, and for myself, I have to focus extra hard to make sure I’m actually paying attention to the story and not just letting the words slip through my brain unabsorbed. Depending on whether you like all the characters or just some of them, The Two Towers may be an extra chore. I’m fortunate in that I love Merry and Pippin’s adventure with the Ents, and I enjoy Sam and Smeagol, and the feats of Aragorn and Co. I’ll be honest – if Frodo went off on his own and didn’t have Sam there with him, I’d likely be bored to tears for the most important storyline in the trilogy. Tolkien does a very good job balancing his characters, and it’s so important in a long-winded epic fantasy. Without likable characters, the drudgery of this type of writing would repel the average reader, leaving The Lord of the Rings to be a piece for deep fan speculation. My biggest complaint with The Two Towers is that even though it seemed to be moving swiftly, nothing happened. There was a small battle that took out a minor character, but there were whole scenes that added nothing to the plot. A lot of time in the beginning was spent speaking of the dead. When Aragorn and Co. meet up with Merry and Pippin, we are told about a past battle rather than experiencing it ourselves. There’s a lot of dialogue where there should be action. It gets boring. At the beginning of The Two Towers, there’s no real direction, and at the end of The Two Towers, the groups have made commitments, but haven’t made it very far down the road. It leaves a lot for The Return of the King to cover. Even without any real feel of progress, this book is enjoyable enough. Characters who felt flat in the first book have fleshed out a little bit – Legolas’s love for Fangorn Forest gives him some depth, for one. While Merry and Pippin still blend together and Aragorn’s complexities are still mostly conversation, there’s hope for these others as the trilogy continues. As with book one, the bits and pieces I find particularly interesting seem so short. I remember being fascinated by the Dead Marshes in the film, and I was hoping for a little more depth about those in The Two Towers. The magic of Middle Earth is a constant fascination to me – particularly magic of the dead. The Barrow King, the Dead Marshes, even the naming of Sauron as The Necromancer. For LotR fans out there – is there more depth on these things in the appendices or other works? As a whole, The Two Towers reads better than The Fellowship of the Ring and of course, we need to know what happens to everyone, so it’s on to The Return of the King! Nonetheless, for casual readers I still feel pretty confident in saying that the films with Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortense
The saga continues. I have to admit there were times when I was reading Two Towers and I thought, "Wait. Didn't I just read this? Wasn't this in Fellowship of the Ring?" My advice would be to read the entire Lord of the Rings series straight through. That way you won't lose your place and confused with the details.At this point in the saga Frodo and crew are still traveling through the dangerous countryside on a journey to destroy the magic ring. Along the way they encounter Gandolph (who they thought was dead), trees that can walk, talk and see called Ents, the have a couple of skirmishes with bad guys and they trust creepy swamp creature, Gollum. We leave the happy hobbits as Frodo is being captured. Okay, so they're not so happy.
Rob Inglis reading Treebeard is my favorite interpretation of that Ent yet.
The second book in the trilogy is another masterful work of art, just as rich and fulfilling as the hobbit and the fellowship before it. As with his previous works I highly recommend you give this a try, you will love it.
Easily my favorite of all Tolkein's books. He really expands Middle Earth as he follows the stories of each group of the fragmented Fellowship.
I found the first half of The Two Towers ("Book Three") to be very slow in places, and I really find reading about battles tedious. However, Book Four, focused on Frodo, Sam, and Semagol/Gollum was a great read. The interplay between the three, and the chance to really get to know Sam better, was fascinating. Gripping ending too.