"The Return of the King Photo Guide" is a treat for those wanting to revisit the rich Middle-Earth depicted in Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of "Lord of the Rings." The pictures are excellent, and if anyone has problems following the complicated storyline, this is something for them to check out.
In "Return of the King," the treacherous Gollum is leading Sam and Frodo into the Dark Lord's land of Mordor. With the fate of Middle-Earth -- and his beloved Arwen's life -- on the line, Aragorn fully accepts his fate as Gondor's future king, and recruits the help of a long-dead army. And Gandalf takes the hobbit Pippin to the ravaged land of Gondor, the last stronghold against Sauron.
The actual climax and precise endings of the film are left up to the readers' imaginations (this isn't exactly a storybook), although the final sentence hints at the bittersweet events of the ending. The prose is fairly standard, nothing special; quotes from the film are littered through it, some directly from the books.
The pictures are what make this book stand out, with phenomenal shots of Minas Tirith, Pippin in his silver and black Gondorian armor, a helmeted Gondorian guard, an angelic shot of Eowyn, two Elven smiths reforging Aragorn's sword, and Frodo fending off Shelob with the phial Galadriel gave him. What's more, there are scenes that never made it to the final film, such as Aragorn tending the wounded Faramir in the Houses of Healing, or Frodo and Sam looking at a broken statue crowned with flowers. (Somewhat disappointing are the lack of pictures of the monstrous spider Shelob, or the ghostly army of the dead)
While it won't satisfy those longing to know the grand finale, "The Return of the King Photo Guide" will be eagerly devoured by fans of the films, with its wonderful pictures and semi-storybook outline. Definitely should be purchased for the photographs, and newbie fans may find it helpful too.