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4.7 out of 5 stars162
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on 8 January 2002
After reading the first part of 'Lord of the Rings' I imidetly started on this book.
It keeps you griped and makes you wanting to find out what happenes. The characters are beliveible and the descriptions are second to none. It is not quite as good as 'The Felloship of the Ring' but still has that toilkien magic. I would recomend it to any one who is a fan of the genre but you must read the first book before.
'The two Towers' leaves you on a chilling cliffhanger that will make you want to the start the third book stright away.
All in all a great book: 10/10
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This book picks up where "Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, Part I)", left off. The fellowship is dispersed. We are lucky in the fact that J. R. R. Tolkien will completely follow each path from beginning to end. All the wars are covered in detail and the progress of the ring bearer is chronicled. New creatures and old vermin reveal themselves.

As with "Ramayana" by William Buck, we find that every creature has its function and that there is no black and white in this purpose. Frodo alludes to this when he thinks of Gandalf, Aragorn, and Gollum. Even Gandalf tells not to hurt Gollum as he may play a larger role in the story that one could imagine.

Ramayana ~ by William Buck
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VINE VOICEon 13 January 2003
After reading the fellowship before this, I was eager to start right away and indeed from the first time I picked it up I read nearly 100 pages on the first day. The journey of the fellowship is now split up and now the book divides into 2, to start with you get the story of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas on the trail of the foul orcs that have kidnapped Merry and Pipin. And then the second half of the book picks up where Frodo and Sam left the fellowship to complete the mission on thier own, and what you get is two stories skillfully knitted together that goes completely hand in hand with the other, thanks to the clever hand of Tolkien.
The Two Towers is better than the first book, as it is here where the war for middle earth truely begins, with the traiterous Saruman creating an army through the tower of orthanc and Sauron massing an army in mordor at his tower of Barad-dur. And with this the perils of middle earth is now well exposed as the story now really kicks on at great speed from the first book and is completely emersing, as you get drawn into it, as again the vision of Tolkien is skillfully narrated once more and leads you on to the third and final part of the trilogy, the return of the king.
Quite simply a must read, even if your not a book worm yourself dont miss out on what is the greatest story ever written, I myself has never been a fan of fiction, as I tend to stay to real life stories and biographies but reading the lord of the rings has renewed my hope in fiction as I now am reading about the elder days of middle earth and I am completely amazed as to how one person could think of his own world with such imagination and yet so flawlessly.
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on 1 May 2016
The Two Towers is the second of the three books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in many ways I thought it was the weakest – the story line seems to slow down, and whilst plenty of stuff does still happen, it has the atmosphere of a book which is just waiting for something to happen. In The Fellowship of the Ring, it was like a traditional, party-based adventure, and in Return of the King, it’s all-out open war. Here, there’s something in between, and even the members of the Fellowship are scattered throughout Middle Earth, engaged in different story lines.

Still, it all comes together in the end, and you can never complain too much about Tolkien because he’s the master of a genre. Sure, his writing can be difficult to focus on times, and The Two Towers is no exception, but it is worth sticking with throughout, even if it takes you several months to finish it, which was the case for me. I was about fourteen at the time, and so perhaps I was a little too young – I certainly find Tolkien easier to read as an adult, and I’ve always been a keen reader.

The good thing about The Two Towers is that you get to meet a bunch of new characters, although I don’t want to tell you too much about them because, in many ways, I might leak a spoiler. What I can say, though, is that you’ll get to see more from your favourite characters, as well as from some newbies that will be in the rest of the series to different degrees.

You should also avoid reading the Lord of the Rings books out of chronological order – they follow on from each other perfectly, and indeed you can almost take them all together as one single work, which just happened to be published in different editions. You don’t need to read The Hobbit before getting started though – they operate within the same continuum, but can be taken individually.

I’m not sure what more there is to say about The Two Towers – I gave it a 7/10, which means that it’s of a professional quality, but I just didn’t think it was as good as either of the other two books in the trilogy, or even of some of Tolkien’s other work. But it is a necessary book – it had to happen to make the Lord of the Rings what it was, and I’m still glad that I’ve read it. Even if it did take ages to finish.
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on 11 August 2014
I mean, I have to admit, I did not enjoy this as thoroughly as I did the first part. This book seemed to drag and it got to a point at the end where I was thinking to myself, what could possibly be left for the third book?!

We start where we left off in the first book with the fellowship having been separated, and we are then informed in detail what each group has been up to in the time that they were separated. You've got Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, who are unaware if any of the other members have survived the attack of the Orcs and decide to look for clues that lead them to the hobbits. During that time, they run into Gandalf, who has risen from the dead as Gandalf the White, and they travel to Edoras and free King Theoden from the influence of Wormtongue. They then ride together, alongside King Theoden's army, to defeat Sauron's army.

Their journey takes them to reunite with Merry and Pippin who had escaped into Fangorn Forest and met Treebeard. I think this must have been the most excruciating part for me. Treebeard takes forever to recount his story and the history of his people, and just like the creature himself, his story is conveyed in a dull, tedious, monotonous way that it took me a while to get through that section.

On the other hand, Frodo and Sam meet Gollum who has been following them for a while, and they capture him and force him to take them to Mordor, where Frodo can finally destroy the ring. However, finding the gate heavily guarded, they need to take an alternative route to get inside. However, Gollum eventually betrays them and leads them into the spider's trap where Frodo is felled by her sting. Sam assuming Frodo is gone, turns to leave on his own, only to overhear the orcs who found Frodo's body say that he's still alive.

A great ending to an otherwise tedious book.
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on 10 June 2014
'An angry Ent is terrifying. Their fingers, and their toes, just freeze on to rock; and they tear it up like bread-crust. It was like watching the work of great tree-roots in a hundred years, all packed into a few moments'. The wonderful thing about the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the poetic and beautifully descriptive way that Tolkien describes Middle Earth and the many and varied characters, beasts, locations and events within it. It is all very well being able to use language rhetorically in fantasy tales but the magic is in describing an event as if it has actually occurred in wonder before your very eyes; as in the example above. And the Ents are just one example of how Tolkien layers deep meaning within his characters; such as how nature can be both serene and calm and devastating and all powerful. The idea that man sees himself as separate from nature and having the ability to conquer the many terrains and rich array of resources; what you could describe as a self-important and justified attempt to control the environment without truly respecting the force that nature can wield at any given moment, or the complex relationship between organic and mineral matter. Or maybe we do understand to some extent the magnitude of these truths, but it seems that our desire to achieve success and acquire leverage in our social groups has seen the initial work of the 'great' explorers in producing inventories of places and things progress into practices which have indeed expanded trading relationships, yet separated our thinking from our environment (by we and our I mean those with social influence). I don't personally believe that the Enlightenment period in itself precipitated the dogmatic devotion to the idea of a Utopia to be achieved by continual technological progress, as the question 'should we do that' often accompanied the statement 'we can do that' in the public sphere at that time. But it is obvious that somewhere along the line the spiritual appreciation for creation has fallen by the wayside and that the unabashed exploitation of the earths natural resources through our manufacturing and industrial capabilities has proceeded with very little resistance. Wisdom and due diligence have been lost and the game of power now plays out without limits.
In order of significance, we are a mere aspect of the history of the Earths complex ecology, though regrettably as a race blessed with the ability to make choices based upon logic and common sense we act in ownership rather than custodianship. We can only really surmise about how the earth has developed and the many factors which influence it's gradual environmental changes; and what leads to things like aggressive patterns of weather. Very much like modern medical thought, prevailing mainstream industrial practices consider and treat materials (or symptoms) in relative isolation; marginalising holistic approaches, and of course there are dangers in this particular type of thought and behaviour when unchecked. And 'The scientific community' is far more advanced in it's understanding of particular objects of study over others, with knowledge in scientific terms being essentially our understanding of concrete causes and effects. We can see as far back as 13 billion years or so into space, tracing our steps back to a time long ago (to the Big Bang which is but a theory). As a counter point, how much do we really understand about the depths of our oceans or the sub-tectonic workings of the inner Earth? When we extract oil from the Earth or fracture shale rock are we truly aware of the long term changes that will occur by way of the initial act. Have we Humans recently demonstrated due diligence in our use of the earth as a resource, proportionately weighing up the advantages and potential risks of a given practice in equal measure. Did our planning help to mitigate the damage cause by The Deep Horizon disaster by way of an ever-progressing movement to search further, dig deeper, and extract more? From the news it would seem that the actual industrial practice is fine... it was the specific actors who failed. Yet ultimately we conceptualise in terms of Man's time when nature works in aeons and shifts subtly over vast distances. A blink of nature's eye can seem like complete devastation on the human scale. I have narrowed my focus here to offer something slightly different as a review in appreciation of the attention to detail and meaning inherent within the LOTR. Not forgetting the absolutely amazing plot, characters and battle between good and evil which make for epic reading. The films are a homage to the original book make no mistake about it. I love Peter Jackson's movies and they are great to get my Wife gripped as she prefers film to reading but the book is that awe inspiring that you can actually finish it and, if approached with the right frame of mind, come out the other end a more virtuous and noble person for it.
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on 13 July 2013
When I was a Halfling, buying The Lord of the Rings was straightforward. If your Dad was rich, you got the three, grey-jacketed hardbacks of the second edition; if he wasn't, you got the fat yellow paperback with the Pauline Baynes cover, and mourned Allen & Unwin's cruel, cruel appendectomy. Nowadays the choice can be bewildering. One volume or three, paperback or hardback or deluxe hardback in a slipcase, illustrated in black and white by the Queen of Denmark or in colour by Alan Lee or not illustrated at all; you can even get your Lord in blingy green leather that wouldn't look out of place on an oil sheikh's personal Airbus. For me, though, Harper Collins's three volume hardcover 50th Anniversary Edition stands head and shoulder above its rivals - including four which are significantly more expensive.

The Two Towers (ISBN 9780007203550) is the book in the set most like its second edition predecessor. The only change in the text is its freedom from the accumulated errors that a crack squad of Tolkienologists have meticulously weeded out for us. As for illustrations, we get only Christopher Tolkien's time-hallowed red and black map of the West of Middle-earth: the good news is that it's in the improved version included in Unfinished Tales, the bad that it's been shrunk to a rather mean two page pull-out, and a pixelated one at that. Still, there's always the luxurious poster-sized version redone by John Howe in The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth: Special Edition.

The look of the text barely differs from 1954's, with runes and tengwar still embellishing the title page. L.E.G.O. SpA has done a good job of printing its PostScript Monotype Plantin on a smooth, magnolia paper, slightly lighter toned than that in my copy of The Fellowship of the Ring. The binding is well executed in traditional signatures that allow the book to lie flat when it's been opened; a black and yellow headband complements a sturdy black cover nicely gilded on its dignified, handsome spine.

The thick, matt, textured dust jacket is something of a special feature, giving us a painting by JRRT himself. The Ring and some of its tengwar brood over Orodruin, framed by Minas Morgul and Orthanc; a Nazgul glides past overhead, and there are also icons of the crescent Moon, the Nine, a pentacle and Saruman's White Hand. The lettering uses a warmly gleaming copper foil, which to my magpie tastes gives the book masses of shelf appeal.

If you simply want Tolkien, the whole Tolkien and nothing but Tolkien, this lovingly edited, well made Two Towers must surely be right at the top of your shopping list. I'd been surprised if there has ever been an incarnation of this book which has served Tolkien's invention more faithfully.

***************************************************************************************************************************

When I first read The Lord of the Rings back in 1969, one of the passages that most excited me came in the final paragraph of the Foreword. There it was that JRRT offered the tantalizing prospect of an entire, ultra-nerdy accessory volume. A complete index, more detailed linguistic information, and, no doubt, many other tasty bits and pieces too... I yearned for that Volume IV the way a modern teenager craves the latest iPhone. Well, Volume IV never materialized, but now, in the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Return of the King (ISBN 9780007203567 - The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings 3)) - which amazon in its wisdom will only let me review jointly with The Two Towers - we do at least have an index which Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond have expanded from the second edition's twenty-four pages to a geek-friendlier thirty-nine. Also, the Bolgers and the Boffins have been honoured with family trees, and - most importantly of all - Tolkien's most dedicated scholars have eliminated every last defect from the text like Rangers hunting down so many fugitive orcs.

There are no illustrations in this edition, but it does have two of Christopher Tolkien's traditional red and black maps. A two-page fold-out of Gondor and its neighbours begins the book, contour lines and all, and another of the West of Middle-earth (Unfinished Tales version) concludes it. The second is perhaps a touch small, and both are regrettably pixelated, but of course, there's slways the gorgeous, poster-sized John Howe alternative in The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth: Special Edition.

The attractive design of the text wisely sticks closely to the first edition's. L.E.G.O. SpA have printed it very well indeed in PostScript Monotype Plantin on a smooth, slightly off-white paper much superior to the norm. The binding uses signatures graced with a coloured headband, and the book lies nicely flat when opened; a black cover sets off classically elegant gilt lettering.

The thick, textured dust jacket rejoices in a design by JRRT himself. There's the throne of Minas Tirith, the winged crown of Gondor and an angular tengwar monogram and proclamation of Elendil's; also Elessar's Elfstone, Gondor's seven stars and its emblematic White Tree - and, behind the Ephel Duath, the menacing shadow of Sauron. (If you remember the old India paper one volume deluxe edition of The Lord, it's the painting from which that book's foil cover motif was derived.) The (English) lettering is done in an unusual copper which has a lovely warm gleam to it.

There are several more expensive editions of The Return, but none that I'd rather pop into my basket. It's Tolkien for Tolkien purists. It'll be a shame if it yields its place in the catalogue to the forthcoming movie tie-in version.
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on 13 June 2013
"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."

PLOT

At the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship suffered a great loss. After the death of Gandalf, the eight remaining members had to continue without him. The Fellowship take another blow at the start of this book, with the death of Boromir. Now the remaining seven are split up, after an attack by a band of Uruk-hai. This book is split into two Volumes, the first following the quest of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and the ordeals of Merry and Pippin, after they were taken captive by the Uruk-hai. The second Volume follows the quest of Frodo and Sam, who are the only ones left to take the ring to Mordor.

VOLUME 1

After learning that Merry and Pippin have been taken captive, Aragorn and his companions say their farewells to Boromir, and track the Uruk-hai. On their travels, they meet The Riders of Rohan, who inform them that they slaughtered a band of Uruk-hai in the night, and left no survivors. Convinced that the Hobbits survived, Aragorn tracks them into the forest of Fanghorn, where they meet an expected ally. The ally assures Aragorn that the Hobbits are safe, and the four companions travel to Rohan, where the King is under an evil spell. They must free him, in order to save his Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin have befriended an Ent named Treebeard, a large treelike creature. Opposed to going to war, the Hobbits must convince Treebeard, and the other Ents, that their help is needed in this war. They need the help of the Ents to destroy the evil of Saruman, while Frodo and Sam take on the evil of Sauron.

VOLUME 2

In the second Volume, we catch up with Frodo and Sam on their quest to Mordor. For some days now, they have been followed by the creature Gollum, and eventually they capture him. From now on, Gollum is their guide, but can he be trusted? The Hobbits are captured by a band of men, led by Faramir of Gondor, Boromir's brother. Can they convince Faramir to let them go, and continue their quest, or will he take the ring for himself, and gain glory from his Father, the Steward of Gondor?

Frodo and Sam face a multitude of dangers in this book. Will Gollum lead them to their deaths, and take the ring for himself? Can Frodo and Sam's friendship survive the control the ring has over Frodo? In order to complete their quest, they must overcome these dangers, and save the whole world from the evil of Sauron.

MY OPINION

I've seen quite a few reviews, where people thought that this book didn't amount to much, since it was an 'in between' book. But I enjoyed this book even more so, because of that. After reading all three books of the trilogy, I think that this one does a fantastic role of connecting the other two. The individual stories of each set of companions are full of danger, adventure, and suspense. It's also packed full of surprises, with the appearance of the unexpected ally. I genuinely feared for the lives of every character in this book, connecting to each and every one, after I grew to love them all in the first book.

The characters that Tolkien has created are incredible. They're so diverse, each of them having their own very unique character. You even start to notice differences between the characters of Merry and Pippin in this book, although they appear very similar in the first book. The characters grow in the face of danger, their bravery shows more and more through each chapter, and each obstacle they face. I love Frodo, he keeps pushing through, despite the pain inflicted on him by the power of the ring. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, being pressured from all sides, especially with Gollum as his guide. There is always a threat to Frodo's life, be it from lack of food and water, the strength the ring is taking from him, or the ever present dangers of Sauron. Frodo is very lucky that Sam followed him, he would never have got so far without him. Sam is a fiercely loyal friend, despite the fact that he's not very brave at the start of the trilogy, he stays by Frodo's side, and is not afraid to die to keep him safe. Their friendship is one of the most beautiful in all the books I've read.

THE AUTHOR

J.R.R Tolkien was born in 1892, and died in 1973. After writing The Hobbit for his children, which was hugely successful, Tolkien started to write The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, to meet the demands of the public. The Trilogy is one of the most loved in the world, and people will continue to enjoy them for many years to come.
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on 23 May 2011
A fantastic story that introduces you to new characters and the kingdom of Rohan, Fangorn Forest, the Dead Marshes, Ithilien and Osgiliath of Gondor and takes you into Mordor, "The Two Towers": Volume 2 is a thrilling sequel to accompany its predecessor, "The Fellowship Of The Ring": Volume 1. The front cover is beautiful, and it is a very big book, so it is full to bursting with a great plot full of intensity, action, love, friendship, good and evil. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are now on their own, having lost Merry and Pippin to Saruman's Uruk Hai warriors, and Frodo and Sam must make the journey to Mordor alone while evil lurks from every angle. Pursued by Saruman's evil servant Grima Wormtongue, Eowyn, the White Lady of Rohan is my favourite female character as she is mentioned more times than Arwen, even though both characters have a minor role in the books, and is easier to understand as she is a human, which is what Arwen wants to be. The Battle of Helm's Deep is told brilliantly, and Frodo and Sam's journey through the shortest path to Mordor is very intense for the both of them (remember, this is the novel, not the film). Merry and Pippin, best friends as they are and therefore a team like Frodo and Sam also get their share of the story as they too face the odds together, though differently. An epic masterpiece, "The Two Towers": Volume 2 is an extremely good book written by the remarkable J.R.R. Tolkien.
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on 12 December 2015
Although I didn't really get along with part one, I've heard the story gets better as it goes so I thought I would persevere.

I started out without much hope, here I must point out that it is the audiobook that I listened to in my car as it is the easiest way for me to 'read' books these days as I am studying and working so my free time is limited. After the first disc I found myself enjoying the story more and becoming more interested in events.

The story is a little bit slow but compared to the first part it's picked up a lot. I have some characters I like more than others, Merry and Pippin are fun, but I actually came to like Sam a lot more in this book, he looses a bit of his bumbling attitude and picks up a bit more courage and involvement. And although Gollum is still a creepy little thing, i started to understand a bit more about his character and history and his interaction with Frodo and Sam was fascinating.

As the book progressed, I found myself getting more and more interested in the story and wanting to listen to the rest and by the end of the story I was emerged and wanting to know more.

I wouldn't say it was the most amazing story in the world but I have to admit that it certainly gets better and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Definitely worth a read.
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