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  The Two Towers by J R R Tolkin

Review by: Trevor W.
Ohio, Grade 10

Review of The Two Towers
If you are a fan of mystery, adventure, suspense, and like twists and turns, then you will certainly enjoy the book The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. Two Towers is just one section of the book Lord of the Rings, which was later divided into smaller portions. The Two Towers is considered high fantasy as Tolkien takes us on an adventure of a lifetime.
The Two Towers takes place in a remote setting, unlike anything I have ever known. At times it is difficult to keep track of where the story is happening because the setting is forever changing as the characters embark on their journeys. The story takes place in Middle Earth, surrounded by water, but nothing that is found on maps or part of our geography. The time is magical and long ago. There is no reference or clues to any time in history, except that you get the sense that it was long ago because they donít have guns and they still ride horses. This lack of definite place and time seem to add more fantasy to the book because I canít really pinpoint exactly when or where it happened, but I still feel like it could be real.
Frodo Baggins is one of the main characters in The Two Towers. He is a hobbit, a humanlike creature, which lives underground in holes. Frodo is well-liked by those around him. He is loyal to his servant, Sam, and treats him as his friend, rather than a servant. Frodo is a genuine character who is sympathetic to those around him and shows genuine feelings.
Sam Gamgee is also a hobbit, who is likewise loyal to his master Frodo. Sam is a constant companion to Frodo and warns Frodo to be careful of sinister and sneaky Gollum. Sam can be forgetful at times. Towards the end of the story, Sam will have to become a leader when his master Frodo becomes paralyzed and is unable to speak. Sam shows his bravery when he takes the ring from Frodo, after he has been captured, to keep the ring safe and make sure it doesnít fall into enemy hands.
Gandalf the White is considered to be the highest force of good. Gandalfís character is symbolic of the Christian faith. He wears a white cloak and rides white horses, which are considered signs of purity. Gandalf was actually killed in the previous book and has since risen from the dead. When he rose, all of his powers had been enhanced. Gandalf treats all those around him with respect. Gandalf is thought to be one of the few good wizards remaining in the Middle World. He's also the first to realize that Frodoís ring was the Ring of Power.
Pippin Took is yet another hobbit. He is ordinary, but has a gift for quick thinking. He enjoys the simple things in life and is considered thoughtful and generous.
Gollum is a character that is hard to understand. Sometimes you think he is good, and other times he appears bad. Gollum does seem to be genuinely fond of Frodo, although that may be because he really wants to protect the ring. In the end he is willing to betray him.
Aragorn is a human character, who looks more like a shaggy dog rather than the man who would eventually become the king. In the beginning, Aragorn was not ready to accept the throne because he had to learn many lessons before he did. It becomes clear that the hobbits have great trust in him, mostly because he had a letter of reference from Gandalf, and later they present him with a sword, which shows that they believe he will one day be the ruler. Aragorn is someone who is trusted by Gandalf and his main role throughout the story is to help the hobbits destroy the ring and fight against the Dark Lord.
Saving the best for last, my favorite character is Legolas. Legolas is an elf who has the ability to see extremely long distances with clarity, has exceptional hearing, and is able to move quickly because he is light of foot. He is also one of the best archers in the story, of whom no one could compare. Legolas is great friends with Gimli, a dwarf. It is uncommon for an elf and a dwarf to be close friends.
The Two Towers is basically a story of good vs. evil. There are really two stories happening at the same time, one is the sub plot of the other. The main story is about Frodo, the ring bearer, who needs to travel across Middle-Earth to find the secret entrance to Mordor, where he will cast the ring into the fire of Mount Doom, a giant volcano. He encounters many obstacles along the way, challenging his ability to complete his task. Frodo and Sam need to confront the Dark Lord and the colossal army of Orcs on their journey to Mordor. The sub plot is a battle that erupts between members of the Fellowship against Isengard, a tower which is occupied by Sauraman, the main opponent of the Fellowship. The story is about the rising and falling of the men who lived in Middle Earth.

The Two Towers is an engaging book. There is a great deal happening to different people at different times and I was always wondering what would take place next. I was a little disappointed though because my favorite character Legolas wasnít a part of the story as much as I had hoped. I believe this book is most appropriate for grade eight and up, due to some graphic content, unless it is a very mature reader. For example, there is a gruesome description of a hobbit that cut his arm severely on the knife of a dead Orc. That could be disturbing to some readers. Overall, this book was a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who might enjoy a fantasy.

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