The Return of the King Book Review

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

By J.R.R Tolkien

If you don’t know this book, then you’ve got me wondering where you have been for the past fifty years. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy not only set the stage for the modern world of fantasy but became some of the greatest movies ever made and have been enjoyed and inspired millions of people worldwide.

The series is a journey—in many ways. Not only is the series long, but it is complex and written in a style that my generation is vastly unfamiliar with. Still, it is worth the effort.

I started this book a long, long time ago, but ever as I read, I was distracted. Either I would get inspired to write something of my own, or, I’d reach a patch of description and wander off to do something else. My progress for a month or two was only a chapter and then some. Still, despite the size of the book, when I actually sat down and read it, it took me about a week.

The Return of the King is the last book in the trilogy. It continues the story of Sam and Frodo as they struggle to get to Mordor so that they may destroy the Ring (the weapon of the Enemy) in the fires of Mt. Doom. Meanwhile, Aragorn is leading the Men of the West in an epic series of battles against the Enemy’s vast armies of orcs. All hope lies with Frodo and Sam and their slim chance of destroying the ring.

The book, like I’ve said, is written in an older style, much like the Norse myths and sagas of days gone by. While that style makes it classic, it also makes it seem daunting, especially to young readers. However, I found it rather enjoyable. Yes, there were some descriptions that may have been cut short and there was a chapter (the Scouring of the Shire) which I didn’t particularly enjoy, but it all adds to the richness of the tale and reminds you of how completely Tolkien created his world.

I found that he wrote battle scenes especially well. During the fields of Pelenor Battle (which for all you movie watchers is that great battle with the Oliphants, and where Éowyn pulls her great “I am no man!” line) there was a bit of description about what the army was doing as a whole, but then Tolkien zeroed on Éowyn and her battle with the Witch King, leader of the Nazgûl, and folks I gotta say, it was just as good as in the movie.

I believe he described the Witch King as someone who could “turn hope to despair, and victory to death.”   Great stuff that.

Of all the books, I really thought this was the most entertaining. It is full of great battles and Gollum, and danger, and even a little romance. It really, really is one of the best series-enders that I have ever read. It wraps up the story perfectly.

So yes, in my opinion, the Return of the King is worth your time. In fact, I think most people would agree. I’m sure the length and writing style is what deters folk from reading this book. But aside from that, there is nothing to complain about. Everything is original. Fantasy lovers, this is the real deal right here. Elves before Tolkien were nothing like what they are now. Without Lord the Rings, orcs wouldn’t exist.

If you are mildly interested in the story, find an abridged version; if you really like fantasy, and are willing to think (some words are old and may require a dictionary) then go for the full book.

What I am about to say stands for all of Tolkien’s work. From the Hobbit, to the Silmarillion, never in my years have I come across something like this. Never before has there been a fantasy world as richly created as this. There is just a beauty in the way he writes, the way he strings words together how you might have never imagined them, the way he paints it in your mind and the pure brilliance of his story– it’s something that doesn’t come about often. It’s wonderful and inspiring. And if I had to choose one book to send on into the future it would be this because Tolkien has created something that will last— no matter how the world changes, or what we become, we can always, always escape to the fantastical land that is Middle-earth.

Ri’s Rating

Ri’s Rating:




0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

Leave a comment


  1. Hey I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my book for me? Its entitled “Mr. Glass’s Words of Wisdom” its a hilarious little “advice” book. I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Ri

       /  January 1, 2010

      Mr. Glass–
      I don’t know if my comment replies ever reach anyone, but I would be delighted to read your book and review it. However, I must warn you:
      It may be a little while before I can get my hands on a copy (my local library doesn’t carry it) so the review may be a while in the coming. I apoligize for this.

  2. Only 4.5?

  1. The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien Review

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