Reviews tagging 'Body horror'

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

1 review

abrdoodle's review against another edition

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adventurous dark hopeful sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


First off, I really liked the last 150 pages or so as a conclusion to this trilogy. All the wrap-up after the big showdown felt very epic while also being a bit melancholy, and things were tied up in a bow nicely. The end of an age and the moving on of certain characters felt very wistful and sad, yet it felt right and was a satisfying ending. I know I enjoyed the book because when I finished it I had that empty feeling where you stare at the wall feeling emotionally drained and stewing on the story.

However, there were a few things I took issue with. I had mixed feelings on Eowyn. On the one hand, I liked that she has such an awesome moment in this book that made me excited for a woman to be doing something (finally)! However, her whole depression was caused by having the same spirit as Eomer and yet not being allowed to go forth into battle and renown as a leader because she was born into the body of a woman. The fact that the love she found magically cured her depression and she no longer cared about her previous ambitions did not feel like a satisfying conclusion to her story. Why couldn’t she find love and be a badass?

I was also surprised that Sauron remained a faceless villain for the entirety of the series. The book felt very good vs evil without any sort of examination of gray areas or why Sauron is evil. I think a little more dimension from him and maybe an actual face-to-face conversation with him would have been appreciated. There were also some unanswered questions that I thought would be addressed by the end, such as the backstory of Aragorn and Arwen. Even if their whole story is given in a different book by Tolkien, I think that this trilogy needs to stand on its own and tie up big loose ends that it introduces. Another issue I have is with the slow-paced writing. This was a problem throughout all three books, and I really had to make myself sit down and reach a page quota every day in order to actually finish this series. I will give it to Tolkien though that I couldn’t put down this book throughout the last 150 or so pages. 

Overall I think this book serves as a satisfying conclusion to the lord of the rings trilogy. I just don’t think these books are that well-written. They focus too much on describing the shapes on the landscape, the direction the wind is blowing, and where the sun/moon is in the sky, and not enough on character development/relationships and interesting obstacles. But now as a childhood-long fantasy lover, I have finally read the grand daddy of fantasy and I’m happy to have it in my reading repertoire. I really did want to love these books; I just think they’re a little dated for modern audience tastes.

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