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

Published by Del Ray Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

At the end of The Two Towers, all appeared to be lost. The vast hosts of Sauron's might were moving upon Gondor. Meanwhile, Gollum's treachery had left Frodo stung by the loathsome spider Shelob and captured by orcs. His faithful squire Samwise then took on the seemingly hopeless task of carrying the Ring to Mount Doom.

But hope has a way of arriving from unexpected quarters. As the forces of Sauron close upon Gondor and all appears lost, the Riders of Rohan arrive to add their strength to the Battle of Pelinor Fields.

Victory on the field of battle is not sufficient to win the war against Sauron if the One Ring remains. Frodo must carry it to Mount Doom, the one place with fire hot enough to unmake it. But with every step Frodo takes in the heart of Sauron's realm, the Ring weighs heavier upon his mind and soul. Even as the Ring grows a more hateful burden, Frodo finds himself less willing to part with it.

In addition to the conclusion to the saga of the War of the Ring, this volume contains a number of appendices with a wealth of worldbuilding material. Interested readers can learn the history, ethnography and linguistics of Middle Earth.

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Review posted October 5, 2000

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