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The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, Part 3) Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 600 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Lord of the Rings Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

New Line Cinema will be releasing "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in three separate installments, and Houghton Mifflin Tolkien's U.S. publisher since the release of The Hobbit in 1938 will be re-releasing each volume of the trilogy separately and in a boxed set (ISBN 0-618-15397-7. $22; pap. ISBN 0-618-15396-9. $12).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.' Sunday Times 'A story magnificently told, with every kind of colour and movement and greatness.' New Statesman 'Masterpiece? Oh yes, I've no doubt about that.' Evening Standard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lord of the Rings (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 1137 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618346279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618346271
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (600 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,852,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barry C. Chow on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Lord of the Rings" is so secure at the pinnacle of all fantasy that any review of it risks presumption. The measure of this work's greatness can be found in the thousands of lesser works it has inspired, some in imitation, most in homage--all pale reflections of the world, the wisdom, the wonder of Middle Earth.

Over the years, I have re-read this masterwork at least two dozen times. Yet it never ceases to delight me with new revelations. Over time, these revelations have evolved from discoveries about the book to reflections about myself. This is art in its highest form: it inspires, indeed, demands self-understanding.

In my younger days, I was drawn to the clash of armies, the glory of battle, the valour of Aragorn and Eowyn, the sacrifice of Theoden and Faramir. But as I have aged, it is the suffering of Frodo and Sam that most moves me. The deepest courage is not found in battle, but in the act of bearing the heaviest burdens alone, beyond help, beyond hope, beyond endurance, beyond even despair--"that which we are, we are; /One equal-temper of heroic hearts, /Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will /To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

This work is perfect in its completeness. It lacks nothing and is endowed with themes both timeless and universal.

Consider the role of pity. We contemplate this theme for the first time when Gandalf reflects that Bilbo spared Gollum's life for pity. Then consider Frodo's first meeting with Gollum: "now that I see him, I do pity him." Or Gandalf's rebuke of Denethor, "...for me, I pity even [Sauron's] slaves." Faramir's pity for Eowyn--"do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart"--lifts despair from her soul and permits her to live and to love again.
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Format: Paperback
The Return of the King is the final part of The Lord of the Rings. In this last part the feeling of good versus evil reaches its pinnacle in LOTR. Tolkien gave incredible detail describing the War of the Ring, as it spanned several chapters. All of the characters are developed further, and for most of the TROTK, the story remains a two way split. TROTK has an amazing conclusion, and that is partly bad. Upon finishing the novel, I was sad that it was over, and I didn't want it to be over, because Middle-Earth is a great place to get lost in. You go on the journey that the Fellowship undertook, and feel everything that each member of the party felt. This is possible because throughout LOTR, Tolkien wrote vivid passages describing the regions of Middle-Earth, the characters, and what they were thinking. I read TROTK more slowly, because I wanted to stay longer than what the novel would allow. The four hobbits of the Fellowship become harden warriors, a trait that was virtually absent from their kind. Even though the novel finally came to a complete finish, it felt like it left room for more. It's to bad that there is no direct sequel, and while it answers most of the questions left from the end of The Hobbit, the reader can come up with plenty more questions upon finishing LOTR. Professor Tolkien did a work that was unexpected in its depth. He invented several REAL languages and writing systems, a complete history to back the novel, and created a wonderful world filled with diverse races and environments. Some fantasy authors may have tried to reach Tolkien's level in fantasy literature, but I am certain the The Lord of the Rings will never be duplicated. The Return of the King stands as the incredible conclusion of the greatest epic ever written. My only regret was that it ended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Return of the King" is the worthy climax to J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, the fantasy that created the genre as we know it today. Now, as the blockbuster movie adaptation is one-third over, evidenced by Viggo Mortenson on the book's cover, waves of new readers are checking out what is yet to come.
The story opens where "Two Towers" left off. Gandalf has ridden to the city of Gondor with Pippin (partly to keep him out of trouble), where the forces of Mordor are attacking. There is upheaval in the city itself, as the steward of Gondor is going nuts. Merry pledges his service to King Theoden of Rohan, not knowing what is ahead for the king and his relatives. And Aragorn is seeking out allies to fight Sauron on a military scale, even if they can't defeat him unless the Ring is destroyed. His search will take him to tribes of forest-dwellers, to Gondor -- and even to summon an army of the dead.
In Mordor, the unconscious Frodo has been captured by Sauron's orcs, and taken to the fortress of Cirith Ungol. Sam is desperate to free his friend, but knows that he can't take on an army, and that Frodo would want him to finish the quest. Sam manages to free Frodo from captivity, but they must still brave more dangers before they can come to Mount Doom, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed. As they travel Sam sees Frodo slipping further and further into the Ring's grasp. Will Frodo be able to destroy the Ring?
Usually, the climax of an epic adventure is a disappointment. "Return of the King" succeeds in almost every way, wrapping up each individual storyline. The ending has a feeling of finality; this is one story that could never have a sequel. With his own experiences in war, Tolkien shows that in a struggle against evil, there is no true "happy ending.
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