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The Return of the King

by J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings #3
544 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Jeanne

An exhilarating end to “The Lord of the Rings,” but with non-graphic violence.

Plot

In this last installment of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," the land of Gondor is besieged by the forces of Mordor. Frodo and Sam must journey still to Mount Doom and the evil creatures of Sauron must still be defeated.

Morality

Good is plainly good and bad is plainly bad without any blurring of the lines. There are "conflicted" characters who sway from one side to the other, such as Gollum, but these are resolved by the end of the story. Strength, courage, and friendship are just a few of the good values woven into the fabric of this story.

Spiritual Content

There is a minimal amount of magic in this book: Gandalf is known as a wizard still, but he uses little, if any, of his powers. Sauron was once a sorcerer and his minions could almost be known as demonic, but apart from these points there is very little spiritual content.

Violence

As in the other two of the trilogy, there is violence present throughout the story. Battles are fought between the forces of good and evil and there are mentions of beatings and torture. During the siege of Gondor, the orcs launch the heads of enemies over the ramparts. Apart from Frodo’s capture by Orcs, "The Return of the King" probably has the least graphic violence of the three books.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Mentions of a spider’s drug carried inside her that is used to stun her victims. Dwarves and hobbits both smoke.

Sexual Content

None, apart from some Orcs taking Frodo's clothes when they capture him.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

This was a very enjoyable ending to the much-loved trilogy; when the end came, it was a hard book to close or put down. The characters are by this time fully fleshed out and their personalities well known to the reader; the plot continues, carrying the reader along in suspense to the very end. The dialogue is powerful in that, while it can be casual, it always contains an element of medieval speech.

Like the others in the trilogy, this story contains some non-graphic violence; however, the magic is considerably less.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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