Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Narrator: Andy Serkis
Audiobook Length: 20 hours 47 minutes
The Two Towers. Book Two in J.R.R. Tolkien’s acclaimed trilogy, a masterpiece of high fantasy.
Frodo and his Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in a battle in the Mines of Moria. And Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs.
Now they continue the journey alone down the great River Anduin — alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
The Two Towers is the second novel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even though I have read this series what feels like a million times, this is both my first time listening to this series on audiobook and with Andy Serkis as a narrator. For those, including myself, that also love the movies, this installment is where a lot more differences can be experienced compared to The Fellowship of the Ring. Some of these differences are character roles (Faramir is a larger exploration whereas Eówyn ‘s is reduced) or just timelines as a lot of Frodo’s journey from the third movie does occur in this novel.
Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor where they are guided by Gollum. The novel not only goes into the complexity of the Gollum/Smeagol character, but there is nothing better than Andy Serkis returning voice him. Merry and Pippin’s side of the story introduces the world of the Ents. While some readers may find their chapters boring, there is a lot of lore and information within their pages. As for Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are chasing the orcs and Uruk-hai that took Merry and Pippin where they also encounter the Rohirrim of the East and the Westfold of Rohan. The world continues to expand in this novel where most of the characters and plots are all set-up for the final novel.
Overall, this story explores the relationships of all the members of the Fellowship. Faramir may be Boromir’s brother, but the two are very different and there is a lot of exploration of their characters. The threat of Mordor continues to loom in the background of some scenes and in the forefront of others. There is still a lot to cover in this story and I love Andy Serkis’s narration. He does a great job at distinguishing all the characters and altering the pacing to fit each scene. I cannot wait to see what the audiobook version of the final novel will bring!