Review: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Return of the King Book Cover
The Return of the King Lord of the Rings Book 3 Fantasy HarperCollins Publishers Limited Audiobook 17h 2m Audible

The armies of the Dark Lord Sauron are massing as his evil shadow spreads ever wider. Men, Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite forces to do battle against the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring. This audiobook also includes a 2h+ appendix on the annals of the kings and rulers.

Although the language is archaic in places (‘lo’ and ‘quail’ feature), often prosaic and there are songs a-plenty, this final book in the trilogy closes the saga beautifully. From huge-scale battles to intimate meetings and the conclusion of Saruman and Golem’s stories, this book has it all. I found myself moved with Merry and Théoden’s parting and also at the finale where the fellowship was ended and Frodo and Bilbo set off for the Grey Havens. Just read them all and get lost in the original high-fantasy world of Middle Earth.

The appendix on the annals of the Kings and Rulers (2h 48m) highlights the depth of world-building that has gone into Middle Earth. The books themselves reveal this and act as a thesis on world-building. The appendix is an excellent addition and clarifies some of the lineages and mentions that abound in the main story.

Add comment

By Edward

Subscribe to Ed’s Journal

    Find me

    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!