The Two Towers Review

There is a fair consensus amongst those who come to consensuses about such matters that Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings primarily as a way of exploring Middle Earth - that is, this is what is known as a milieu story, in which the setting, the world, drive much of the plot. In The Two Towers this is on fine display again. One of the more interesting things to do with a copy of The Lord of the Rings is to sit down and look at just how much ground is covered by the various journeys; you then realize just how large a world Middle Earth is, and how small a section is explored in these tales. The distance covered by Frodo and Sam through such great peril and difficulty in the entirety of their chapters in The Two Towers is essentially a tiny corner on the map.

The Tropic of Serpents Review

There's something about dragons that stirs the imagination. Whether they're vicious wyrms, wise, ancient lords, or symbiotic fire lizards, dragons of all shapes and forms seem somehow fascinating (this may have something to do with why so many people go through a "dinosaur phase," which begs the question if fantasy authors writing about dragons simply never quite grew out of it). This can result in dragons, like dwarves, trolls, elves, and other creatures that frequently populate pages in various forms, that seem flat, one-dimensional, or simply indistinct. How many times can we read about how the dragons almost disappeared, but then someone finds and egg and returns the symbiotic dragonriders? So any time I come across a new and interesting take on dragons, I get excited.