The Return of the King is the final part of the trilogy where the fellowship marks its victory over the Dark Lord, Sauron. The one ring that rules, and the one ring that binds the world in darkness has met its end in fire of the Mount Doom where it was made. The quest is completed, and Sauron is completely defeated. He will never bind the Middle-Earth with his spells of darkness and evil forces. The King of the West is crowned and thus begins the Third Age where men dominate and glorify the earth. And the fellowship officially breaks never to be formed on Middle-Earth.
This third part of the Tolkien masterpiece is the best of the three, not only because it marks the grand victorious ending, but also because of its sense of completeness. There is ample suspense and more character development in the fellowship and the other warriors who showed such strength of character, wisdom, and courage in the face of the greatest peril. The moving writing brings battles, the destruction and barrenness of land, and the despair and hopelessness into life. The thematic expressions of friendship, love, and loyalty displayed among the characters are more tested here than in the previous stories. And the victory (the fall of Sauron as well as the final defeat of Saruman in Hobbiton) crowns it all. The emotional ride of the reader from uneasiness to downright fear, from despair to hope, and from joy at the victory to sad parting engages the full attention though somewhat taxing to the mind. But that’s the beauty of Tolkien’s mastery. He doesn’t tell us a story; he makes us part of it.
Tolkien’s writing parallels no other. I’ve said this already in my reviews of the first two parts, but I still like to reiterate it here. Words fail me to say how much I love and admire his writing. His words completely transport me into another world although it may not always be charming. And while I read it, I have no sense of the present, being so lost in the world he creates. Tolkien is a master of the creative art, and this trilogy is a masterpiece beyond comparison.
This trilogy is one of the best works I’ve ever read. Those who have read it will quite agree with me. You find rare gems belonging to the literary realm from time to time. And this is undoubtedly one of the rarest ones.