This is volume VIII in Christopher Tolkien’s mad adventure of archeology in his father’s manuscripts, notes, scrawlings and other documents left from the creation of the stories of Middle Earth. In particular, this is Book 3 in the History of The Lord of the Rings. Painstakingly accurately, all found scraps of paper are examined, and put together in the jigsaw puzzle that comprises the history of the great work. Why exactly that name for that particular mountain? How did the journey from Helm’s Deep to Dunharrow expand? And so much thinking just to get the dates right!
We follow the rest of the fellowship from Helm’s Deep to Isengard, and from there to Dunharrow, and to Pelargir via The Paths of the Dead. On the east side of the Anduin, we follow Sam and Frodo to the Morannon, through Ithilien, the meeting with Faramir, the fight with Shelob, and Sam’s despair under the Tower of Kirith Ungol (sic). Finally, the ride of the Rohirrim, the story of the beacons of Gondor, and the battle of the Pelennor.
You’ll have to be an enthusiast to enoy these works. And I am. Bonus: Reading it in parallell with The Lord of the Rings itself, it gives even deeper meaning to the work, the names, and the places in the book.
Recommended, as mentioned, for the enthusiasts.