Last year's "Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion" was a must-have for newbies to Middle-Earth, who previously didn't know what a hobbit was or what the big deal was about an elf/human romance. Jude Fisher follows up with the "Two Towers Visual Companion," to give readers little bits and pieces that aren't quite in the movies.
Fisher goes over the various people, places, and occasionally new races that are introduced in "Two Towers." She doesn't recap much stuff from the previous movie, so if you want to fully understand this book, pick up the "Fellowship" guide first. It's sprinkled with plenty of bright pictures, usually several for each character, and background information that will be new to some who've only watched the movie. (For example, the tale of Beren and Luthien is contrasted to Aragorn and Arwen's involvement, and Gollum's history is spelled out in greater detail). Fans will definitely want to check out the pictures of Treebeard, Grima Wormtongue, and the battle of Helm's Deep.
It's sort of a guidebook to Middle-Earth, and so mainly the areas of greatest activity are shown. That means not a lot of hobbit stuff. However, there's a great fold-out map of the Helm's Deep Battle, and a very poetic foreword by actor Viggo Mortenson in which he praises Jude Fisher and briefly analyzes the depths of "Lord of the Rings." (Mortenson's literary skill is never more evident than it is here)
This book is primarily intended for people who haven't read the books, but longtime fans may enjoy it as well.