The Children of Hurin Paperback
Edited by Christopher Tolkien
Illustrated by Alan Lee
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, this illustrated paperback of the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves, dragons, Dwarves and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.
It is a legendary time long before The Lord of the Rings, and Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwells in the vast fortress of Angband in the North; and within the shadow of the fear of Angband, and the war waged by Morgoth against the Elves, the fates of Turin and his sister Nienor will be tragically entwined.
Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Hurin, the man who dared to defy him to his face.
Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire, in an attempt to fulfil the curse of Morgoth, and destroy the children of Hurin.
Begun by J.R.R. Tolkien at the end of the First World War, The Children of Hurin became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages, 25 b/w illus, 8 col plates, With index
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 01/04/2008
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9780007252268
Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.
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Review by sloopjonb
This book is a swiz. Anyone who has got Unfinished Tales has already read everything in it. Completists only.
Review by JonArnold
Of all the mythology of Middle Earth, this is probably the darkest tale. It’s essentially a tale of original sin, with Tolkien’s version of Satan rewarding Húrin’s defiance with imprisonment and a curse on his family which is enacted whilst all he can do is watch. The dark side might lose a few bodies and a battle or two but overall win the day. This isn’t even about some capriciousness of the gods, it’s about the cost of doing the right thing. Where Tolkien excels is in how Túrin almost always acts with the best of intentions but how his actions turn to darkness. As the author’s aiming for the breadth and sweep of European myth the unlikely coincidences of the story can be put down to chance being corrupted and the curse working its dark magic. Essentially we’re told up front that this will be a depressing read, but the hope that the characters can defy their decreed fate leaves a spark of hope to the end. It’s no spoiler to say that that hope goes unrewarded, with the last few scenes being as heartbreaking as Tolkien gets. Túrin does achieve some minor victories, but the misery he often unwittingly spreads tends to outweigh that. Powerfully written stuff, to the point you wouldn’t know it had to be reconstructed by the author’s son. It won’t convert those who find Tolkien forbidding and off-putting, but for those of us who grew up reading him and have never quite lost the taste for his works, it’s thrilling stuff and arguably a better place to start than The Silmarillion (a more coherent story), The Hobbit (more depth and breadth) or the weightiness of his most famous trilogy.
Review by Arthwollipot
Very disappointed. The book is pretty much a retelling of the story of Turin Turambar from the Silmarillion, but it doesn't appear to have much in the way of additional content beyond some dialogue. Don't bother - read the Silmarillion instead.
Review by Choccy
I cannot imagine a darker Tolkien story than Children of Hurin. In the introduction part, Christopher Tolkien (JRR's son cum editor) mention something about this novel as a fairy tale. Well, a gruesome one indeed.People should read The Silmarillion first, I guess, although the ending of the Children of Hurin is told there. Their story was one of the most memorable ones, besides the tale of Beren and Luthien. The details of the journey of Hurin's cursed children, Turin and and Nienor...more I cannot imagine a darker Tolkien story than Children of Hurin. In the introduction part, Christopher Tolkien (JRR's son cum editor) mention something about this novel as a fairy tale. Well, a gruesome one indeed.People should read The Silmarillion first, I guess, although the ending of the Children of Hurin is told there. Their story was one of the most memorable ones, besides the tale of Beren and Luthien. The details of the journey of Hurin's cursed children, Turin and and Nienor, is described with the usual Tolkienese narrative with vividly breathtaking (or sometimes frightening) landscapes, unforgettable, daunting characters and such an elegant, poetic parlance.The elves, ah the elves! One of the most mysterious creatures in Tolkien's lore, which have had me spellbound since I first read the Lord of the Rings. Here, the elves were the Noldors, who had forsaken Valinor (the land of the Gods) and chose to stay in Middle Earth. Their wars against the Enemy, Morgoth, lasted for hundreds of years, and involving other beings such as Men as their allies. Turin was the son of one of Houses of Men who fought against Morgoth and his evil minions. His bravery was legendary and posed an excellent reading. A certified badass who dared to denounce all bonds and even the Elven high kings.I shall not waste my time writing about the lineage, the history and all (as I've said before, read Silmarillion first!) so I will directly comment about the story. Well, it is heartbreaking indeed. Utter horror. It is so sad that you could not shed any tears because you feel too overwhelmed. I kid you not. The sorrowful adventures of Turin and Nienor are certainly not for the fainthearted.Back to Tolkien, I must applaud him for this excellent work of art. I do not read much fantasy, but I think his might be the greatest of them all. The feeling you have when you're reading one of his works is indescribable. He did not just blew me away, but he imprisoned me in the novel's realm and forced me to watch his characters live, fight, love, suffer and ... die.Suffice to say, Children of Hurin will take you to the dark side of the Tolkien's lore. The evil is nigh, enjoy the ride!
Review by Cvijaxo
Very touching and sad story from Tolkiens pile of unfinished works. This time Christopher Tolkien edited exciting, dark tale from the second age which is more mythic, and more mature than Tolkiens Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Pretty large push for all which doesn'r read Silerillion to do so. In combination with Quenta Silmarillion this jewel shows to reeaders of The Lord Of The Rings a whole different dimension of Tolkien's writing. Not particulary redeble but very exciting and rewarding.
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