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The Children of Húrin [Kindle Edition]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Alan Lee , Christopher Tolkien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

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 Húrin 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 Túrin and his sister Niënor will be tragically entwined.

Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, 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 Húrin.

Begun by J.R.R. Tolkien at the end of the First World War, The Children of Húrin 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.

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Product Description


"I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology" Independent on Sunday

"The darkest of all Tolkien's tales. Alan Lee's illustrations complement the writing splendidly" Times Literary Supplement

“A masterpiece…an extraordinary book. As in The Silmarillion you feel yourself in the presence of a personal genius.” A.N. Wilson, The Telegraph

Independent on Sunday

"I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3836 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (20 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007322585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007322589
  • ASIN: B002RI93QK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Father's Hurin 24 Aug. 2008
This is a tale of unrelenting tragedy. Drawn from the history of the First Age of Middle-earth, it tells of how Morgoth, the original Dark Lord to whom Sauron was but a lieutenant, wreaked appalling vengeance upon the family of the man Hurin, chiefly for his refusal to betray a great hidden city of the elves who were his allies. Readers acquainted with the story from a more summary version published three decades earlier in THE SILMARILLION will have some idea what to expect. They will also understand the part these events ultimately did play in the fall of virtually every elven kingdom in the vast land of Beleriand before it sank beneath the sea, still millennia prior to the events recounted in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

This new telling, however, differs from the former in at least two respects. First and most obvious, it greatly develops the details so that we come to know the doomed players more intimately, better appreciating both their flaws and their virtues, and thus feeling the tragedy more personally when it manifests itself in turn after turn of their lives.

Second and perhaps more subtle is what this version leaves out. THE SILMARILLION continued the story further, revealing later events which, while not negating these present disasters, at least mitigated them somewhat, suggesting that evil's triumph was indeed only for a season. (There were also poignant touches, such as the extraordinary future of a certain gravesite, which lent a melancholy beauty to the sorrow.) Here, however, Christopher Tolkien, the author's son and editor, chooses to end the tale at a point which before had occurred in mid-paragraph. When I first glanced through HURIN and then reacquainted myself with the earlier publication, I seriously questioned this decision.
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117 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good... but... 27 April 2007
I've been a fan of Tolkien for years and enjoyed this book very much. But I think I only did so because I have allowed myself to become some immersed in the Tolkien mythology. For me, I liked the extra richness it brought to stories we already know and reading it had that comforting feeling of slipping under a warm blanket on a cold day.

Having said that, I'm not entirely sure that The Children of Hurin actually adds all that much to the story as previously presented in the Silmarillion. Yes, there was a bit more dialogue, but the sweep of the narrative was still very broad and there wasn't actually anything much new here.

Perhaps more seriously, one of the reasons I think I liked the book was because I know the mythology and back story from the Silmarillion, including all the different names and characters, inside out. My suspicion is that if I'd come to it 'cold' as it were, the procession of new names and references to other parts of the mythology would have been close to impenetrable - as some of the other reviews on this page suggest.

So. Here's the rub. There's not a great deal of 'added value' here if you've already read the Silmarillion, unless you're a Tolkien obsessive like me. But at the same time, you kind of need to have read the Silmarillion first for half of the text to actually mean anything to you at all.

I AM a Tolkien obsessive and so did enjoy The Children of Hurin. And I just can't bring myself to give it less than '4' for this reason. But part of me wonders whether it really deserves a '3' for the weaknesses I've just mentioned...
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148 of 159 people found the following review helpful
A fan once wrote to Tolkien, saying that he only read THE LORD OF THE RINGS during the Lent season, because the novel is so hard and bitter. For those unfamiliar with the storyline of THE CHILDREN OF HURIN, many will be surprised at how dark the "new novel" actually is. CoH is much bitterer than its famous predecessor.

The literary world was shocked at the announcement a new Tolkien novel was being published. After all, Tolkien died 34 years prior to CoH's publication date. Reactions varied from trepidation and fear, to charges that the Estate is trying to milk the pubic for more money, to sheer excitement that, beyond all odds, we're getting new Tolkien. Hollywood is eying it greedily, though the Estate is not interested in selling the film rights any time soon.

Depending on where you stand in Tolkien fandom will largely define your reactions to the story.

First, some quick facts:

*CoH can be read independently of Tolkien's other works, thanks to C. Tolkien's excellent introduction, which explains the context in which the novel occurs in Tolkien's universe. Though an overall knowledge of Tolkien's legendarium is helpful, due to the story's strength it's not required.

*CoH is much darker than the Hobbit Cycle and is tragic on a Shakespearin level. Even Shakespeare's characters have a better fate than the Children of Hurin.

*CoH's principal plot focuses on the dark lord Morgoth's curse on Turin and Neinor, the Children of Hurin, for Hurin's defiance against Morgoth. Morgoth is Tolkien's equivalent of Satan, who Sauron is a mere servant too.

*CoH is easier to read than THE SILMARILLION, though CoH still employs in places the archaic style found in that book.
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