- Hardcover: 326 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (1 Aug. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007246226
- ISBN-13: 978-0007246229
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.2 x 22.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 230 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Children of Húrin Hardcover – 1 Aug 2013
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‘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
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien. There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face.Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Turin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it 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. See all Product description
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As a HUGE Tolkien fan - I love this book. To me, it is another glimpse into the intricate world and history of Middle Earth; a world so in-depth and rich in history, languages and legends that I cannot comprehend how it could all have come from just one mans imagination.
This tale is taken from the Silmarillion and tells the story of the elf friend Hurin and the curse put upon him and his family during the rule of the great enemy Morgoth, to whom Sauron was but a servant. His son, Turin, endures many sorrows due to the curse, and despite his rash and headstrong character, you find yourself wanting things to just go right for him. Although, being a tale of ancient middle earth, a sorrowful ending is a certainty.
I just love the detail and depth involved in Tolkien's world and therefore love most of his works. I would recommend it to fans of Lord of the Rings, however it can be confusing with the unfamiliar places, names etc and for people who haven't read the Silmarillion, it could be very confusing.
As for the story, I would have to say that it is by no means perfect. I certainly wouldn't compare it to The Hobbit, or Lord Of The Rings, both of which I love. This is much darker, and more depressing, perhaps too much so, and I felt the end was rather hurried, though that is a minor criticism. If you're a fan of Tolkien's work I would suggest giving it a go, especially if you found previous Tolkien mythology hard to stick with, as this combines these tales of earlier ages of middle earth with an easier novelistic style. Though this has no bearing on the quality of the story I must say I found it rather short, making it pleasant to read, though if I had forked out the £18.99 RRP when it first came out I think I would have felt somewhat short-changed! One final point is to know that the map is folded at the back of the hardback version; I did not discover this until near the end of the book, which was irritating because I found the geography quite hard to comprehend!
Overall a good, tragic novel, quite unlike Tolkien's most well known works, but I'm definitely glad I read it, because it fleshed out the skeleton of the story which was presented in the Silmarillion.
If one has read The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales then there is not a great deal more to this story. However it is still nice to read it all in one book and the illustrations provided by Alan Lee are beautiful.
I don't feel i should give away the story here but i would say if you can read The Lord of the Rings and find it interesting then that same person will find The Children of Hurin to be equally accessible and also enjoyable - though it is a sad tale.
For myself i did feel my prior knowledge helped in grasping the story straight away and the first chapter could be a little off putting with the introduction of quite a few names. If one persists though i think they are heavily rewarded.
I think it sits right up there with Tolkien's other work and i am really pleased it was released as its own standalone novel. A great purchase for anyone but especially those who like Tolkien but are put off by the reputation of The Silmarillion.
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