I have read both The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, and it seems to me that across both this story has been pretty well told. Is this anything new, or just an emalgamation with some artwork from Alan Lee?
There isnt anything earth shatteringly new, but it does, to my mind, flesh it out a little more. Perhaps it is simply that it is now made into a book in its own right. I have both The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales... and I dont regret buying "The Children Of Hurin"
HEHEHE Dont go to the Elves for advice, they will say both yea and nay....
It is an amalgamation of existing materials to form a complete, expanded version of the tale. Essentially, it consists of the Narn from Unfinished Tales, with material inserted from later versions of the Quenta Silmarillion and the Grey Annals to "fill in the gaps".
Although you could get the same effect by reading the pertinent sections from previous volumes, I like having it all in one place, in a single narrative. And the Alan Lee illustrations add a nice touch.
Why is this book chosen as one of the best sci-fi books of 2007 though? Yes, we all love Tolkien but even though I haven't read this book, I have the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales and am familiar with the stories. I thought they were great by the way and thinking about them, many of the stories could have become books in their own right. However, does it qualify as one of the Sci-Fi books of 2007? If so, Amazon.co.uk should justify why they have chose it. Who in fact has chosen it? That process should be explained somewhere or it just looks like Product Placement 'let's recommend these books to sell a load of these for Christmas' - it's like the equivalent of a 'gondola end' in a supermarket - you know that bit that always grabs you at the end of aisle with special offers on Bernard Matthews Bootiful Turkey Drummers. Call me a cynic but I don't think that any of the books in the Sci-Fi 2007 have been chosen by Sci-Fi fans. Let's face it, one of the main reasons why people shop at Amazon is the reviews and the opinions. Yeah, they are abused sometimes but I'd imagine that over 99% of them are genuine opinions. Amazon is a great aggregator of these opinions but does Amazon have many sci-fi buffs? In the UK? Isn't pretty much everyone focussed on selling more products and getting them delivered? This has turned into a bit of a rant but hey, don't you just love the internet. In future, why not get Amazon.co.uk readers to vote for their favourite sci-fi books or any other type of book. They can do some data-mining, work out what books their customers have bought over the year in the different catagories and email them asking them to vote for their fave books of the year. If they'd done that, I'm sure they'd have come out with a different list of best books. Where was 'Red Seas under Red Skies' by Scott Lynch, 'The Twilight Herald' by Tom Lloyd or 'Before they are Hanged' by Joe Abercrombie? All 3 would have been in my top 10 of 2007 easily.