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The Children of Húrin
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 18 June 2013
"For a man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it."
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.
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on 16 January 2011
First of all, let me state that I enjoyed this book, and found it far easier to read than the Silmarillion. I struggled with the the Silmarillion, finding it a dense and impersonal series of stories without any real character development, though this of course is only my opinion. Children of Hurin has been extended from the version featured in the Silmarillion, and I found that this makes it both more readable and accessible, and a worthwhile read for those, like me, who found Tolkien's earlier published material on the first and second ages of middle earth rather dry. Dialogue in particular helps this version to create more understandable characters than the earlier version. Although I read this probably three years after the Silmarillion I do feel that my brain was triggered to remember what I'd read previously, making it more understandable.

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.
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on 16 February 2013
I think this book would be an excellent point for starting to read further into Middle-earth if one is interested in doing so after having read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This is not to say it can only be read after those but most start with one of the two most well known and work from there. The Silmarillion can be hard to tackle and that is why i think this works well as an introduction to that world.

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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on 6 June 2017
not necessarily improved by lengthening. I've never really got on with anything other than The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. The rest seem more reruns to extend the franchise.
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on 30 March 2011
This is a good yarn,it is fast paced and on the whole interesting.The story is tight and is not blighted by the pointless and boring meanderings of both "The hobbit" and "Lord of the rings"
Turin is not entirely unlikeable and can do some pretty kind and sweet things.But there is no doubt he and his family are a pestillence upon whom evers company they are in.Demanding and ungrateful they are and the love and loyalty they inspire is mind boggling.It is a relief when they eventually all meet their fate!
The elves are NOT like those in "LOTR" and they seem to rate physical beauty and showmanship above wisdom and understanding.
Yet the book is no less good because of this and it is made even more intersting because it is dark and there is no happy ending.
I, for one am glad that Christopher Tolkien ended it where he did,The tradgedy is what makes the story rich.
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on 3 February 2017
Had the original of this book once, due to a fire the book was badly damaged so I replaced it with this one. The prints a perfect apart from the additional pictures in the book which appear faded to the original I had. All in all the book is fine, just a good read as the other. (amazon product left, my original right side )
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on 9 October 2017
A version of this story of course appears in The Silmarillion but it's good to have it here under one cover. A classic Tragedy as the inexorable will of evil disrupts and corrupts the life of the hero. Like much of Tolkien there is a backdrop of doom to the heroics of the great deeds of the principle characters.
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on 9 April 2016
Tolkien's brooding, heroic version of a Greek tragedy expertly narrated by the late great Sir Christopher Lee. A must buy for any serious Tolkien fan. I'm sure there are better narrators than Lee, but being a huge fan of Tolkien it made perfect sense that he was chosen rather late in life to be part of this project. The tale of the mighty yet flawed Turin Turumbar and his trials in the land of Beleriand during the first age, watched over by Morgoth, the original and mightiest of all dark forces to inhabit middle earth.
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on 11 June 2012
The Children of Hurin is a sad but beautiful tale that many readers would not associate with Tolkien. Despite the unmistakable writting style of Fantasy's finest writer, the story itself (which mainly concerns itself around Turin, son of Hurin, and the curse Morgoth, the original Dark Lord, sets upon him and his kin) is harrowing and at no point do hobbits come into the equation (after all they didn't exist in the 1st Age of Middle-Earth, in which this is based). The book is still brilliant however, with the superb Alan Lee once again doing the world of Middle-Earth justice with his beautiful drawings, though I do have a few critiques.

Firstly I feel Christopher Tolkien should have engaged the book with a little more of his own writting, by this I mean taking it out from the draft form it was initaly written in to a more polished book. Furthermore, I felt that the many names put in the book were (with a feww exceptions) needless and the book was at some points patchy with it's descriptions.

However these are all blasted away by the richness and sadness of the tale, though it is not a book to relax to. I would also suggest reading Christopher Tolkien's (who, in case you didn't know, is J.R.R. Tolkien's son and was edited all his father's post-mournally) fascinating foreword and his final commentries in the large appendix of the book, though I would read both after you have the read the tale as otherwise this will be rather more difficult to follow.
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on 2 July 2015
Tolkien works his magic and takes you to the ancient times of his marvelous world and lets you witness this heart aching and beautiful legend
Does not matter if you have read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings..this is a different style though equally entertaining, if not more so.
If you like this, you have to read The Silmarillion, and vice versa.
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