Saturday, April 11

Book Review: The Children of Húrin

Title: The Children of Húrin

Author: J.R.R Tolkien and Edited by Christopher Tolkien

Pages: 259 + Geonologies, Appendixes, List Meanings = 320

Summary: 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 Word.

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 Túrin and is sister Niënor unfolded within the showdown of the fear of Angbad 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 Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Agasint them he sent his most formidable servant, Galurung, 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 Túrin and Niënor bu lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. (Taken from the flap inside the cover)

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I really enjoyed this book, although for me it’s hard not to enjoy anything by Tolkien and his tales of Middle-earth! The story was told differently than the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, it was a very different pace and voice throughout the story were different then what fans of his other works are used to. It was a lot similar to the lost tales or unfinished tales in how it was written, but still a fantastic book. It contains a lot of history where geological lines can be linked to characters we’ve fallen in love with in his other works. It isn’t a very action packed tale, but that is one great thing about Tolkien he can have stories of fantasy that don’t need action packed battle, because his descriptions of the characters, the forests, the great cities these men, elves and dwarves live in, are beautiful. It also made me want to learn more about the histories of Middle-earth and events in the First and Second Ages, before the hobbit, the wars, the dark lords etc. Here you can already see issues of mistrust between men and elves, due to men being to proud, the mistrust of elves versus dwarves is also deep in its roots.

From his beautiful descriptions, to his characters who even with their follies, you don’t dare close the book on, for fear of missing something important about them, I found it very hard to put the book down, as I immersed my self in Middle-earth and all of it’s wonders. I love everything about it, and I’m itching to read more about the histories. Sadly, only own one of them. Great read! Wish I owned the book and it wasn’t a library book, but I guess I have to return it, or else the library police will come for me!

Also, the illistrations by Alan Lee, where phenomenal!

Would I recommend it to read:

Would I recommend it to read: For big Tolien fans yes completely. For fantasy fans who enjoy great tales lush with history and well structured characters, again yes. But from reviews I’ve read, a lot may be disappointed in the book because they expected it to be the same level of Lord of the Rings or expected it to be some sort of prequel to it, and its not. This contains histories of Middle-earth, which are linked to the Lord of the Rings, but it isn’t really related to it in any way, and their isn’t any epic battles that occur in the Lord of the Rings. Instead it’s a tale of a family ruined by a dark lord, because one dared to stand up to him, and their adventures to run away from their fates. A great story nonetheless, but it isn’t the usually thing people expect when the hear the words “fantasy and Tolkien” (well except the hardcore fans like myself).

What to read next: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Simmerilion, Unfinished Tales....anything by Tolkien and Tolkienesque!

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