The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien
Summary: In the First Age of Middle-earth, Húrin Thalion, lord of Dor-lómin, dared to challenge the sovereignty of the Dark Lord Morgoth. Morgoth promised in return that his hate would follow the children of Húrin all their lives, bringing them ruin and despair. Túrin, son of Húrin, sought to outrun his doom, but found he carried it in himself.
Review: The Children of Húrin proves the perfect book for fans of The Lord of the Rings daunted by The Silmarillion. The tragedy of Túrin and his sister Niënor appears in a shortened version in The Silmarillion (as well as Unfinished Tales), but Tolkien meant it to receive treatment as a story in its own right. Christopher Tolkien studied his father’s manuscripts to bring us the story as it was intended, without resorting to any editorial additions. The result, if slightly less polished than if Tolkien had had the time to edit and review it himself, remains a moving creation full of depth and beauty. Its style falls between that of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. It has all the narrative force of The Lord of the Rings, but also a certain subtlety of expression that reminds readers it remains part of a greater tapestry; it beckons to untold wonders even as it unfolds marvels before our eyes. Its richness and depth are representative of the The Silmarillion as a whole. That book sometimes suffers from the reputation of being difficult to follow, but the tales it includes thrill the soul and speak to the heart, as The Children of Húrin so perfectly demonstrates. This book, quite simply, is fantasy at its best.
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