Book # 17
Book Title: Children of Hurin
Author: JRR Tolkien
# of pages: 269
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: A
Short description/summary of the book: Amazon
THE CHILDREN OF HURIN is a tragedy and a tale of great sorrow, and its sadness begins early on for the child Túrin, whose younger sister, Urwen, dies from the illness that comes from the Evil Breath. Her death is a great blow to the melancholy Túrin. Their father, Húrin --- the lord of Dor-lómin --- marches with his men against the forces of Morgoth, the original Dark Lord. His men are slain by the orcs, and he is taken as a prisoner to the Dark King's sanctuary. There, Morgoth lays a curse upon his children, Túrin and Niënor, saying, "Upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them into darkness and despair."
And so the doom of Man is set. Túrin is sent to Doriath, where he lives as the foster-child of the elven king Thingol (the father of Lúthien the Fair), long an ally of Húrin. There he grows to manhood but longs to take up arms against Morgoth. Fleeing Doriath, as he fears a punishment from the king (which never comes), Túrin takes up with brigands, eventually coming to see that more is needed of him --- and of the men who would follow him --- if he truly is to take after his father. Thus he begins to show his quality, and starts his rise in the legendarium of Middle Earth.
Part ancient epic (such as "The Kalevala"), part Oedipus, part Romeo
and Juliet, and even part Beowulf, THE CHILDREN OF HURIN draws from a deeper
well than most fantasy fiction and will move you on multiple levels. It is
horrendously tragic and yet at the same time a wholly beautiful work that only
deepens further the legend and legacy of Middle Earth.
What can I say about Tolkien? The book was brilliant. I was almost expecting something like The Silmarillion, somewhat hard to get through, especially with all the names and whatnot. This wasn’t anything like that. I haven’t read Tolkien in a while, so it took me a bit to get used to the naming of things again. All in all, it was much easier to read than the Silmarillion, and it was writing in a narrative voice.
I don’t know if I would recommend it to those who haven’t read Tolkien before, or who aren’t really that interested in it, but if you have been unsure or avoiding this book for fear of it being a drag or hard to read, I would definitely recommend you read it. It was definitely better than I was expecting and the story was really fascinating and engrossing. A+ in my book :) I’m very glad that Christopher Tolkien compiled and published this. It’s definitely worthy of standing next to the Hobbit and LotR.