Compared to his more famous books, “The Children of Hurin” by JRR Tolkien is not as fun to read and is one of a series of books published decades after the author’s death.
Tolkien died in 1973 but this book was edited, packaged and published by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 2007. Much attention has been given to this volume. Who had expected a new Middle-earth tale from the author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” since he had passed away 34 years earlier?
“The Children of Hurin” follows the sad tale of a warrior who must face the darkness that sweeps through his ancient lands and the darkness that creeps into his soul.
This story takes place several centuries before the action of the “Lord of the Rings”. Yet the story involves humanity’s place in a world populated by elves, dwarves, orcs, and dragons.
Like “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Children of Hurin” is a story of good versus evil, although good triumphs, it comes at a much darker price than in the “Rings” trilogy.
“The Children of Hurin” is indeed a dark tale, steeped in tragedies and traditions as old as the Greeks and Oedipus as well as the ancient traditions of Beowulf.
Yet JRR Tolkien, with the help of his son’s editing, creates a tragedy of his own fantastical imaginations, pinned down from the legends of his own Middle-earth.
The book contains beautiful drawings and paintings by illustrator Alan Lee and the appendices, maps and character genealogies that Tolkien fans have come to expect.
Like an ancient text, “The Children of Hurin” does not turn the page. Its shape will likely prove to be unmanageable for readers who do not wish for any challenge in their stories. But the attentive will find an epic on a smaller scale than “Rings”, but still with a solid impact.
But not as much fun to reread as “The Hobbit” or “Rings”.