Review: The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien Edited by Christopher Tolkien
Title: The Children of Hurin
Author: JRR Tolkien (1892-1973), Edited by Christopher Tolkien, Illustrations by Alan Lee
Publisher: Houston Mifflin 2007
Labels: Fantasy Fiction, Posthumously
Age: Grade Level of 9th Grade
Rating: 3 Stars
J.R.R. Tolkien began writing The Children of Hurin after World War I. He never finished it. His son Christopher Tolkien finished the story publishing it in 2007.
The story centers on the children of Hurin and his wife Morwen. A son named Turin (primary character), and two daughters Urwen (named Lalaith meaning laughter) and Nienor (meaning mourning). Hurin is Lord of Dor-lomin. Early in the story a curse was placed on Hurin and his "offspring....and then he was bound and could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him." King Morgoth (the black enemy) is mortal but very evil. When Turin is older his mother encourages him to leave in order to hopefully escape the curse. Turin becomes an outlaw on an epic journey.
I must admit, through at least the first half of the story I did not like it. I could not get a grasp on what was going on, much less the difficult names and places. I'm new to reading fantasy fiction. I've only read one other book by Tolkien, and that was late last year, The Hobbit. But, about the time Beleg the archer became a principle character, the light bulb clicked on in my brain.
I've read that Turin's journey is compared to a Greek tragedy. I think this is close to being accurate. Turin does go on a long journey with perilous dangers, suffering, war and fighting, mysterious visions, beautiful damsels, poetic wording, evil versus good, and ultimately a tragedy.
One of my favorite quotes:
"Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better." page 136http://www.amazon.com/The-Children-Hurin-Publisher-Houghton/dp/B004VPWYYK