Vincent Ribaya's Reviews > The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Jun 06, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read from April 29 to May 12, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Before ever finishing the famous fantasy saga The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien laid out the creation and growth of the Middle-earth Corpus to the early "Elder Days" of Middle-earth in a compendium of tales and manuscripts. Such tales were highly criticized by Tolkien's editors and remained unpublished, until they were able to ride on the immortal fame that grew from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In The Children of Húrin, we see one of these many tales. Birthed from manuscripts and notes compiled and edited by J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher Tolkien. The story's events date back long before the evil Maiar Sauron forged the One Ring in the fires of Mt. Doom, when Sauron's master, the Valar Morgoth, plagued the lands of Middle-earth.

The book narrates an epic tale of Hurin, a man of House Hador, (the same House Hador from which Elrond Half-elf of Rivendell would soon descend from), and how Hurin attempted to defy the rule of Morgoth, consequently granting his children, Turin and Nienor, the destiny of confronting such a dark and merciless foe.

Many would agree with me if I claim this book is an excellent addition to the canon of the Middle-earth Corpus. A few more may even agree with me that the adventures, battles, lore, conflicts, and heavy drama of this one-book epic would probably make a great Peter Jackson movie, as well. One can also argue that only loose manuscripts written by J.R.R. Tolkien strategically compiled by his heir Christopher Tolkien could have given birth to such a fantastic book. This particular edition comes with drawings made by artist Alan Lee which I personally think accented my imagination in picturing the settings and characters of the literature with great, colorful art. The book also contains a preface made by Christopher Tolkien, along with an appendix of annotated maps, genealogy charts, notes on further reading, list of locations and character names, and info tidbits that I think enhances the story and deepens the appreciation of anyone who's into Tolkien works for the Middle-earth lore.

The Children of Hurin is an amazing read for those already into the Tolkien Middle-earth Corpus or any heavy high-fantasy literature. A stern warning, though: Tolkien literature, like many of the old high-fantasy works, isn't as easy of a read as light-fantasy or modern-fantasy. If you're the type who only has an appeal for Tolkien through video games, the Peter Jackson movies, the old Rankin/Bass and Top Craft animations, or the Ralph Bakshi animated film, then The Children of Hurin will knock any interest out of you before you get to the the second chapter.

Although I would recommend The Hobbit if you're willing to just start reading high-fantasy or Tolkien literature, The Children of Hurin is a relatively comprehensible read for those new to high-fantasy. Unlike The Lord of the Rings saga, "Narn I Chin Hurin" only consists of one book, and the appendix annotated at the end of the book provides all readers a guide to the numerous locations and characters one would encounter reading throughout this awesome tale.
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