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The Children of Húrin

(Middle-Earth Universe)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  58,738 ratings  ·  2,990 reviews
The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R.Tolkien since the 1977 publication of The Silmarillion. Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth. The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair. But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, an ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin (first published April 17th 2007)
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Helena A It's certainly not what I would call a very easy read, The Hobbit is a kids book, and LoTR is, as you say, fairly easy for anyone.
The plot of CoH is…more
It's certainly not what I would call a very easy read, The Hobbit is a kids book, and LoTR is, as you say, fairly easy for anyone.
The plot of CoH is a little harder to understand, and I would recommend reading The Silmarillion first, to get a better grasp of the complex mythology, and who the characters are etc. The Silmarillion also has an abridged version of CoH in it, so that's probably a better bet, though some of the other stuff is a little hard to get.

All in all, eventually, yes. CoH broke my heart, had me certain what would come next and is a worthwhile read for and Tolkien fan! Hope I helped!(less)
Suden In the appendices, Christopher Tolkien first tries to explain something about the history of the work; namely how, and -- as far as Christopher…moreIn the appendices, Christopher Tolkien first tries to explain something about the history of the work; namely how, and -- as far as Christopher himself could deduce -- why, his father John had begun several attempts at writing this story; and how and -- again to the best of Christopher's knowledge -- why they differ.

Thereafter in the appendices, Christopher gives an account of how he came to recreate the current book, from all the previous versions that John wrote. He tells how he's tried to be faithful to each of the original writings, which was not easy because they differ on several points. He names those points and elaborates on how he solved certain problems.

The whole matter -- and thus, the appendix text -- is further complicated by the fact that the story was previously published in two other forms (both shorter than this one, and part of anthologies -- one of them being Silmarillion; and both also edited by Christopher), and Christopher goes to great lengths trying to provide insight into how and why this book differs from, is similar to, and relates to those other published versions.

While a thorough and valuable account on the genesis of the book, the appendices can be considered a tough read to fully understand, because of all the different versions that had been written -- and edited -- at various times by John himself; and three times thereafter, at various points in Christopher's endeavour to discover and understand his father's many notes and papers.

I hope this helps.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.96  · 
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 ·  58,738 ratings  ·  2,990 reviews


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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
The Children of Hurin is a tragic tale of love and loss, of remorseful earth-shattering revelations; consequently, it is also one of the most moving stories Tolkien ever devised. The execution never fully delivered it though, only because Tolkien never finished editing it. It just needs a little bit of polishing to remove a couple of tarnishes, and then it would be perfection.

The Ancient Greeks understood exactly how to evoke sorrow, pity and despair all in one powerful moment within their play
...more
Petrik
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars

I never expected Tolkien to write a story as dark and tragic as the one portrayed in The Children of Hurin.


First, a full disclosure that might anger Tolkien fanatics. Despite the fact that I’ve watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy more than ten times, I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t able to finish reading The Fellowship of the Rings because I was extremely bored with it. It’s most likely because the movie has tainted me with its fast pacing, I have no idea why but the book was so bori
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Jake
It has been said that all good things must come to an end. In this case, the end of Children of Hurin also marks the end of my quest to read a book by each of my five favorite authors. It seems like a fitting way to end this journey, in that Tolkien is the oldest of my favorites, and if there was ever a modern author suited to end-of-quest tales, it was Tolkien. He was also the author on my list that gave me the greatest concern—not only has he passed away, but his body of published work is rela ...more
James Trevino
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-goodies
This book in one gif:



I heard a lot of people say that Tolkien is the merry brother of George R.R. Martin. But anyone thinking that has clearly not read The Children of Hurin. To say that this story is tragic would be an understatement.

This might be the saddest thing I’ve ever read. And I actually knew the story beforehand, because a shortened version of it is present in The Silmarillion.

The book chronicles mostly the life of Turin, son of Hurin. The events take place after Morgoth, one of the Va
...more
Lyn
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gandolf, Poul Anderson, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tom Bombadil and Ozzy Osbourne sit in the Green Dragon pub in Murfreesboro Tennessee and discuss Tolkien’s book The Children of Hurin.

Gandolf: Yes, Tom thank you, I will have some more of this delightful mead, what did you call it?

Tom: Melkor Mead, and here (offers a sample glass) try some of our Meriodoc Barleywine, we make them both here at Green Dragon.

Ozzy: Tahh, whassott faugh toouken majjes?

Tom: Thanks, Ozzy! I’ll let the kitchen know you like the so
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Narnichin Hurin: The Children of Húrin (Middle-Earth Universe), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor), Alan Lee (Illustrator)
The Children of Húrin is an epic fantasy novel which forms the completion of a tale by J. R. R. Tolkien. He wrote the original version of the story in the late 1910s, revised it several times later, but did not complete it before his death in 1973. His son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the manuscripts to form a consistent narrative, and published it in 2007 as an ind
...more
Aldean
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: possessions, tolkien
As a general rule I try to write my reviews "in a vacuum" as much as possible, that is, before I read through the other reviews already here. I am not going to be able to do that here. I have spent more than twenty years with this story (since my mother first read the Unfinished Tales version aloud to me when I was eight years old), and if Christopher Tolkien had not put this volume together, I might have eventually had the hubris to do so myself.

Let me start by making a couple of points. First
...more
Dahlia
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Tolkien fans
cying

Instead of The Children or Húrin, this book should be entitled The story in which (view spoiler) by J.R.R. Tolkien. Oh. My. God. And here I thought only Shakespeare wrote good Renaissance tragedies. Really. This story is so tragically sad I forget it was written by Tolkien.
I won't write a summary for the story but I'll write down some things about it that might persuade you to read this amazing book:
1. Elves and more Elves! If you like wise, brave elves who like t
...more
beggs
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Tolkien fans.
The Children of Hurin is not a for people who saw the Lord of the Rings movies and then read the book. It's for hardcore fans. The people who remember all the names from the The Silmarillion. Or for the few people out there who reread Beowulf a lot. The Children of Hurin reads like a Nordic Saga.

As a self proclaimed Tolkien Fanatic I enjoyed The Children or Hurin. The Heroic, epic and ultimately tragic life of Turin and his sisters. It's not more The Lord of the Rings but it continues to paint a
...more
Lucia
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I can’t deny that Tolkien was master of his craft. However, this book missed the drive and compactness that his other books possessed and I didn’t like it as much as I hoped I would.

Was it because this book consists of small parts (scenes) of bigger picture put together after Tolkien’s death by someone else than master himself? Most probably.

Either way, this is a must-read for all true fans of Middle-earth!
Bradley
I'm finally getting around to reading the Silmarillion side tales Tolkien worked on but never published in his lifetime, and I can say this for certain:

This one is a lot smoother than Beren and Luthien.

In fact, it just comes across as a collection of quite readable short stories following the line of Húrin from the First Age fighting Melkor in the north with its dragons, balrogs, and orcs action to the later days when all the grey elves were cut off from their folk and had to deal with the rise
...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After watching Hobbit, I desperately wanted to get some Tolkien fare, and I was (strangely enough) not up to reading LOTR for a thirteenth time (though I plan to soon enough). So I turned to the Children of Hurin and boy, was it fun.

Deriving from the Finnish national epic Kalevala and the tragic Kullervo, The Children of Hurin proves again what Tolkien can do with ancient legends and myths. I have to confess that I was looking for parallels with Beowulf through most of my readings and found man
...more
Daniel Ionson
There's so much to say about Tolkien's mastery of language and myth.

But what's important and powerful about CoH is that it stands (stylistically) somewhere in between Silmarillion and LotR. There are no anachronisms in Silmarillion, which are present in LotR (and the Hobbit, of course). CoH is blissfully free of them, but is also less "macro" than Sil. CoH treads on solid (Middle) earth, but is not quite as intimate as LotR (E.g., with Frodo & the other hobbits).

This is such a grim tale an
...more
Stefan Yates
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Children of Hurin provides some great historical material to Tolkien's world of Middle-Earth and adds even more richness to the Lord of the Rings. This addition to Tolkien's extensive historical background of Middle-earth fills in the gaps and fleshes out stories that have been mentioned and hinted at in other works by giving us a detailed and colorful look at the tragic story surrounding Túrin and Niënor (Hurin's children) and the ongoing battle against Morgoth, the master of the Lord of th ...more
Sandi
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien Fans
This a much darker tale than Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Curses, deceit and never ending woe seem to make up this tome. This being a reread I found that I was having a much easier time of keeping the characters names straight. His world and history building really helped me understand the two more popular books which I already love. I'm just sorry I didn't reread The Silmarillion first as it has the history for this book. Call George R.R. Martin a world builder if you like but I'm pretty su ...more
Eliza
Feb 05, 2018 marked it as soon-to-be-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, reviewed
My brother gave this to me... so now I feel obligated to read it. Hopefully it's better than The Hobbit.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Another first-rate fantasy novel by Tolkien! Typical fantasy characters drawn from his races-elf, man, dwarf, orc. Disrespect, curses, doom, and war
And a dragon
It has all of the elements necessary for a classic, but I just couldn't connect. I am prejudiced I suppose. Nothing is The Lord of the Rings
But if i take that out of the picture I must rate this story highly.

After listening the second time I think my disconnect is with the Christopher Lee narration. His voice is so deep and he doesn't en
...more
Jason Koivu
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Don't ask me to name any of the many gods, demons, peoples, and monsters that populated Tolkien's history book of his own fantasy world making. It's confusing and a second read will be necessary, but what I enjoyed were the tales. Following the heroic legends is like listening to a fireside tale told by a grandfather or an intriguing talk by a professor prone to long-windedness. You know it's good stuff and you wish you could stay awake during the endless narrative/lecture, but the old man will ...more
Trish
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of those telling a tale that JRR Tolkien never managed to finish and publish himself. His son, Christopher, instead took the manuscripts, edited and published them.

I have to admit that I'm usually highly suspicious of such procedures as it sounds like heirs wanting to cash in on a dead relatives fame. Especially in case of Tolkien, it works, too.

However, the tale of Túrin and all the other characters here - be it elves, men, dwarves or other creatures - worked splendidly for me.
...more
Wayne Barrett
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, classics

The Children of Hurin is a story of renowned heroics in the history of Tolkien's, Middle Earth, but its heroism is eclipsed by the heartbreak and tragedy of it all.

Originally published as part of The Silmarillion, J. R. R.'s son, Christopher, has given us the retelling of this particular story in greater detail. And for those who still associate Tolkiens name with children-like stories involving hobbits and elves, just know that Tolkien was penning dragons, dismemberment, and incest well before
...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
The Children of Hurin is a brilliant if a deeply tragic novel. It tells the story of the cursed Hurin's children. As the title indicates, Hurin's children are the protagonists of this novel, and the plot itself mostly follows his son Turin, who is the force setting most events in motion. At the start of the novel, Hurin is imprisoned by Morgoth, and thus his wife and children are forced to fend for themselves. Hurin's family members do find help with friends, but it is not an easy life for them. ...more
Jewel
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I could’ve read this book in one sitting if I had the luxury of time. Like everything I’ve read of Tolkien so far (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings), I found it engrossing and hard to put down. But don’t expect to have an experience similar to that of reading LOTR. Just as The Hobbit should not be compared in merit with LOTR, so shouldn’t this one, for though they come from the same world (Middle Earth), they’re entirely of different species (much like Elves, Dwarves and Men).

I knew even before
...more
Giota (the reader)
After many years that I have been absent from Middle-Earth, I was finally able to get my hands on this book!!!

First, let me tell you that I am a huge Tolkienite, and The Silmarillion is one of my favorite books ever. The thing is, it's been like 9 years since I last read it and naturally many details have slipped my otherwise sharp mind! What does that have to do with The Children of Hurin, you ask? Well, if you haven't read The Silmarillion, it is near impossible to follow the story of this bo
...more
C.B. Cook
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy mackerel.

To be honest, I've never been into depressing books or tragedies. They're interesting... but they always seem incomplete, like Romeo and Juliet. Let's be honest, this is a much-better version of Romeo and Juliet.

I was really scared to start this, since I'd heard that it was pretty dark and depressing (view spoiler), but I actually really enjoyed it. In my opinion, it wasn't so bad.

The only reason this isn't a five-star book for me is tha
...more
Heather
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Serious JRR Tolkien fans
This book is only for the serious JRR Tolkien fan. If you've read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, and still want more, then you will probably be interested in this book. It is very different than the above books though. The Hobbit is a very easy read, written for a young audience. Lord of the Rings is a long tale, but keeps you drawn in til the end. The Silmarillion is incredibly complex, and difficult to read, yet fascinating because of all of the history of Middle Earth that it pr ...more
Joseph
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I will sing the doom song.

This is probably the grimmest tale of Middle-earth, filled with treachery and betrayal and evil glamours and shocking revelations and all other manner of doom and tragedy. If you read The Silmarillion, you know the gist of the story. (If you didn't read The Silmarillion I'm not sure why you're reading this book in the first place.) This volume presents the tale of Túrin Turambar in a longer, more complete narrative (although it's still relatively short by modern sta
...more
Marina Balinska
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Tolkien, I can't give less than 5 stars! It's definitely not one of my favourite but it has the same magic. It is just too sad and dark story even for my taste.
Carter Krummrich
Feb 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkein fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I decided to take the next step of Tolkien nerdom and read one of his non-Lord of the Rings books. At first I was emotionally detached from this story because, let's face it, Tolkien's never really been that great with character development. I was bored, and I thought I should probably quit. But I persevered. Good thing I did! The last half of the book picks up speed, and it turns into something reminiscent of a Greek tragedy - which is something I did not expect. It shocked me, disturbed me ...more
Sara
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a tragic masterpiece. Written in the style of a middle-aged epic, it feels strongly of Beowulf and Arthurian Legend.

There is little I can say without spoilers beyond the fact that this is an elegant and well-crafted story which is part of a much larger Middle Earth history. It stands alone well and is a real gem to any J. R. R. Tolkien aficionado.

I am so saddened by the way the story progressed but only because I cared quite a bit about the characters. But I really am glad to have read
...more
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Studi Tolkieniani: su "I figli di Hurin" 1 6 Feb 14, 2019 12:52PM  
Nothing But Readi...: Tolkien, J.R.R-- The Children of Húrin informal buddy read starts July 5, 2018 20 146 Jul 24, 2018 05:54PM  
J.R.R. Tolkien Ep...: Chapter 7-12 9 13 Sep 01, 2017 01:11PM  
J.R.R. Tolkien Ep...: Preface, Introduction, Chapter 1 - 6 7 21 Sep 01, 2017 12:12AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Children of Húrin 48 379 Jul 19, 2016 09:25AM  

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54,293 followers
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lang
...more

Other books in the series

Middle-Earth Universe (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • The Hobbit or There and Back Again
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
  • The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)
  • The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
  • Beren and Lúthien
  • The Fall of Gondolin (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)
“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.” 1640 likes
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