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Beren and Lúthien

(Middle-earth Universe)

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  6,486 ratings  ·  876 reviews
Restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Humans, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by HarperCollins
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Liz I'm not sure what you mean, Christopher Tolkien has been studying and releasing his father's work basically his entire life, there is no newly written…moreI'm not sure what you mean, Christopher Tolkien has been studying and releasing his father's work basically his entire life, there is no newly written material here, though perhaps some that has never been published. The story of Beren and Luthien was already told in appendices and the Silmarillion, this is more of a microscope view, looking at original drafts of the story through several re-writes, to see how it changed. One of the ways it changed is that Beren was originally an elf, one of the Noldor, then was a nobody human, and finally became the son of mighty human warrior and one of the original elf-friends, in order to tie the story in to the overall arc revolving around the Silmarils. This is the original story, ROTK is an echo, the last of the 3 mortal/immortal pairings, none of which are in The Hobbit (unless you're referring to Peter Jackson's movie, which is not canon). (less)
Cavak Yes and no to both questions.

It's something of an origin story for several concepts within Tolkien's vast Middle-Earth lore. Parts of this book are…more
Yes and no to both questions.

It's something of an origin story for several concepts within Tolkien's vast Middle-Earth lore. Parts of this book are taken from another bigger origin story for the world, The Silmarillion. So the significance of Christopher's painstaking bookkeeping may be lost on you if you only read this book.

On the other hand, reading this book will be firsthand exposure to one of many legends that is referenced even within The Lord of The Rings films. And it has the added real-world bonus for charting Tolkien's multiple revisions of this same legend, a sort of educational report for aspiring writers of all ages.

It's a teensy sampling of Tolkien's Middle-Earth. If you aren't familiar with Tolkien and don't fancy a novel length venture on the first go, try this as a starting place.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Straight from the pages of The Silmarillion, this tale has been given new authority and the chance to stand on its own.

And such a story it is. It’s about a mortal man who fell in love with an immortal elf. Unlike the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings this relationship foregrounds the narrative: it is the narrative. Given an absolutely impossible task to prove his devotion, no less than stealing a Silmaril from the crown of Melko (Morgoth- the first dark lord), Beren sets
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Petrik
Unlike The Children of Hurin, unless you’re a lover of poetry or you're a diehard Tolkien fans, I doubt the overall content of this book will be enjoyable to read.

The Children of Hurin has a novel format with a standalone story. The novel begins with a preface from Christopher Tolkien, then the story starts and continues until the end without break in prose form. It’s pretty much a standard standalone fantasy novel format with a self-contained story that can be read and enjoyed by anyone who
...more
Kevin Kuhn
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I have great admiration for JRR Tolkein, his imagination seems endless and his commitment to his craft was incredible. It's clear his son Christopher has a genuine love of his father's work and treats it with respect and care. His commentary is excellent and interesting. When I was 9 or 10 The Hobbit solidified my love of reading. I found it at the library on my own and felt like I uncovered the world's greatest treasure. After speaking with the librarian she informed me there were three more ...more
Ines
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tears, tears and only tears.
I closed this very complicated and difficult book and I find myself with a lump in my throat but with a soul full of beauty. The story is made by a disarming simplicity, the love and encounter between Beren, mortal and human, and Luthien(Tinuviel,so called by Beren), wonderful elf daughter of King Thingol of the Middle Earth Kingdom. I am not at all an expert on Tolkien and his world( although I have read almost all his works), I have worked very hard to remember all
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Adrian
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hmm, a difficult job to review this book. I felt it was a cross between wonderful 5 star Tolkien storytelling and occasionally tough going almost repetitive storytelling, but the Tolkien verse and prose won out and whilst not 5 stars, I do think it scrapes (nay, merits) 4 stars.

I shall write more on the morrow when the sun shineth on our fair land

Ok, so after a stupidly long day of work, I feel that i ought to write the rest of my review before I loose the thread.

I was going to say I'm a real
...more
Michael Galdamez
When I first saw this online:


Then this happened:




Now I am content.

... Unless there are any more stories good ol' Christopher can pull together for us!
Alexandra Elend Wolf
3.5 stars

"Three jewels he made, and names the Silmarils. A living fire burning within them that was blended of the light of the Two Trees."

Beren and Lúthien is more than I was expecting. A tale of love that transcends the limits and normative established. A tale where neither part is more or less but where both save each other.

I was really surprised about where this story was going to take me, and I'm really glad about that. I enjoyed discovering their story and hearing their trials. It
...more
Jojo
I consider myself a huge Tolkien fan, and,the world we all know as Middle Earth, you could say, it is my second home. If one wished to go a step further, you could also day, that The Lord of the rings changed my life, in a profound way.
When I think of Tolkien, or he gets a mention somewhere, I immediately think "Gandalf" He is my favourite character from Middle Earth, and really, that mighty staff he carries says it all.

I was most excited to get my hands on this little beauty of a book, and I'm
...more
Markus
"Then Beren took to following Tinúviel secretly through the woods even to the entrance of the cave and the bridge’s head, and when she was gone in he would cry across the stream, softly saying ‘Tinúviel’, for he had caught the name from Dairon’s lips; and although he knew it not Tinúviel often hearkened from within the shadows of the cavernous doors and laughed softly or smiled. At length one day as she danced alone he stepped out more boldly and said to her: ‘Tinúviel, teach me to dance.’ ‘Who ...more
Bradley
Okay, so, this book requires a HUGE caveat.

It's uneven as hell, it's not a full tale, and it is comprised of many unfinished snippets in various states of revision. You can see thirty odd years worth of fascination with the same tale of Beren and Luthien from very early and oddly simplistic Nordic-type style befitting Tolkien's regular scholarship all the way to several nearly full-developed Lays, poems in epic style, of the two characters, of Sauron who was named Thu, and Melkor, the original
...more
Kevin Futers
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Part of me wanted to go five stars, another part of me wanted to go to one.

The disappointment is simple: with The Children of Hurin we were given a single narrative without break or comment. That is what I had assumed we had here. We don't.

Now I loved the different versions of the story, but it just felt like going over old ground. This has all been printed before, either as The Silmarillion, The Book of Lost Tales (in two volumes) or The History of Middle Earth (in three volumes).

I would
...more
Fonch
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
dedicated to the Spanish society of Tolkien.
Ladies and gentlemen if the heat will allow me I will start to write my review of this book by J.R.R. Tolkien said the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck which had two things, that it was better not to know how sausages and laws were made. Not so with this book. Before you begin this criticism should go back to the recesses of my past, because as I said a great master of communication that God be glory "remember is to relive". I remember, how in my
...more
Trish
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every year, it seems, I set out for at least one bookish quest. This year it turns out to be Tolkien's works (or some of them) about Middle-Earth.
My group buddy-read this one this month so I joined. The problem, however, is that while I did read The Lord Of The Rings and even The Hobbit, it was in my early teens, many moons ago, and a translation besides, so I barely remember. What I remember most are the movies (don't get me started on the Hobbit disaster). Thus, I was unprepared for all the
...more
Kate
Dec 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy, tolkien
My obvious excitement for the content aside -- look at that cover! Luthien Tinuviel, fair and valiant astride her wolfhound steed, reaches down to tenderly reassure her human lover before riding off to dropkick evil in the face.

That's my girl.
Melora
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You'll want to take my comments on this one with more than a grain of salt, as I have trouble being objective when it comes to Tolkien, and the story of Beren and Luthien hits me in a soft spot (my younger brother's middle name is Beren, and my sister's is Lorien -- Tolkien was big in my family). This is one of the stories that Sam Gamgee might have been referring to when he and Frodo are traveling to Mount Doom and Sam talks about the adventures in the great legends,

”Folk seem to have just
...more
Madison
Well, look at that!!

description

I'm so excited by the cover and the description!

description

Plus, it's going to be published about 100 years after Tolkien started writing it, which is very neat. AND, the names of the two main characters, Beren and Luthien, were each written on Tolkien's and his wife's graves (respectively), which is very VERY neat. If this piece of work meant that much to them, it definitely deserves to be read.
Scott  Hitchcock
I'm not going to give this stars because I didn't end up reading it. I'm super happy I didn't buy it and waited for the library to get it. At $16.99 for the Kindle edition it's a complete jip. The first 10% of the book is author's notes about his father's notes. The last 18% is the appendix with more references. So that's over a quarter of the book gone on a 304 pages book which again costs $17. I started browsing the stories and found I already knew a lot of them from all the other works at ...more
Els
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
*sniffly shipping*
This, my friends, is a real romance. ‘Bout the only love story I’ve ever enjoyed reading. Full review may come eventually, when I’m not expending all my energies writing essays to get me into college. One note: This book is a compilation of EvERy sINgLe VErsIon of the story, collected after Tolkien’s death. It gets REALLY rEAlLy repetitive if you read it straight through. So I started in January, and read one version at a time about two weeks apart, in which time I forgot
...more
Manisha
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
*sighs happily*

Lovely.

RTC.
...more
Marquise
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
One hundred years back, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien began to create this story while on leave from the WWI trenches. I suppose he had no idea he'd became practically the God of Fantasy a few decades later, and likely didn't imagine he'd leave incomplete this lovely story of "heroic epic and high romance" as he described his favourite stories to write, as it sadly happened.

It would be left to his son Christopher to roll up his sleeves and start the titanic labour of parsing through the pile of
...more
Luke
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
I gave this review one star in a (probably doomed) attempt to pull the rating down to reflect the disappointment many readers are doubtless going to feel when they realize that this book is not what they were expecting to get. I was very much looking forward to an enriched and expanded version of the beautiful story in The Silmarillion, such as what we received with The Children of Hurin ten years ago. Unfortunately, this is not that.

I'm reluctant to criticize Christopher Tolkien at this point,
...more
E.F.B.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Tolkien fans
Great read! Definitely not for those trying Tolkien for the first time, but for those who have read “The Hobbit”, “The Lord of the Rings”, and “The Silmarillion” (Or if not the entire Silm, you still need to at least read the story of Beren and Luthien so you have enough familiarity with it to recognize and appreciate the changes it went through), it should be enjoyable.

It’s important to note that this “Beren and Luthien” book isn’t like “The Children of Hurin” book which is a longer, more
...more
Silvana
Ever since I read the Silmarillion I don't buy this so called greatest romance in the history of Arda since clearly Lúthien and Huan did most of the work while Beren spent most of the time being captured and unconscious. This book is very useful if you want to know how the story evolved and proved my earlier assumption that Beren was one helluva lucky dude.

Aside from the gorgeous artwork as usual from Alan Lee, I quite enjoyed the poems and the versions of the story. Great to reread the parts
...more
Lucia
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had huge problem with the format of this book. Beren and Lúthien reads like academic writing instead of fantasy novel and I have to admit that reading it was quite tiresome experience. In general, I love Beren & Lúthien story but its execution in this book didn't work for me at all. I guess it must have been difficult to put together unfinished manuscripts of such a mastermind as was J.R.R. Tolkien but still, reading the same story (retold in different forms and shapes) numerous times ...more
Timothy Boyd
If you a re a Tolkien fan then you will enjoy the history of this story and the origins it evolves from. More of a history of the story than just the story itself. Interesting read. Recommended
Vivian
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-odyssey, fantasy
A labor of love. Not just Beren's feats to win Lúthien, but also Christopher Tolkien for his father and his apparently enormous oeuvre. This is an archivist's weaving of the fragments of the tale of Beren and Lúthien from a selection of separate works to relay the most complete, yet, not rewritten telling of this love story.

The verse in the various cantos and Quenta is lyrical, mesmerizing, and beautiful. While the publisher pushed Tolkien for prose and the result, The Lord of the Rings, is
...more
Joaquin Mejia
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was such a wonderful experience. I am so happy that I got to explore J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth universe again. I always admired J.R.R. Tolkien. His stories about the inhabitants of Middle-earth and their struggle against evil always resonated with me. I truly love the characters, places, and stories that Tolkien showed to the world through his amazing books. Reading this book about Beren and Luthien reminded me about all of these things. It reminded me about how great and ...more
☙ percy ❧
Jun 03, 2017 marked it as put-down-for-now
Shelves: _jrr-tolkien
OHMY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD BEREN AND LUTHIEN ARE MY FAVOURITE TOLKIEN CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME
Lata
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Tolkien presents a few versions of the story of Beren and Lúthien, and really, the story should just be called Lúthien saves herself and Beren, and she's the best.
Suzannah
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, poetry
Beren and Luthien is a gorgeously-presented work, with some of my favourite Alan Lee illustrations ever, focusing on the development of the Beren-and-Luthien story from The Silmarillion. Unlike The Children of Hurin, this book isn't a complete tale told from beginning to end. Rather, it's more like a mosaic or a patchwork: Christopher Tolkien excerpts from the story as it stood at many different points in Tolkien's creative process, arranging the excerpts according to different stages of the ...more
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J.R.R. Tolkien: Publication of 'Beren and Lúthien' Announced 17 89 Jun 04, 2017 02:17AM  

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54,814 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
...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
  • The Children of Húrin
  • 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)
“Una mattina, mentr'ella giaceva addormentata sul muschio, e pareva che troppo amaro fosse il giorno perché s'aprisse un fiore gentile in un'ora senza sole, Beren si levò e le baciò i capelli e pianse e dolcemente là la lasciò.
"Buon Huan," disse, "proteggila! Non sboccia in un campo privo di foglie un asfodelo, non una rosa solitaria in un boschetto pieno di rovi che al pari di lei sia fragile e fragrante. Difendila dal vento e dal gelo e nascondila dalle mani che afferrano e distruggono; impedisci che vaghi e impedisci che soffra, perché l'orgoglio e il destino mi spingono ora ad andare".”
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“In pigri giardini, molti fiori come te gli dèi innamorati sono soliti baciare d'un bacio che assomiglia al miele; e poi li buttano via, sciupati, e li calpestano, mentre emanano il profumo loro. [...] E chi non vorrebbe gustare la dolcezza del miele sfiorando labbra, o calpestar coi piedi il morbido, fresco tessuto dei pallidi fiori, alleggerendo, come gli dèi, le ore che si trascinano?” 1 likes
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