beggs's Reviews > The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
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's review
Jul 01, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: Hardcore Tolkien fans.
Read in July, 2007

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 vivid tapestry for the Fellowships stories to play out against.

There are a number or jarring transitions in the book. Evidence of the unfinished state Tolkien left the tale in. But this actually gives a more authentic feeling to the story. Like a recovered Saga or Epic that is missing a few passages.

Hurin is high fantasy and if it were not set in the world of Tolkien's other stories it would be as unaccessible as the Kalevala. Even with it's grounding in the world of hobbits it is a book for the few not the many.
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04/09/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Dana Salman So, should I read The Silmarillion first before I read this? Because I see it in bookshops everywhere and I have this desperate urge to return to Middle-Earth, even after rereading The Lord of the Rings.

message 2: by Gbvenom (new)

Gbvenom Dana, I would stronlgy recommend you read The Silmarillion first.

Dana Salman Gbvenom wrote: "Dana, I would stronlgy recommend you read The Silmarillion first."

Is it really necessary? To understand The Children of Hurin I mean? Cause I already bought it. And I can't find the Silmarillion anywhere.

message 4: by David W. (new) - added it

David W. The Silmarillion is like a Bible of Middle-earth, and I believe that it contains the story of Húrin in a briefer form somewhere in the latter half.

message 5: by Justin (new) - added it

Justin Bender This review made me decide to buy this book.

message 6: by Sarina (new) - added it

Sarina Sir, I have to respectfully disagree with you. How can you say that this book is not for those who saw the movies first, then read the book? I could not have known the book's existence nor would it have been available in our country if the movies were not released. I read the book after watching the movies and came to respect the similarities and differences in both and came to know Tolkien through it. How can you wound the readership just because of that? How can you suggest that the term hardcore fans only applies to a certain kind of reader who knew about the book first?
Okay, all my venting aside, I was curious about a certain thing. In most of the reviews of this book, the reviewers said they were glad to find it felt "authentic", as if they feared it might feel forced. What did you mean?

message 7: by George (last edited Jun 24, 2016 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

George What they meant, Sarina, was that they were afraid it would feel like a patchwork or pastiche because Christopher had assembled it from his father's materials. See Aldean's review for a particularly clear refutation of that worry.

And Beggs, I promise you that I recognized few of the names in Húrin, certainly didn't have their previous history at my fingertips (except Morgoth's, in a very general way), and nevertheless had no trouble with this book. This is a stand-alone tragedy set in the same mythos and requires no hard-core orientation to appreciate.

message 8: by Sarina (new) - added it

Sarina George wrote: "What they meant, Sabrina, was that they were afraid it would feel like a patchwork or pastiche because Christopher had assembled it from his father's materials. See Aldean's review for a particular..."
Actually, it's Sarina. :3
Thanks for directing me to Aldean's review: this one (, I presume? I sort of get what you mean. But we shouldn't discount Christopher Tolkien's role in all these either. He worked hard to recover, assemble, and edit many of the valuable treasures of Tolkien, which we get to read now with ease. :)

George Sarina (got it right the first time this time): I indeed don't discount his work. Aldean (and I, following) merely point out that where in some other context it might have required some pastiche to make a whole readable piece out of his father's available materials, in this case it did not.

Marko Vasić Excellent review and point of view.

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