Title: The Children of Hurin
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Page Count/Review Word Count: 320
This book is an interesting one because, despite it being written by J. R. R. Tolkien, it was released when I was in my teens, and so I devoured it almost immediately after its release. Edited by Christopher Tolkien from his father’s notes, it’s also interesting to see how Christopher, the author’s youngest son, was just as involved and enthralled by Middle Earth as his father was.
Children of Hurin tells us more of the history of Middle Earth, in the days when Morgoth was the Dark Lord, and there is at least a little bit of crossover here between references from elsewhere in the series, but to me it felt almost entirely original, and whilst it still clearly retained all of the hallmarks of Tolkien’s writing, it was also softened somewhat by the contemporary editing, which is one of the factors that made me enjoy this book almost as much as (if not more than) the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.
That’s the thing with Tolkien’s work – once you feel at home in Middle Earth, it doesn’t matter which period in time you’re reading about. After all, many of the characters cross between timelines due to their immortality or their status as a hero of legends, and so reading any of Tolkien’s books is like picking up a bucket of water from a waterfall. If Tolkien himself had been immortal, I can imagine him living out his days writing endless additions to the world of Middle Earth, without ever running out of unfinished story lines and ideas that he hadn’t executed.
Overall, then, I’d definitely recommend this to you if you’re a fan of Tolkien’s – I read this before I read The Silmarillion, and while I liked both, I’m glad I did.