The Children of Húrin

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin is an epic fantasy which original version was written by J. R. R. Tolkien  in the late 1910s, he 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. The book contains 33 illustrations by Alan Lee.

Recently I’ve been re-reading Tolkien’s works. I have read this and his short story Kullervo. In short, the novel describes lives of Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, and his sister Niënor and their struggle against fate and the curse that has been cast over Húrin’s family.

“Let the unseen days be. Today is more than enough.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

This is obviously not quite Tolkien, yet it’s more than tolkienesque. The Children of Húrin takes us to a time thousands of years before the events occurring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, partly connecting with the story in The Silmarillion. I think reading this novel helps you to fil some gaps.

“Why must you speak your thoughts? Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

All in all, enjoyable read for Tolkien fans.
4/5 stars

This is not for everyone. I think this is for people who like to read, for ones who’ve liked Beowulf and for more  hardcore fans who’ve spent time learning Sindarin or Quenya.
Illustrations are gorgeous, very warmly recommend this because of them alone.
Children of Húrin connects nicely with some of Tolkien’s other works. If you plan to read this, read The Silmarillion first.
Darkly beautiful, don’t expect an happy ending.
The story is mainly based on the legend of Kullervo, a character from the Finnish folklore poems known as Kalevala. If you have time to glimpse through Kalevala, I warmly recommend it. It’s entertaining and dramatic. If not, you could read short story ‘Kullervo‘ by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Have you read this? What is your favorite Tolkien?

“False hopes are more dangerous than fears.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

11 thoughts on “The Children of Húrin

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  1. I have this on my shelf, but haven’t got to it yet. And I have not read The Silmarillion yet either. I will take your advice and read it first. I love Tolkien but have only read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, both a few times. I think I’m ready to branch out and expand my Tolkien universe. I also pre-ordered Beren and Luthian. Alan Lee’s artwork is amazing too. And the photos in your post are great. This book is clearly a feast for readers! I look forward to reading it.

    1. Definitely read Silmarillion first! CoH will make more sense. Lord of the Rings and Hobbit are Tolkien’s best creations, so in that sense you haven’t missed it out by not reading the other books, rest of his Middle Earth books are for people who have liked the world he has created enough to read more and they’re a bit different in style. Darker.
      I just adore books with illustrations! <3 Thank you!

  2. I have the same edition and the illustrations are really nice. Maybe knowing The Silmarillion will make reading this book easier but I don’t think it’s essential. The former can be heavy going in places unless you’re really into mythology.

    1. They aren’t they! I don’t remember in which order I read Tolkien’s works after Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, however I have stumbled upon many recommendations that one should read Silmarillion first. That’s a good point though.

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