Monday, August 6, 2012

A Long Time Ago... In Middle-Earth...

...There was a man named Hùrin.  Here's my short little review of the book by J.R.R Tolkien. 

The Children of Hurin was a book that I started a few years ago, then put it down before I finished because I found it too depressing.  Recently, I decided that I would try and read it again, this time with better results. 

First off, The Children of Hùrin (especially the beginning where it's talking about what family so-and-so is from) makes a lot more sense if you've read The Silmarillion first.  The family trees in the back of the book help, but actually reading the short stories about who these people were and what they did gives you a better chance of remembering them. 

Secondly, one of the expectations I had when I started this book the first time was that it was going to be like The Lord of the Rings.  It's not.  The Children of Hùrin is a tragedy.  A beautiful kind of tragedy that reminded me of Shakespeare, but a tragedy nonetheless.  The events of this book are important in the overall history of Middle-Earth, but it's not going to be sunshine and butterflies. 

Overall, this book was a deep read that made me think and added even more depth to the legends of Middle-Earth.  A worthwhile read, but I would only recommend it to people who are really in love with other Tolkien stories.

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