Customer Reviews for

The Children of Hurin

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

A superb final encore to Middle Earth and Tolkien

I will begin by saying this is far from a feel-good riece of literature as the heroes of this story undergo a number of grueling trials that result in unhappy endings, often brought upon them by their own flaws and errors in judgment. But it is still a grand adventure i...
I will begin by saying this is far from a feel-good riece of literature as the heroes of this story undergo a number of grueling trials that result in unhappy endings, often brought upon them by their own flaws and errors in judgment. But it is still a grand adventure involving a great warrior fighting in a darkness wrought by Morgoth, an enemy to whom Sauron was only a lieutenant.

The writing is closer to The Silmarillion in style than The Lord of the Rings, but still bears Tolkien¿s unparalleled gift for description, dialogue, and philosophy. It is easily one of my favorite books but I would only recommend it to fans of Tolkien as it would be difficult, even impossible, for newcomers to Middle Earth to appreciate or understand.

posted by Garren on February 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

The Mythical Adventure

The book The Children of Hurin is about a boy Turin, whose family is put under an evil curse. Turin grows up to become an adventurer. During his adventures he meets elves, dwarves, dragons, and other humans. To find out the rest of Turin¿s adventures you will have to re...
The book The Children of Hurin is about a boy Turin, whose family is put under an evil curse. Turin grows up to become an adventurer. During his adventures he meets elves, dwarves, dragons, and other humans. To find out the rest of Turin¿s adventures you will have to read the book. I will say this right off the bat, I didn¿t like the book at all. The book did not capture my attention at all. It was also very hard to follow because it kept switching characters and places in an instance. This book is about what happened before The Lord of the Rings series took place. This boo also reminds me off The Lord of the Rings movies. I would have to say that this book is for older readers about the age of sixteen just because of the fact that it is so hard to follow. Another author similar to J.R.R. Tolkein is R.A. Salvatore, the author of the Forgotten Realm series.

posted by Anonymous on January 4, 2008

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    Okay, you've FINALLY finished the Silmarillion. What now?

    If you've finished the Silmarillion, congratulations. You've accomplished something even die-hard Tolkien fans find daunting. Give yourself a quick breather, then read The Children of Hurin - if only to tie up some of the loose ends Tolkien left in the Silmarillion and to saturate your brain even more with pseudo-Biblical tales of the trials of Elves and Men. Don't wait too long, though - and DON'T try to read this one first just because it's thinner. The relationships in this pre-Elrond world are so complex and numerous as to necessitate yet another genealogical diagram or three in the Appendix.

    In short, you're looking at "Silmarillion v1.5" here - and tales that are more of a DUTY to read than a pleasure.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    TRAGEDY!!!

    I loved the book (except for the fact that it is a TRAGEDY)! I think the storyline is great and that Tolkien did a great job but he could have made it a little bit less of a tragedy. I only recomend this if you can handle a tragedy.

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Ok

    Although I like the stories themselves, I have always found JRR Tolkien's writing to be a little difficult to follow. There are many characters, and oftentimes they have similar names. I sometimes get a little confused. Overall though, I found this to be a pretty good book.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Curse of Hurin

    A disappointing addition to the Tolkien collections. The writing style and rhythm of the story stands up to the rest of the works concerning Middle Earth. However, the detail and intimacy found in other works is missing. I would have liked to learn more of Glaurung in this tale as well as some of the other characters. I found it hard to fall in love with or care about the fates for any of the characters in this book. The ending was no great surprise and had I cared for the characters I might have been moved, but alas I was only happy for the book to end. I am not sure if a revisit to the other books would help me appreciate this one more, or still leave me feeling cheated.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Children of Hurin

    I have so enjoyed all the other Tolkien books. This one was too tragic with no happy ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2007

    DENSE and Epic

    The Children of Húrin, also known as Narn i Chîn Húrin, is the latest J.R.R. Tolkien book. The stories of Túrin (son of Húrin) appear in earlier works like The Silmarillion, and are now released in full novel form thanks to tireless editing by his son, Christopher Tolkien. The tale takes place in the First Age of Middle Earth, and is somewhere between the Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings in style, audience, and readability. Húrin defies a god and his entire family is cursed. We experience most of the story through Húrin's son Túrin, who journeys through the entire western half of Arda - befriending Elf, Man, and Dwarf alike - to escape his doom. You don't have to be a die-hard Tolkien fan to enjoy this book. While you can read The Children of Húrin as a stand-alone work, I do recommend reading The Silmarilion, or at least having some familiarity with the First Age. I do not recommend this as your first experience with Tolkien, due to the book's dreary theme and heavy style. The language is dense. VERY dense. Dialog and descriptions are highly formal. The number of unique names for people and places is enough to fill a sizable appendix. The main characters change names a good four of five times each through the course of the story. Many of the places have similar names, and some of the important items in the book even have names. Side effects may include bouts of violence in fussy readers. If you feel that committing names to memory is important to your reading, you may want to put a bookmark in the appendix, make some index cards, or have a copy of The Silmarillion handy. For Tolkien fans, this excessive use of proper nouns is expected, and is very important to the charm of Tolkien's works. Tolkien was a linguist, and for every new name, new meaning is bestowed upon the characters and places. Beyond the language, the themes are familiar and classical. The story is relatively short, but each chapter is almost episodic in structure. Túrin travels to a new place, makes friends, enemies, and horrible mistakes. All of these mistakes occur as a direct result of his rashness, or by dark, coincidental irony. His mistakes force him on to a new locale and new mistakes. People who seem untouched by Túrin's folly inevitably get drawn in later. There's not a lot of internal dialog, so most of the characterizations are created by actions. The overall effect is that you're reading an ancient epic, and I'm sure this is why The Children of Húrin is often classified as epic high fantasy, in the purest sense of the genre. Christopher Tolkien has a lengthly foreward and appendix, explaining his editorial process, and describing the source materials used to create the novel. Foremost is C. Tolkien's insistence that the novel is published 'with a minimum of editorial presence, and above all, in continuous narrative without gaps or interruptions, if this could be done without distortion or invention, despite the unfinished state in which [J.R.R. Tolkien] left some parts of it.' (p.7, Preface) I expect that this process may have a deliberate effect on the story, as some of the passages are only summaries of action, contain alternate tellings, or are threads dropped or terminated with little or no pretense. The posthumous releases have been a subject for hot debate among Tolkien fans, who question how much of the releases have contained creative writing. I have no strong opinions on Christopher Tolkien's editing process, which he's made very clear for readers. I recommend reading the entire work and appendices before forming your own conclusions. I'm a fan of Middle Earth and will happily receive this and any future Tolkien stories set in this rich, fully-realized world. Read The Children of Húrin if you're a Tolkien fan, or enjoy classic and epic tales of fantasy. Don't read it if you're disheartened by constant tragedy. Few tales of the First Age have happy endings.

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