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The Children of Hurin

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Overview

After long study of the various manuscripts that composed this early tale of Middle-Earth, Christopher Tolkien has constructed a coherent and epic narrative that composes a crucial part of his father’s literary oeuvre. In the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West following the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World, Morgoth—the first Dark Lord—dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron. As he waged war against the lands and secret cities of the Elves, the tragedy ...
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The Children of Húrin

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Overview

After long study of the various manuscripts that composed this early tale of Middle-Earth, Christopher Tolkien has constructed a coherent and epic narrative that composes a crucial part of his father’s literary oeuvre. In the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West following the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World, Morgoth—the first Dark Lord—dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron. As he waged war against the lands and secret cities of the Elves, the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Nienor unfolds. Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulates the fates of Túrin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth is fulfilled. Unabridged and read by Christopher Lee—the actor who portrayed Saruman in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy—this is a gripping story of Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, and struggle and revenge.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
For fantasy fans young and old, the much-anticipated release of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Húrin (begun in 1918 and never fully completed) is like the unearthing of a long-lost holy book. The dark, wartorn epic of love and loss, set in the First Age of Middle-earth, is one of Tolkien's three Great Tales of the Elder Days (along with Beren and Lúthien and the Fall of Gondolin), and according to Christopher Tolkien in the novel's preface, it is "integral" to understanding the complex history of Elves and Men in Middle-earth.

While fighting side by side with Elven allies against the evil Morgoth and his minions of Orcs, Húrin Thalion -- one of the greatest warriors of the First Age -- is captured and brought back to Morgoth's stronghold, where the Great Enemy places a curse, a "dark doom," on the hero and his offspring. Imprisoned atop a mountain peak, Húrin is forced to witness the horrific ordeals that beset his son Túrin and his daughter Nienor…

Easily the most monumental publishing event of 2007, The Children of Húrin is an absolute must-read for fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as for genre historians and fantasy aficionados alike. Featuring spectacular illustrations from the legendary Alan Lee, Tolkien's oldest -- and arguably darkest -- Middle-earth tale is replete with grand-scale adventure, awe-inspiring magic, and one the most unforgettably heroic (and tragic) story lines genre fans will ever experience. This heartrending tale of Túrin and Nienor will undoubtedly become one of the most popular chronicles of Middle-earth. Classic Tolkien. Paul Goat Allen
Elizabeth Hand
If anyone still labors under the delusion that J. R. R. Tolkien was a writer of twee fantasies for children, this novel should set them straight. A bleak, darkly beautiful tale played out against the background of the First Age of Tolkien's Middle Earth, The Children of Hurin possesses the mythic resonance and grim sense of inexorable fate found in Greek tragedy.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

What could be more apropos than hiring the face of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings to read Tolkien's newly complete version of these pre-Ringstales? Christopher Lee, the British actor beloved for his role in Peter Jackson's trilogy as well as his numerous turns in Hammer fright films, reads Tolkien's Ringsprecursor as if still in full makeup. Booming and vaguely menacing, Lee sounds like Sauron around the campfire, entertaining his minions with a tale of adventure and woe. Even Lee cannot sound entirely convincing bellowing some of Tolkien's invented languages, but his reading is suitably ominous. Tolkien's son, Christopher, who edited his father's book, also contributes a preface and introduction he reads himself. His voice-phlegmy and rough-provides a taste of what it might have sounded like had the author himself been available to read his own work. Simultaneous release with the Houghton Mifflin hardcover (reviewed online). (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist

Read by Lee in delightfully melancholy and beautifully sonorous tones.

Library Journal

Drawing on a manuscript that his father began in 1918 and reworked throughout his life, Christopher Tolkien, who has edited 14 posthumous volumes of his dad's work, spent decades shaping the story's many drafts into this final form, which was released in a beautiful, illustrated hardcover in April 2007. HarperCollinsUK Audiobooks has kept that same spirit, and this audio version is equally alluring, featuring a booklet sporting all of the book's illustrations by Tolkien artist Alan Lee and a fold-out map of Middle-earth, as well as an introduction read by the younger Tolkien. Equally glorious is the reading by actor Christopher Lee, already associated with Tolkien through his performance as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings films. His deep voice brings the proper sense of woe to this dark tale. A nice extra is hearing the proper pronunciation of the player and place names in the author's mythical world. Set centuries before Rings, the plot unfurls the lives of Túrin and Niënor, son and daughter to Húrin, a great warrior held captive by Morgoth, the Dark Lord, whose malice dooms his enemy's children as well. Highly recommended.
—Michael Rogers

Library Journal
Having rummaged through his father's multitudinous papers for 30 years, Christopher Tolkien was finally able to pull together the various pieces (some previously published) that make up this story-important background for the creation of Middle-earth. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School -While much of the material here was published posthumously in books like The Silmarillion (1985) and Unfinished Tales (1988, both Del Rey), Tolkien delivered it in a loosely connected way that made it difficult to read. Edited by his son, this new volume draws from both of these earlier sources to pull together a complete single narrative set in pre-Hobbit Middle Earth. Túrin, son of the human lord Húrin and the elven lady Morwen, becomes a pivotal force in the ongoing battle against evil in an epic adventure full of intrigue and clever battle scenes. The early parts of the story focus on Túrin's young life. As an adult, he is wrongly judged for the death of an elf and banished for the rest of his life. He manages to become the leader of a ragtag band of forest outlaws that cause no end of problems for forces of evil trying to usurp the kingdom. Túrin is charismatic, brave, cocky, and as equally skilled at getting into trouble as he is at getting out of it. Lee's black-and-white drawings and full-color paintings come from the traditions of fantasy illustration and offer dramatic visuals throughout the book. The language and vocabulary, especially in the dialogue, might intimidate casual readers, but ambitious fans of fantasy will find a work that reminds them why we continue to place Tolkien at the zenith of fantasy literature after so many years.-Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
All your old T-shirts and bumper stickers inscribed "Frodo Lives" may have to be replaced. Old Hobbits do die hard-but there are none even born yet in this reconstructed tale of Middle Earth during the Elder Days (i.e., thousands of years prior to events immortalized in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy). Begun in 1918, revised several times, never published (though a capsule version of its narrative appears as a chapter in the posthumously published volume The Silmarillion), this appealing yarn is very nearly vintage Tolkien. To be sure, Middle Earth is under siege early in its history. The reigning villain is Dark Lord Morgoth (Sauron is merely one of his lieutenants), a demonic sort who rules a huge northern fortress ringed by mountains and destroys his enemies through the focused power of his malevolent will-more often than not incarnated in the figure of Glaurung, an exceedingly nasty "dragon of fire." Their vengeful energies seek out two inordinately plucky youngsters-stalwart Turin and his beautiful sister Nienor-who share the curse pronounced on their father Hurin, an intrepid Elfin warrior who had brazenly defied Morgoth. The episodic narrative takes off when Hurin leaves his sister and their mother Morwen (a veritable Penelope patiently awaiting her Ulysses's return) to undertake a series of adventures that involve him with a brawling band of outlaws, the memorable Battle of Unnumbered Tears against what seem innumerable hordes of invading Orcs-remember them?), a duplicitous dwarf who offers the "shelter" of his underground stronghold and a terrific climactic encounter with the . . . uh, inflamed Glaurung. Strong echoes of the Finnish epic Kalevala, the tales of Robin Hood,Homeric epic and the matter of Wagnerian opera charge the text with complexity as well as vigor. And introductory and textual notes provided by the volume's editor, Tolkien's son Christopher, add welcome clarification. A fine addition to a deservedly well-loved body of work.
From the Publisher
"It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the Children of Húrin as an independent work" Christopher Tolkien

“The Children of Hurin is about to thrill and intrigue millions. It is safe to say that the 'great tale' of Turin is about to become a global myth…in its own dotty but also awe-inspiring way, it works.” Sunday Times Culture

“…worthy of a readership beyond Tolkien devotees…this book deserves to eclipse all his other posthumous writings, and stand as a worthy memorial to the imagination of Tolkien.' The Times

“I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology'… It isn't jolly, but then neither is Anthony and Cleopatra.” The Independent on Sunday

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618894642
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/17/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 293,703
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in World War I, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81.
 

Biography

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father's death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.

His mother died when he was only twelve and both he and his brother were made wards of the local priest and sent to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where Tolkien shine in his classical work. After completing a First in English Language and Literature at Oxford, Tolkien married Edith Bratt. He was also commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought in the battle of the Somme. After the war, he obtained a post on the New English Dictionary and began to write the mythological and legendary cycle which he originally called "The Book of Lost Tales" but which eventually became known as The Silmarillion.

In 1920 Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds which was the beginning of a distinguished academic career culminating with his election as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. Meanwhile Tolkien wrote for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit. It was his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who asked for a sequel to The Hobbit and gradually Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, a huge story that took twelve years to complete and which was not published until Tolkien was approaching retirement. After retirement Tolkien and his wife lived near Oxford, but then moved to Bournemouth. Tolkien returned to Oxford after his wife's death in 1971. He died on 2 September 1973 leaving The Silmarillion to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins (UK).

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 3, 1892
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)
    1. Date of Death:
      September 2, 1973
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

THE CHILDHOOD OF TÚRIN

 Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edain and wellbeloved by the Eldar. He dwelt while his days lasted under the lordship of Fingolfin, who gave to him wide lands in that region of Hithlum which was called Dor-lómin. His daughter Glóredhel wedded Haldir son of Halmir, lord of the Men of Brethil; and at the same feast his son Galdor the Tall wedded Hareth, the daughter of Halmir. 

Galdor and Hareth had two sons, Húrin and Huor. 

Húrin was by three years the elder, but he was shorter in stature than other men of his kin; in this he took after his mother’s people, but in all else he was like Hador, his grandfather, strong in body and fiery of mood. But the fire in him burned steadily, and he had great endurance of will. Of all Men of the North he knew most of the counsels of the Noldor. Huor his brother was tall, the tallest of all the Edain save his own son Tuor only, and a swift runner; but if the race were long and hard Húrin would be the first home, for he ran as strongly at the end of the course as at the beginning. There was great love between the brothers, and they were seldom apart in their youth. 

Húrin wedded Morwen, the daughter of Baragund son of Bregolas of the House of Bëor; and she was thus of close kin to Beren One-hand. Morwen was dark-haired and tall, and for the light of her glance and the beauty of her face men called her Eledhwen, the elven-fair; but she was somewhat stern of mood and proud. The sorrows of the House of Bëor saddened her heart; for she came as an exile to Dorlómin from Dorthonion after the ruin of the Bragollach. 

Túrin was the name of the eldest child of Húrin and Morwen, and he was born in that year in which Beren came to Doriath and found Lúthien Tinúviel, Thingol’s daughter. Morwen bore a daughter also to Húrin, and she was named Urwen; but she was called Lalaith, which is Laughter, by all that knew her in her short life. 

Huor wedded Rían, the cousin of Morwen; she was the daughter of Belegund son of Bregolas. By hard fate was she born into such days, for she was gentle of heart and loved neither hunting nor war. Her love was given to trees and to the flowers of the wild, and she was a singer and a maker of songs. Two months only had she been wedded to Huor when he went with his brother to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and she never saw him again.

But now the tale returns to Húrin and Huor in the days of their youth. It is said that for a while the sons of Galdor dwelt in Brethil as foster-sons of Haldir their uncle, after the custom of Northern men in those days. They often went to battle with the Men of Brethil against the Orcs, who now harried the northern borders of their land; for Húrin, though only seventeen years of age, was strong, and Huor the younger was already as tall as most full-grown men of that people. 

On a time Húrin and Huor went with a company of scouts, but they were ambushed by the Orcs and scattered, and the brothers were pursued to the ford of Brithiach. There they would have been taken or slain but for the power of Ulmo that was still strong in the waters of Sirion; and it is said that a mist arose from the river and hid them from their enemies, and they escaped over the Brithiach into Dimbar. There they wandered in great hardship among the hills beneath the sheer walls of the Crissaegrim, until they were bewildered in the deceits of that land and knew not the way to go on or to return. There Thorondor espied them, and he sent two of his Eagles to their aid; and the Eagles bore them up and brought them beyond the Encircling Mountains to the secret vale of Tumladen and the hidden city of Gondolin, which no Man had yet seen. 

There Turgon the King received them well, when he learned of their kin; for Hador was an Elf-friend, and Ulmo, moreover, had counselled Turgon to deal kindly with the sons of that House, from whom help should come to him at need. Húrin and Huor dwelt as guests in the King’s house for well nigh a year; and it is said that in this time Húrin, whose mind was swift and eager, gained much lore of the Elves, and learned also something of the counsels and purposes of the King. For Turgon took great liking for the sons of Galdor, and spoke much with them; and he wished indeed to keep them in Gondolin out of love, and not only for his law that no stranger, be he Elf or Man, who found the way to the secret kingdom or looked upon the city should ever depart again, until the King should open the leaguer, and the hidden people should come forth. 

But Húrin and Huor desired to return to their own people and share in the wars and griefs that now beset them. And Húrin said to Turgon: ‘Lord, we are but mortal Men, and unlike the Eldar. They may endure for long years awaiting battle with their enemies in some far distant day; but for us the time is short, and our hope and strength soon wither. Moreover we did not find the road to Gondolin, and indeed we do not know surely where this city stands; for we were brought in fear and wonder by the high ways of the air, and in mercy our eyes were veiled.’ Then Turgon granted his prayer, and he said: ‘By the way that you came you have leave to return, if Thorondor is willing. I grieve at this parting; yet in a little while, as the Eldar account it, we may meet again.’ 

But Maeglin, the King’s sister-son, who was mighty in Gondolin, grieved not at all at their going, though he begrudged them the favour of the King, for he had no love for any of the kindred of Men; and he said to Húrin: ‘The King’s grace is greater than you know, and some might wonder wherefore the strict law is abated for two knavechildren of Men. It would be safer if they had no choice but to abide here as our servants to their life’s end.’ ‘The King’s grace is great indeed,’ answered Húrin, ‘but if our word is not enough, then we will swear oaths to you.’ 

And the brothers swore never to reveal the counsels of Turgon, and to keep secret all that they had seen in his realm. Then they took their leave, and the Eagles coming bore them away by night, and set them down in Dor-lómin before the dawn. Their kinsfolk rejoiced to see them, for messengers from Brethil had reported that they were lost; but they would not tell even to their father where they had been, save that they were rescued in the wilderness by the Eagles that brought them home. But Galdor said: ‘Did you then dwell a year in the wild? Or did the Eagles house you in their eyries? But you found food and fine raiment, and return as young princes, not as waifs of the wood.’ ‘Be content, father,’ said Húrin, ‘that we have returned; for only under an oath of silence was this permitted. That oath is still on us.’ Then Galdor questioned them no more, but he and many others guessed at the truth. For both the oath of silence and the Eagles pointed to Turgon, men thought. 

So the days passed, and the shadow of the fear of Morgoth lengthened. But in the four hundred and sixtyninth year after the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth there was a stirring of hope among Elves and Men; for the rumour ran among them of the deeds of Beren and Lúthien, and the putting to shame of Morgoth even upon his throne in Angband, and some said that Beren and Lúthien yet lived, or had returned from the Dead. In that year also the great counsels of Maedhros were almost complete, and with the reviving strength of the Eldar and the Edain the advance of Morgoth was stayed, and the Orcs were driven back from Beleriand. Then some began to speak of victories to come, and of redressing the Battle of the Bragollach, when Maedhros should lead forth the united hosts, and drive Morgoth underground, and seal the Doors of Angband. 

But the wiser were uneasy still, fearing that Maedhros revealed his growing strength too soon, and that Morgoth would be given time enough to take counsel against him. ‘Ever will some new evil be hatched in Angband beyond the guess of Elves and Men,’ they said. And in the autumn of that year, to point their words, there came an ill wind from the North under leaden skies. The Evil Breath it was called, for it was pestilent; and many sickened and died in the fall of the year in the northern lands that bordered on the Anfauglith, and they were for the most part the children or the rising youth in the houses of Men. 

In that year Túrin son of Húrin was yet only five years old, and Urwen his sister was three in the beginning of spring. Her hair was like the yellow lilies in the grass as she ran in the fields, and her laughter was like the sound of the merry stream that came singing out of the hills past the walls of her father’s house. Nen Lalaith it was named, and after it all the people of the household called the child Lalaith, and their hearts were glad while she was among them. 

But Túrin was loved less than she. He was dark-haired as his mother, and promised to be like her in mood also; for he was not merry, and spoke little, though he learned to speak early and ever seemed older than his years. Túrin was slow to forget injustice or mockery; but the fire of his father was also in him, and he could be sudden and fierce. Yet he was quick to pity, and the hurts or sadness of living things might move him to tears; and he was like his father in this also, for Morwen was stern with others as with herself. He loved his mother, for her speech to him was forthright and plain; but his father he saw little, for Húrin was often long away from home with the host of Fingon that guarded Hithlum’s eastern borders, and when he returned his quick speech, full of strange words and jests and half-meanings, bewildered Túrin and made him uneasy. At that time all the warmth of his heart was for Lalaith his sister; but he played with her seldom, and liked better to guard her unseen and to watch her going upon grass or under tree, as she sang such songs as the children of the Edain made long ago when the tongue of the Elves was still fresh upon their lips. 

‘Fair as an Elf-child is Lalaith,’ said Húrin to Morwen; ‘but briefer, alas! And so fairer, maybe, or dearer.’ And Túrin hearing these words pondered them, but could not understand them. For he had seen no Elf-children. None of the Eldar at that time dwelt in his father’s lands, and once only had he seen them, when King Fingon and many of his lords had ridden through Dor-lómin and passed over the bridge of Nen Lalaith, glittering in silver and white. 

But before the year was out the truth of his father’s words was shown; for the Evil Breath came to Dor-lómin, and Túrin took sick, and lay long in a fever and dark dream. And when he was healed, for such was his fate and the strength of life that was in him, he asked for Lalaith. But his nurse answered: ‘Speak no more of Lalaith, son of Húrin; but of your sister Urwen you must ask tidings of your mother.’ 

And when Morwen came to him, Túrin said to her: ‘I am no longer sick, and I wish to see Urwen; but why must I not say Lalaith any more?’ 

‘Because Urwen is dead, and laughter is stilled in this house,’ she answered. ‘But you live, son of Morwen; and so does the Enemy who has done this to us.’ 

She did not seek to comfort him any more than herself; for she met her grief in silence and coldness of heart. But Húrin mourned openly, and he took up his harp and would make a song of lamentation; but he could not, and he broke his harp, and going out he lifted up his hand towards the North, crying: ‘Marrer of Middle-earth, would that I might see you face to face, and mar you as my lord Fingolfin did!’ But Túrin wept bitterly at night alone, though to Morwen he never again spoke the name of his sister. To one friend only he turned at that time, and to him he spoke of his sorrow and the emptiness of the house. This friend was named Sador, a house-man in the service of Húrin; he was lame, and of small account. He had been a woodman, and by ill-luck or the mishandling of his axe he had hewn his right foot, and the footless leg had shrunken; and Túrin called him Labadal, which is ‘Hopafoot’, though the name did not displease Sador, for it was given in pity and not in scorn. Sador worked in the outbuildings, to make or mend things of little worth that were needed in the house, for he had some skill in the working of wood; and Túrin would fetch him what he lacked, to spare his leg, and sometimes he would carry off secretly some tool or piece of timber that he found unwatched, if he thought his friend might use it. Then Sador smiled, but bade him return the gifts to their places; ‘Give with a free hand, but give only your own,’ he said. He rewarded as he could the kindness of the child, and carved for him the figures of men and beasts; but Túrin delighted most in Sador’s tales, for he had been a young man in the days of the Bragollach, and loved now to dwell upon the short days of his full manhood before his maiming. 

‘That was a great battle, they say, son of Húrin. I was called from my tasks in the wood in the need of that year; but I was not in the Bragollach, or I might have got my hurt with more honour. For we came too late, save to bear back the bier of the old lord, Hador, who fell in the guard of King Fingolfin. I went for a soldier after that, and I was in Eithel Sirion, the great fort of the Elf-kings, for many years; or so it seems now, and the dull years since have little to mark them. In Eithel Sirion I was when the Black King assailed it, and Galdor your father’s father was the captain there in the King’s stead. He was slain in that assault; and I saw your father take up his lordship and his command, though but new come to manhood. There was a fire in him that made the sword hot in his hand, they said. Behind him we drove the Orcs into the sand; and they have not dared to come within sight of the walls since that day. But alas! my love of battle was sated, for I had seen spilled blood and wounds enough; and I got leave to come back to the woods that I yearned for. And there I got my hurt; for a man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.’ 

In this way Sador would speak to Túrin as he grew older; and Túrin began to ask many questions that Sador found hard to answer, thinking that others nearer akin should have had the teaching. And one day Túrin said to him: ‘Was Lalaith indeed like an Elf-child, as my father said? And what did he mean, when he said that she was briefer?’ ‘Very like,’ said Sador; ‘for in their first youth the children of Men and Elves seem close akin. But the children of Men grow more swiftly, and their youth passes soon; such is our fate.’ 

Then Túrin asked him: ‘What is fate?’ 

‘As to the fate of Men,’ said Sador, ‘you must ask those that are wiser than Labadal. But as all can see, we weary soon and die; and by mischance many meet death even sooner. But the Elves do not weary, and they do not die save by great hurt. From wounds and griefs that would slay Men they may be healed; and even when their bodies are marred they return again, some say. It is not so with us.’ 

‘Then Lalaith will not come back?’ said Túrin. ‘Where has she gone?’

 ‘She will not come back,’ said Sador. ‘But where she has gone no man knows; or I do not.’ 

‘Has it always been so? Or do we suffer some curse of the wicked King, perhaps, like the Evil Breath?’ 

‘I do not know. A darkness lies behind us, and out of it few tales have come. The fathers of our fathers may have had things to tell, but they did not tell them. Even their names are forgotten. The Mountains stand between us and the life that they came from, flying from no man now knows what.’ 

‘Were they afraid?’ said Túrin. 

‘It may be,’ said Sador. ‘It may be that we fled from the fear of the Dark, only to find it here before us, and nowhere else to fly to but the Sea.’ 

‘We are not afraid any longer,’ said Túrin, ‘not all of us. My father is not afraid, and I will not be; or at least, as my mother, I will be afraid and not show it.’ 

It seemed then to Sador that Túrin’s eyes were not the eyes of a child, and he thought: ‘Grief is a hone to a hard mind.’ But aloud he said: ‘Son of Húrin and Morwen, how it will be with your heart Labadal cannot guess; but seldom and to few will you show what is in it.’ 

Then Túrin said: ‘Perhaps it is better not to tell what you wish, if you cannot have it. But I wish, Labadal, that I were one of the Eldar. Then Lalaith might come back, and I should still be here, even if she were long away. I shall go as a soldier with an Elf-king as soon as I am able, as you did, Labadal.’ 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 214 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(115)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 215 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 12, 2009

    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 involving a great warrior fighting in a darkness wrought by Morgoth, an enemy to whom Sauron was only a lieutenant. <BR/><BR/>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.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    J.R.R Tolkien does it again!

    I thought that this was a very entertaining book. I found myself wanting to reach the next page. However, the book is very grim and is full of surprises that leave you distraught. The book is written so well that you can feel the sadness that is happening and it adds greatly to the effect it has on you. Also, there is a lot of action in the book. Time and time again Turin is faced with a new enemy. When this happened I became eager to find out how the battle turns out because in the book you never know when it can take a turn for the worse. At times I found the book hard to read because of the numerous names and places that were so unfamiliar. If you get confused to the extent that you can no longer understand the story anymore, there are pages in the back of the book where you can find answers. I think this is a great read and extremely interesting. I would recommend this to people without hesitation.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    Not An Easy Read But Well Worth The Effort

    Set in the first age of Middle Earth, The Children Of Hurin recounts the life of Turin, Hurin¿s son. Nearly 7,000 years before the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, men and elves struggle against Morgoth, the enemy who has placed a curse on Hurin¿s family. Raised as a fosterling by a king of elves, Turin tries to escape the doom set upon him and in doing so ensnares friends and family in the evil plots and designs of Morgoth. For the avid Tolkien reader, The Children Of Hurin adds yet more detail and substance to J. R. R. Tolkien¿s creation. The same stunning and descriptive language used in both the Lord Of The Rings and The Silmarillion invests the reader in the tale. The Children Of Hurin is not an easy book to read, but like Beowulf or Le Morte d¿ Arthur it is well worth the effort. It is rare to find such mythic and compelling work among the flotsam and jetsam of current fantasy writings. For those who love the ¿old¿ tales, or for those who love mythology, The Children Of Hurin is a must read. Quill says: Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien¿s son) has brilliantly edited, compiled and presented his late father¿s unfinished works. One can only hope that there are more gems yet to be mined from that source!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    All around 5 star book.

    After reading the hobbit and lord of the rings a lot of people seem not to read anymore Tolkien. This was quite an amazing book really, In the first few pages they hit you with a lot of information, but don't stop reading try to understand as best you can, It will get easier. I loved the entire storyline, I enjoyed the characters of this book quite a lot, that should be noted. Lastly, the deluxe edition has been quite a nice addition to my little library, looks simple yet just looks so awesome. It has Awesome illistrations and sketches. The fold out map in the back really helps you to know whats going on and where, and the little dictionary in the back definitely helps you to understand the book. I would highly recommend this book, especially if you already enjoy Tolkien books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    Wonderful story!

    It reminded me much of a Greek tragedy. Some people dislike the archaic style, but I for one loved it. It is now one of my favorite books. The characters, especially Turin, were deep and complex. It is hard at first to distinguish his actions, but you must remember his curse.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Great book :)

    I recently finishedLOTR, and they were just as good as this! Some parts got confusing, but other than that I loved it!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    To old

    Dont get tricked by the headline. I believe it is a little old for my 11 year old age. It has a really descriptive writing done so well that i dpnt know what it means. (This is where the look up comes in.) Maybe ill read it when im older...

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect Tragedy

    If you like fantasy or tragedy this book is for you. The tale is beautiful, timeless. As always, Tolkien created another masterpiece.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    Another Satisfying Exploration of the Tolkien Universe

    I will keep this short. For fans of the Tolkien Universe this further exploration and expansion makes an enjoyable read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    great!!!

    i love this book! i think that everyone should read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    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 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.

    2 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ok I absolutely loved this book. It was constantly entertaining. It did have its slow points but over all I loved this book. It rose above my expectations with flying colors. Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    Great Book!

    This is an outstanding book. However, it also has to be about the most depressing story I have ever read. Nonetheless, it kept me so engrossed that I couldn't put the book down. If you liked the Simarillian, you will LOVE this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Amazing story

    Amazing story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Plot summary please?

    Can anyone please provide a quick summary of the plot?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Eowyn

    Me too!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    MAKE A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If this really is part of the middle earth saga, make it into a movie! Guigermo del Toro, Im looking at you back there in the corner!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Tragic yet gripping

    I loved this book. I am a huge lotr fan but i had a hard time reading the silmarillion. The story of hurin, morwen, turin neinor, and everybody else told in story format was a lot easier to read than the turin chapter in the silmarillion. The story is so sad because all those that hurin loved are basically doomed to misery by morgoth. But you cant help hoping that they will somehow escape their fate and live a happy life like they deserve. Even though turin is a stubborn jerk at times i couldnt help but feel sorry for him. He more than pays for his bad choices. The ending is heartbreaking but powerful. all in all a must have for lotr fanatics and a wonderful tale from middle earths history!! - a teenage girl who eagerly awaits the third hobbit movie. Less than three months to go...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Want a free ipad

    Kiss your hand three timesvand then post this comment three times on different books. Then look ubder your pillow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 215 Customer Reviews

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