The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Christopher Tolkien

The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Christopher Tolkien

I read this book for my Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club; alas, I will not be attending the meeting next Tuesday, as my other book club is meeting on the same night. And I enjoyed this Tolkien book, which is an expanded version of one of the stories in The Similarion, which I know and love.

During the First Age of Middle Earth, the Elves were in a great struggle with Morgoth, who had been Melkor, one of the Valar who had created Middle Earth; but Melkor decided to rule in Hell rather than serve in Heaven, and came down to Middle Earth to rule.

Among the Houses of Men allied with the Elves were the House of Hador and the House of Bëor; two female cousins of the House of Bëor married two brothers of the House of Hador, Húrin and Huor. The brothers fought in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, “the Battle of Unnumbered Tears”, against Morgoth; Huor was slain, and Húrin was captured by Morgoth. As Húrin’s will remained unbroken, Morgoth cursed his children, and set Húrin in a high place to watch the doom of his children (his son Túrin, just eight years old, and his unborn daughter).

What happens to Túrin is the heart of the book; his sister comes late into the story, but her doom enmeshes with his. Essentially, Túrin is a tragic flawed hero, quick of anger and resistant to taking good counsel; and it is not going too far to say that everything he touches participates in his doom.

I regret not being able to discuss this book with my Sci-Fi Fantasy book club, but I am glad to have read this book.

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