Into the Book

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The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended
After reading the Lord of the Rings and really liking Tolkien's writing, I felt that I had to try to find some more books that he had written. I knew that Lord of the Rings was the most well-known, but I found a book called The Children of Húrin. It's a good book, but I can see why it's not as well known as his other books...it's not as good.

The book is definitely interesting, but the plot reads slowly and it develops in a strange way. The Dark Master seems to be controlling the entire world then he isn't.

The Children of Húrin is mainly about Túrin, the son of Húrin, but since the book is called the Children of Húrin, it is also about Niënor, the daughter of Húrin and Morwen. Early in the book, Húrin is captured by the Dark Lord, Morgoth. Morwen remains at home with Túrin, who is still a little boy.

When Túrin grows up, he finds out that his father has been captured, and also finds out about a doom that Morgoth has placed upon him. Only when all of Húrin's children are killed will Morgoth release Húrin.

The book is mainly about Túrin's exploits and the different phases of his life he goes through. He lives with elves, leads a band of outlaws, seeks his family, and other things. Morwen and her newborn daughter, Niënor, when their land is invaded by Orcs, flee to the elven land of Doriath.

Túrin, who has changed his name to Turambar, and lived with a peaceful race of elves until the dragon, Glaurung, destroyed that city. Then Turambar flees to a land of peaceful woodland men. His mother and sister seek him out at the city that was destroyed, and they and their followers are scattered. His sister, Niënor finds the same woodmen which Turambar found, and lives there in peace. Not knowing he is her brother, Niënor (now called Nìniel), falls in love with Turambar and marries him.

With the dragon threatening to destroy their village, Turambar goes to slay Glaurung and is almost killed in the process. Finding him and thinking him dead, Nìniel throws herself off of a cliff and is killed. Turambar, when he finds out that his wife/sister has been killed, throws himself on the same sword which killed the dragon and kills himself.

Fulfilling his promise, Morgoth releases Húrin, who finds his wife Morwen at their children's grave, by the woodmen. When he finds his wife, Morwen dies.

The book is very different than the Lord of the Rings. Even when the good characters in Lord of the Rings are outnumbered, there always seems to be a ray of hope in the books. In The Children of Húrin, it seems like most of the book is dreary and let down. This makes sense, in a way, since it is about Húrin's children's doom, but the entire book still seems very depressing.

I guess I enjoyed reading this book, but I didn't devour it like I did the Lord of the Rings, and it was pretty much too depressing for me...I prefer to read happy stories. The book does give some good background of the Eldar days mentioned in Lord of the Rings, however. I have to give this book a rating that is somewhere around three and a half stars, since it wasn't the greatest but I did enjoy reading it.

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like it would be an interesting read to help fill you in on some stuff in lord of the rings, but it isn't as well written.

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  2. It is an interesting book, but, Like I said, I can see why it is not as popular as the Lord of the Rings. But still, a nice background to the mythology and legends behind Lord of the Rings.

    In Christ,
    Uriah

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