Book Review: The Children of Hùrin by J. R. R. Tolkien
“In their light we are dimmed, or we burn with too quick a flame, and the weight of our doom lies heavier on us.”
This volume is a necessary, one might say essential, part of the corpus of Tolkien’s history of Middle Earth. Followers of Tolkien will certainly want to read it. Alas, however, this work lacks the quality of the works published in Tolkien’s lifetime. I blame the efforts of his son and executors less than the simple press of time and lack of collaborators while Tolkien still lived.
“Fear both the heat and the cold of your heart, and strive for patience.”
Reads like a synopsis with occasional dialogue at key points. That it approaches being a coherent whole forty years after the author’s death is credit to the diligence and hard work of his son, Christopher Tolkien.
“A man who flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
A sad story, gravely told. It is ever the doom of those with too much pride to be the vector of their own fall. No one wait, no one thinks, no one bears sound counsel; all suffer from their own impatience to have their way. So it was with the children of Hùrin.
“You look high, but I fall low.”
Please excuse the vocabulary; it comes from reading Tolkien while drinking tea. Count yourselves fortunate for not having to suffer my attempt of an English accent.
“Until the Valar come.”
I liked it but felt it was an inadequate expansion of what exists in the Silmarillion.