The Children of Húrin 2010 Mass Market

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       The Children of Húrin is another posthumously released entry into Tolkien’s legendarium. Edited by Christopher Tolkien, as are all (to my knowledge) his posthumous releases. The mass market paperback copy I own is a sixth printing from 2010. The book is a Del Rey/Ballantine Book, with illustrations by Alan Lee. The illustrations in the mass market edition is a good reason to buy a copy of this book at all. Alan Lee along with John Howe, are the most universally respected Middle-Earth artists, and it’s easy to see why. I missed out on the early printings of this release, but I do hope to get a hardcover copy (hopefully first edition) at some point. There is nothing stand out about it, but it serves its purpose for reading. I got my copy a few years ago at Strand Bookstore in New York City. The top floor has rare books, and when I was there they had early editions of the Lord of the Rings, so if you get the chance I definitely recommend paying them a visit. The story of Túrin, is fascinating, dark, melancholy and beautiful. A short version can be found in The Silmarillion, but for the unacquainted and veterans, this is an essential read. It demonstrates his storytelling prowess; the argument could be easily made that Tolkien’s stories of the First Age could be on par with Shakespeare and classic Greek tragedy. Túrin plays an important role in Middle-Earth mythology, eventually becoming a Valar, and having an essential role in Dagor Dagorath, which is essentially Tolkien’s version of Ragnarok. The Children of Húrin, The Fall of Gondolin, and Beren and Lúthien are stories Tolkien thought merited full length tellings, and its easy to see why. This is one of my absolute favorite Tolkien tales. It’s truly breath-taking and deserves at least a once read through. If you don’t have time to read it, you could always check out the audiobook read by the late and great Sir Christopher Lee himself. As always, happy reading and happy collecting!

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