Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Tolkien is my greatest literary influence, and this is by far my favorite of his works, posthumous or otherwise. His son Christopher has done a great service to the world and an honor to his father in compiling, editing, and publishing this work.
The Children of Húrin is a grim tragedy set in a grim age of J.R.R’s world. Its classic structure and derivation from ancient myths lend it an aspect of archaism and nearness that is one of Tolkien’s greatest strengths as a storyteller.
The language is beautiful, the prose aphoristic and romantic in the elegantly simple way that he mastered.
Despite its tragic, and at times horrific events, this is a story and a world manifested from the mind of a man with an eye for silver lined sorrows. The deep woes are ever limned by a silhouette of light, of hope, of a wisdom that even in sadness there is a beauty. Soft, and subtle, and stronger for that.
If I had to pick one novel to re-read for a lifetime, I would pick this. My copy is wayworn and tattered, having seen many places in this world as it joins me from adventure to adventure.
If you’re a fan of Tolkien; a fan of beauty in sorrow; this novel, this saga, this masterful reimagining of myth belongs in your library.