Children of Hurin has been on my list for a long time and I finally got around to it. I am glad I did as it is an engaging, exciting and heart-breaking story. It is a welcomed return to Tolkien’s Middle Earth for fans of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.
As the title indicates, it is the story of Hurin’s children. Hurin was a human in the first age who defied the evil Morgoth. Morgoth cursed Hurin’s family. Most of the story is concerned with Hurin’s son, Turin. It is a story with many high points, but ultimately it ends low for Hurin’s family. As I finished the book I wondered if Tolkien was trying to recreate the feeling one gets when reading a Shakespeare tragedy.
Of course, though this story is a tragedy, when read in light of the entire world of Tolkien we can see that the tragedy of Turin is not the last word. In this Tolkien reflects real life, especially real life from a Christian perspective. There may be tragedies in our lives, failures and low moments. Many people in the world live lives that end in tragedy and from one perspective may appear absurd and filled with despair. How can good triumph when faced with such evil? But if we are able to step back and to view history from another level we know there is justice for Turin, Hurin and their family just as their is for all who are broken, oppressed, destitute and suffering.
I highly recommend this book for any fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, especially those who are intimidated by The Silmarillion. I failed at my first attempt at The Silmarillion. While Hurin’s story is told much briefer in that book, I think Children of Hurin may be a good step from LOTR to The Silmarillion.