Books

Brief review of Tolkien’s The Children of Huren

I recently read “The Children of Huren,” only the second book by JRR Tolkien I’ve ever read. I unwisely bought the third book of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was in secondary school and I didn’t like it too much, which isn’t surprising since it is part of a trilogy. So with this book, a standalone book that is a collection of stories, I was able to more fully appreciate Tolkien. The Children of Huren isn’t bad, being a rather thrilling read. Set ages before the events in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Children of Huren is about, as you’d expect, the offspring of Huren, a human noble, during the dark times when elves and humans were under threat from Morgoth, an evil being with great powers, and his orc armies. Early on, Huren is captured after a great battle in which Morgoth’s army destroyed the human and elf allies and broke their alliance. He isn’t killed, but imprisoned in a sadistic way, and his son Turin is forced to grow up fatherless, becoming a feared and skilled warrior. It was kind of hard to follow at times, what with all the different characters and their links, this guy is the son of that lord who was the son of this other lord who was the ally of this king who is the grandsire of the first guy’s ally etc, and kingdoms and places, but I liked the book’s straightforward, bleak, narrative prose. Not wanting to give away the plot, I’ll just say things end badly for the main characters in a twisted way.

 

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