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As the final product of J.R.R. Tolkien's and his son's collaborative effort, The Children of Húrin tells the story of a world before the rule of Sauron, before the Rings of Power, even before the days of Elrond.
It chronicles the tragic story of Húrin. Specifically, Tolkien's novel recounts the lives of Húrin's children, Túrin and Niënor, and his beloved wife, Morwen, as they suffer under the malevolence of the Dark Lord Morgoth.
Tolkien, as always, presents a compelling story rich with history and detail. True to form, this novel glimpses Tolkien's definitive style and penchant for intricacy; however, there are elements decidedly "not Tolkien" - or, at least, not the one we know.
The influence of his son, Chrisopher, can be seen throughout the work, which gives it a unique flavor and style all its own that makes it different from the typical Tolkien.
It's different, but exceptional nonetheless.
It isn't a very happy book, to say the least. But if you don't mind having your day tinged with sadness (or entirely ruined), feel free to pick up Tolkien's novel and devour it. It's good for a tear jerker.
Written with the intention of being called a tragedy, The Children of Húrin stays true to its roots and embraces unfortunate circumstance, like Tolkien embraces fantasy - which is to say the two are virtually inseparable.
The house of Húrin, it would seem, simply can't escape tragedy. Enslavement, death, despair, suicide, agony, violence, misfortune - and much, much more. It's all very gruesome and grim.
And Húrin, trapped by Morgoth's power, is forced to hear and see every tragic event which befalls his children and his wife. Unable to move, unable to die, he is forced to watch as his family withers and endure their misfortunes as his own without running to their aid - he must watch and remain.