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The Children of Hurin

Children of Hurin cover
'The Children of Húrin' sees me return to one of my favourite authors, JRR Tolkien, whom I haven't read since I last visited the Maldives on holiday (2004). Like 'The Silmarillion', this is another of the post-humous tales that Tolkien's son Christopher has pieced together. The story is set in the First Age of Middle Earth, well before the events of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings'. It's an expansion of a story within 'The Silmarillion', a tale of men within the story of the Elven war of the Silmarils.

Just like Ronseal, it does what it says on the tin; the story tells of the human hero Húrin, and his children, especially his son Túrin. It has fantastic imagery (Túrin predates Moorcock's Elric, but has a black sword and a similar feel of doom), dragons, battles and an all powerful dark lord. The tale is very black and bleak, and reads like a saga. Stylistically, it's very similar to 'the Silmarillion' in form rather than 'The Lord of the Rings'.

This was a welcome return to Middle Earth for me, and I think that I shall read some more there soon. I'd love to find an RPG engine that does the setting justice so I could play some games there; I may find one in October when Graham Spearing runs a First Age game with Heroquest based around these events.