I’ve just read Tolkien’s recently-published story The Children of Húrin. I don’t have a lot to say about it: in tone and voice, it’s somewhere between The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, so if you liked The Silmarillion you may like this one, and you liked The Lord of the Rings you might. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I will say that there are famed swords here, dark lords, elves, dwarves, and a dragon to be slain.
But this is dark stuff. This is the tragic-germanic side of Tolkien, in full Beowulf mode, where the hero who is fated to slay Glaurung the dragon is also doomed to perform dark, dark deeds, and ultimately to die by his own hand.
Oh, shoot, that’s a spoiler.
The thought I had as I finished this book is that it gives the lie to Moorcock’s criticism that Tolkien wrote “epic Pooh,” high church Anglican Toryism dressed up as fantasy. This stuff is as dark and hopeless as any Elric story.
Which is kinda awesome.