Beren and Lúthien

J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (288p) ISBN 978-1-328-79182-5
Editor Christopher Tolkien successfully aims this latest version of Beren and Lúthien’s tale at two distinct audiences. This hybrid volume serves both as an introduction to a moving love story from the First Age of Middle Earth for fans who are not familiar with The Silmarillion and as a scholarly look at how Christopher’s father altered the tale over the years. Those in the first category should skip the spoiler-filled preface and go straight to the original version, which describes the love of the mortal Beren and the royal elf-maiden Lúthien. Lúthien’s father agrees to their marriage, but only if Beren retrieves a Silmaril jewel from the crown of Melko, the dark god who preceded Sauron as the embodiment of evil in Middle Earth. Despite that familiar fairy-tale setup, Lúthien herself plays an active part in the adventure. The prose isn’t always the elder Tolkien’s most polished, but the story works as a stand-alone tale. Those who have encountered it before will find that Christopher enhances their appreciation of it through his accessible illumination of how it evolved over the years. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-328-78486-5
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