Synopses & Reviews
There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings
, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West—lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Túrin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings
was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character—it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.
"What could be more apropos than hiring the face of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings to read Tolkien's newly complete version of these pre-Rings tales? Christopher Lee, the British actor beloved for his role in Peter Jackson's trilogy as well as his numerous turns in Hammer fright films, reads Tolkien's Rings precursor as if still in full makeup. Booming and vaguely menacing, Lee sounds like Sauron around the campfire, entertaining his minions with a tale of adventure and woe. Even Lee cannot sound entirely convincing bellowing some of Tolkien's invented languages, but his reading is suitably ominous. Tolkien's son, Christopher, who edited his father's book, also contributes a preface and introduction he reads himself. His voice phlegmy and rough provides a taste of what it might have sounded like had the author himself been available to read his own work. Simultaneous release with the Houghton Mifflin hardcover (reviewed online). (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
After long study of the various manuscripts that composed this early tale of Middle-Earth, Christopher Tolkien has constructed a coherent and epic narrative that composes a crucial part of his fathers literary oeuvre. In the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West following the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World, Morgoththe first Dark Lorddwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron. As he waged war against the lands and secret cities of the Elves, the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Nienor unfolds. Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulates the fates of Túrin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth is fulfilled. Unabridged and read by Christopher Leethe actor who portrayed Saruman in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogythis is a gripping story of Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, and struggle and revenge.
About the Author
J.R.R. Tolkien (18921973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His books have sold more than 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Christopher Tolkien is the son and appointed literary executor of J.R.R. Tolkien. He has devoted himself to the publication of his fathers unpublished writings, notably The History of Middle-Earth and The Silmarillion.