The Children of Húrin - Alan Lee, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien This is a very dark and cold story, as so many reviewers have pointed out; but it's a tragedy, of course it wasn't going to be sunshine and rainbows. Turambar was one of my favorite characters in the Simlarillion, so naturally I was thrilled when I found out that he had his own book--and now he is one of my favorite characters in existence. This book is beautiful in the way that a thunderstorm is beautiful, terrifying and bleak and dazzling. I love every single word on every single page of it.

I like dark tales; I freely admit that. My favorite writer is Carol Berg, for goodness' sake. But I don't just enjoy this book because the tragedy breaks my heart, or because I love and sympathize with Turambar as I do with few other characters, or because I enjoy the magic and tension and battle scenes. I put this book on my favorites shelf because, through all of the suffering and sorrow, there is a beauty to it that few other books possess; a phenomenal story that I've been drawn back to over and over again; and a realism to it, the knowledge that not all endings are happy and not all lives are as blissful as we like to imagine they are.

This book makes my heart ache; it makes me feel Turambar's anger and his hurt. It makes me smile; it gives me the joy and satisfaction that a young boy once felt when he gave his dagger to an old cripple. And if a book can do all of this for me, I think it deserves to be recognized as one of the greatest works we know. If you enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien or Terry Brooks, or a dozen other writers of old-fashioned epic fantasy, I cannot recommend it enough.