13 August 2015

Another book by Tolkien to be published

In just a few days the world will have access to yet another unfinished work of the great J.R.R. Tolkien when his The Story of Kullervo will be published in England on August 27, 2015.

The description of the book published by Harper Collins is as follows:
Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
For reasons I don't understand, the book will not be available in the U.S. until October 13, 2015. Because I don't want to wait until then - and because I'll already be back in Rome then - I've ordered a copy from England to be sent to me in Hawaii, where I look forward to reading it on the beach or - if it arrives too late - on the flight back to the mainland.
For those interested and already anxious to read it, Amazon.co.uk presently has the book - available by pre-order - on sale for £11.89 (the regular price is £16.99).

By my count, three books by J.R.R. Tolkien will have been published (The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf, and The Story of Kullervo) since George R.R. Martin last published a book.

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