Lilian Min
August 11, 2015 2:46 pm

Like many authors who write in vast fictional universes, J.R.R. Tolkien’s openly published works are just a small sliver of his total writing material. Though his Lord of the Rings trilogy and its predecessor The Hobbit have been adapted multiple times (most notably by Peter Jackson), it’s going to be a long time before anyone dares touch either property again. So, what’s a Tolkien fan to do besides re-read their dog-eared copy of The Silmarillion for the fiftieth time and catch those omnipresent LOTR marathons on cable TV? Well, how does indulging in one of Tolkien’s first epic stories, released publicly for the first time ever, sound?

That’s right: A 100-year-old Tolkien story, titled The Story of Kullervo, is slated for publication in America on October 27. (The UK, naturally, gets it sooner, on August 27.) Based off of a Finnish epic, Kullervo isn’t directly about Middle Earth but does help lay the groundwork for his later forays of language, world, and character building. Started while he was still a student at Oxford, Kullervo, “tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.” It’s a more straightforward story than the laborious Rings and definitely sounds darker than The Hobbit, but is ultimately not truly comparable to either; as Tolkien described the manuscript, “[It was] the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own.”

Kullervo‘s been published before, but only as part of Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger’s academic writing. Now, her edit of this unfinished story is coming out soon to grace fantasy fans, and we couldn’t be happier or more excited for a new way to indulge in one of the genre’s master’s work.


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(Image via Amazon)