reviewed Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien: Beren and Luthien (2017) 4 stars

Beren and Lúthien is a compilation of multiple versions of the epic fantasy Lúthien and …

Review of "Beren and Luthien" on Good Reads

4 stars

Whenever I read Tolkien, I am struck by just how prodigious his imagination was and how expansive the world he created could be. While many know him for "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," these are only the tip of the spear for a huge number of beautiful, well-crafted stories made with deep love, creativity, and affection.

"Beren and Luthen" are part of the three texts which editor Christopher Tolkien says are the three most complete, stand-alone stories from the earlier works of his father (the other two being the "The Children of Húrin" and "The Fall of Gondolin." These stories were told in shorter form as part of his monumental work "The Silmarillion." What makes this sort of book so fascinating is that the editor takes this one tale and shows how it evolved over multiple iterations and forms throughout JRR Tolkien's creative process. It was a story that meant a great deal to the author, as demonstrated by the fact that he had the two names inscribed on the headstones of himself and his wife. While this edition may appeal more to a devoted reader of the Tolkien legendarium (hence why I give the book a 4 out of 5), the story of Beren and Luthen is beautiful in an of itself and worth reading.