The story of Beren and Lúthien is one of the three central stories of Tolkien’s Elvish history, presented in this book in a new light, revealing the process of Tokien’s writing and how it evolved from its earliest concept to the latest, though never quite finished version.
Edited by Christopher Tolkien, Beren and Lúthien
is actually a collection of various versions, accompanied with a commentary on their conception and development and the reasoning behind it, following by now a familiar approach when it comes to Tolkien’s posthumously published works.
As such, it comes out rather academic – perhaps overly so – to a reader only interested in a ‘story’.
However, I found Beren and Lúthien
extremely readable and even refreshing and I loved rediscovering the already familiar story from The Silmarillion
with its different and new angles through both in prose and verse. Although Tolkien’s poetry does at times seem awkward, it is in most places highly evocative and yet again shows Tolkien’s skill. The latest written verses in particularly make you think about what he could have done if he had had more time.
I was, nevertheless, a little ‘disappointed’ to learn that Tolkien was apparently not a cat person (just kidding, LOL.)
All in all, Beren and Lúthien
was an enjoyable and quick read that only rekindled my love for all things Tolkien, so maybe even 4.5 stars.
This review was first published on my book blog, Beyond Strange New Words.