New J.R.R. Tolkien Book 'The Story of Kullervo' Is Coming, Because None Of Us Can Get Enough Middle Earth
It's confirmed: J.R.R. Tolkien is the Tupac of the literary fantasy world. A new Tolkien book The Story of Kullervo will be published later this month in the United Kingdom, 42 years after the iconic writer's death. This will mark the eighth (count them!) posthumous book releases since Tolkien died at age 81 in 1973. And yes, of course, it's set back in our beloved Middle Earth.
The Story of Kullervo is unfinished, but it will be accompanied by Tolkien's own notes about the story and the corresponding mythology. In addition, Tokien scholar Verlyn Flieger acts as editor of the project, including her own notes on the writer's work.
According to publisher HarperCollins, Tolkien called his work on The Story of Kullervo "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own." HarperCollins goes on to give a sneak peek into Tolkien's latest fantasy epic:
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.
The "darkest and most tragic"? "Luckless orphan with supernatural powers"? Swearing "revenge on the magician"? I'm on board.
True Tolkien fanatics know Kullervo's family tree from his another of the author's posthumous works, The Silmarillion. Kullervo is an ancestor of Túrin Turambar, The Children of Húrin's tragic hero who forms an incestuous relationship with his sister. His tombstone reads, "Master of Fate, yet by fate mastered."
This is the first new Tolkien book since the (also unfinished) narrative poem The Fall of Arthur in 2013. And I bet it's not just me who's hoping it's not the last.