Happy Monday, Savvy Readers! I’ve got something epic to share with you.
Because… it’s an actual Epic! Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R Tolkien is our 50 Book Pledge Featured Read this week.
(Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy…!!!!!!)
The legend of Beren and Lúthien is told first in prose, and then expanded on in a combination of verse and prose, with detailed notes from Christopher Tolkien. As can be expected of J.R.R. Tolkien, the prose is lovely, and the verse is masterful. The story itself is elegant and classic. Beren, a mortal man, falls in love with Lúthien, an elf princess, after seeing her dance in the woods. He wins her heart, but her father, a great Elf King, forbids the union unless Beren can complete a near impossible quest. Lúthien, however, is willing to choose a mortal life with the man she loves, and together the couple undertakes her father’s quest to retrieve a Silmaril from the dark lord Morgoth’s crown.
Romantic, right? And in many ways Beren and Lúthien fills what is otherwise a gap in Tolkien’s body of work. Here is a grand romance brought front and centre, and while there’s adventure and magic, it’s the romance that unquestionably drives the story. Additionally, Tolkien has finally given us another independent, resourceful female character who knows her own mind and is willing to work past her fear to get what she wants.
And it’s all presented in a beautiful package complete with Alan Lee’s breathtaking illustrations. The novel not only tells the tale of Beren and Lúthien, but offers a chronological look at how the story developed, grew and changed in Tolkien’s notes over time. Christopher Tolkien includes a generous preface that includes contextual notes on the development and history of Middle Earth at that time. It’s all rounded out by an appendix at the end, which ensures that anyone can enjoy Beren and Lúthien, not just the hardcore Tolkien buffs. It’s the care and thought put into little details like that that makes Beren and Lúthien truly special, and an addition that’s bound to be treasured on anyone’s bookshelf!
So tell us, Savvy Readers, which of Tolkien’s stories is your favourite? And what are you most excited to return to Middle Earth for? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or tweet @SavvyReader.
AND before we forget, you can win one of two copies of this masterpiece by entering to win here. How about that!!!