The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by JRR Tolkien
Edited by Verlyn Flieger
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien rejoice (or despair) for your Christmas list just got one item longer. The latest edition in the series of Tolkien's published posthumous works, The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun, was published early-November, and it's just as beautiful as all that have come before.
Christopher Tolkien has long been known for his meticulous work cataloguing, annotating, analysing, and introducing his father's many unpublished works. At first the material was primarily related to The Lord of the Rings, or more accurately, Tolkien's 'Silmarillion' legendarium --- including the wonderful 12-volume The History of Middle Earth, which includes drafts, revisions, and countless extra material of The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and more. However, Christopher's father was prolific, and over the years J.R.R. Tolkien wrote on a great many different topics, with great skill.
Subsequently, over the past decade, we have been blessed with numerous books including The Children of Húrin, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur, and The Story of Kullervo. (We're also hotly anticipating the next one, Beren and Lúthien, due out next year.) Each book includes an introduction, various draft-versions of the original work, annotations or commentary, and sometimes an essay or three thrown in relating to the work, or the field in which the work resides.
In short, for any true Tolkien fan, these books are a must read.
The latest, The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun, fits the same mould – though like Kullervo, it is edited not by Christopher Tolkien, but rather preeminent Tolkien-scholar Verlyn Flieger. This beautiful little hardcover is thinner than the others, as we are dealing with a poem, or more accurately a lay. The book therefore includes the lay itself, commentary and introduction, as well as two smaller-but-related poems, and the multiple drafts of the poem.
The poem itself is fascinating, and though there are clues to future characters Tolkien would write, it is quite unlike most anything we have read of his. It is a darker tale, dealing with a witch who ensorcels a Lord (Aotrou) longing for a child for himself and his Lady (Itroun). The witch, a Corrigan, is similarly the focal point of the two shorter poems included in this edition.
The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun is a wonderful addition to any Tolkien fan's collection, and in a way other editions haven't, expands our knowledge of Tolkien's ability and interests.
This The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun book review was written by Joshua S Hill
Have you read The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with ru...
Wheel of Time
Life in Emond's Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al'Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magic...
The Dark Elf Trilogy
Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first rev...
Deep Into The Heart of a Rose
On a crisp autumn morning, in his cottage in the idyllic land of the Vale, Mr. Edward T. Cozzlebottom composed the following letter for his secret love, the graceful and lo...
Crown of Stars
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her...
Blood Of Elves
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changes, and now the races once again fight each other - an...
Monster Blood Tattoo
Rossamund has always dreamed of a career in the Navy, fighting tentacled monsters and rescuing damsels from hook-handed pirates. But fate has chosen him for a different pat...
Dawn of Wonder
When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer wit...
Wards of Faerie
With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins... There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dom...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: