Posted in Book review, Reading Challenge

Book review: Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Back to origins. ❤ I’ve been a Tolkien fan ever since I was a teenager and have red the Lord of the Rings numerous times, repeatedly both in English and in Finnish. And yes, I have also read the Hobbit, Silmarillion and Book of Unfinished Tales in addition to many “non-fiction”, books about Tolkien’s stories.

Beren he summoned, and thus , as Lúthien had sworn as she kissed him at the hour of death, they met beyond the western sea.

Time to go back. ❤

But to be honest (and this is where the teenage-me would’ve been horrified), it has been years since I’ve read any of Tolkien’s books and I am a bit ashamed to admit this. There just doesn’t seem to be time to re-read anything anymore with the amount of books, games, tv series and movies available these days! 😦 So when I noticed that the love story of Beren and Lúthien has been given their own book, I knew it was time to revisit Middle-Earth.

Lists of names and a glossary in a fantasy book? Oh yes, you know it’s the good stuff when you need a list to help when you lose track of characters and places and their many second names and completely new names that are all mentioned at some point. Loved it and it felt wonderfully familiar even if my memory is a bit hazy on the events e.g. from Silmarillion. For me Tolkien’s world has been a place of comfort and joy and his books helped me through a lot of crap in my teenage years. Reading Beren and Lúthien felt like going back to my happy place. 🙂

That said, this wasn’t the easiest books to read as it’s not just the story of Beren and Lúthien, but it’s actually a collection of different versions of their story that Christopher Tolkien has gathered from his father’s manuscripts. So the book has comments, background info, a lot of clarifications and explanations, and some might find this distracting the reading experience. For me it was just fascinating to see how the story developed into the legendary love story between a mortal man and an immortal elf. The earliest version almost felt like something from a classic fairytale with giant, talking cats and a spinning wheel to spin your hair and magic. Beren wasn’t even a human in that version! Very interesting!

I enjoyed reading this book a lot, not just for the story, but also for the feeling of happiness it gave me. It’s nice to know that I still get the same kick out of Middle Earth that I did when I was 14 even if I don’t have the time to spend so much time in there anymore. ❤

Beren and Lúthien fills the Reading challenge prompt of:

14. The author’s last name starts with the same letter as yours

I wholeheartedly recommend this book if you are a fan of Tolkien’s works. I really admire how deeply Christopher Tolkien has devoted himself to his father’s life work and am grateful for all the posthumously published J.R.R. Tolkien books that Christopher Tolkien put together.

What Reading Challenge? Check out my earlier post here.


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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