A new JRR Tolkien book called “The Story of Kullervo” is coming out this year, and “Lord of the Rings” fans everywhere are rejoicing in light of the news. Although the epic story surrounding Frodo and the One Ring may remain Tolkien’s crowning achievement, this new work of fantasy will nonetheless provide readers an incredible look at the early writings of this talented fantasy author. WGN News reports this Tuesday, August 11, 2015, that the plot of the story involves a young man who goes on a journey to avenge the death of his father.
The story has been forgotten for over 100 years, but Tolkien’s publisher released a stunning announcement for classic fantasy readers everywhere this week. A new text, “The Story of Kullervo,” is set to be published and distributed among the public in just a few weeks. The release date for “The Story of Kullervo” is August 27th overseas and October 27th of this year here in the U.S. nation.
A good number of details surrounding “Kullervo” is still under wraps, but we do know that JRR Tolkien wrote the book back in 1914, and it thus stands as one of his earliest works. The story itself has been described as “powerful” with a male main character who has been sold into slavery, and vows that he will get payback against the magician that managed to kill his father. According to a publisher statement provided earlier this month:
“We are ready to announce the world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.”
Publisher Harper Collins will be releasing “The Story of Kullervo,” reports i09 News this week. Tolkien, despite passing away over 40 years ago in 1973, remains a widely read and beloved author whose books have since become famous trilogies on the big screen. Both “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” series are well-known by readers, movie goers, and sheer fantasy fans alike.
It appears that “Kullervo” is centered on an ancient Finnish poem, titled “The Kalevala,” that heavily influenced JRR Tolkien’s early studies and writings. The poem itself is stated to have been a “basis for his own stories and languages,” the most popular of which are the diverse and complex Elvish dialects. Tolkien is known to have drawn inspiration greatly from oral traditions and storytelling; many readers of “Beowulf” may notice similarities between the epic poem and “The Hobbit.”
“The Story of Kullervo” transforms the poetry from “The Kalevala” into Tolkien’s own prose encompassing an epic of human nature, vengeance, choice, and personal growth. Biographer and author of “Tolkien and the Great War”, John Garth, added that “[Tolkien] was ‘immensely attracted by something in the air’ of this verse epic of dueling Northern wizards and lovestruck youths, beer-drinkers and shape-changers’, then recently published in English in a popular edition.”
The notes of the author of “Lord of the Rings” will be included in the soon-to-be-released book. The new text is edited by Verlyn Flieger along with additional commentary that discusses Tolkien’s passion for the classic stories, which eventually evolved into the epic fantasy centered in Middle Earth. Here’s to waiting just a few more weeks (after over 100 years) for “The Story of Kullervo” to become a welcome addition to our libraries at home. Are you excited?
“The germ of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kalevala. It remains a major matter in the legends of the First Age (which I hope to publish as The Silmarillion).”