Story of Kullervo

Author(s): J. R. R. Tolkien; Verlyn Flieger (Editor)

Fantasy Fiction

"Shows how Finnish mythology and folk tales were instrumental to how Tolkien created his own legendarium."--Boston Globe

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 tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wan┼Źna, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. 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 cruelest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own," and was "a major matter in the legends of the First Age." Tolkien's Kullervo is the clear ancestor of T rin Turambar, the tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published with the author's drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien's invented world.

"A fascinating read."--NPR

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Praise for J.R.R. Tolkien: 'One marvels anew at the depth, breadth and persistence of J.R.R. Tolkien's labour. No one sympathetic to his aims - the invention of a secondary universe - will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation.' Publishers Weekly

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 60 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

General Fields

  • : 9780008131364
  • : HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • : Harper Element
  • : August 2015
  • : September 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 192
  • : J. R. R. Tolkien; Verlyn Flieger (Editor)
  • : Hardback