The estate of “Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien is releasing one of his unfinished work.
It is a mostly unknown work of prose, and is one of his earliest attempts at building an original world, according to New York. The work eventually led to “The Silmarilion,” a five-part story about the universe of Ea, which has several lands, including Middle Earth, where “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” take place.
According to io9, Tolkein worked on “The Story of Kullervo” while studying at Oxford in 1914, and based it off the Finnish epic poem “Kalevala,” which he was studying.
Here is a description of “The Story of Kullervo” from Amazon:
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.
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 who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. 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 Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.
“The Story of Kullervo” was published once before, in the anthology “Tolkein Studies: Volume 7,” but that was for a scholarly review and didn’t reach the majority of Tolkein fans.