J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin is now in print, and I just finished reading my recently arrived copy. Since Tolkien died in 1973, this book is actually a "reconstruction" by Tolkien's son Christopher Tolkien, working from his father's extensive unpublished notes and story fragments. I blogged about the debate over the "reconstruction" back in October, in this post. I think that the resulting book vindicates my prediction in the earlier that:
There is every reason to expect that Christopher Tolkien will do an equally good job of putting together The Children of Hurin [as he did with the earlier reconstruction of The Silmarillion], and that he will do his best to carry out his father's intentions.
The result will not be as good a book as might have emerged had J.R.R. Tolkien lived to finish it himself. But it will still reflect Tolkien's style and ideas, and will almost certainly be a lot better than nothing.
The book does indeed "reflect Tolkien's style and ideas." From just reading it, I would not have guessed that it was "reconstructed" as extensively as we know it has been. In many ways, the book is an expansion of the telling of the same story in the Silmarillion (where it is entitled "The Tale of Turin Turambar"). However, Children of Hurin broadens and deepens the tale and develops the characters better. To me, the most important difference is that the expanded version makes it much clearer that the hero suffers more from his own hubris and overly aggressive tactics than from bad luck or "fate." The story also emphasizes Tolkien's view (perhaps influenced by his experiences in World War I) that waging war against evil often requires time and patience, avoiding both premature defeatism and premature large-scale offensives.
The book is not without some shortcomings. But, overall, it is an impressive achievement by both J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien. Anyone with any interest in Tolkien's work should definitely read it. And, no, the Tolkien family and their publishers didn't pay me to write that:).