Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien have a great reason to celebrate this year. The author's estate will make a 100-year old story available to the public for the first time. The manuscript was previously published in Tolkien Studies: Volume 7, an annual scholarly review by author and Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger.
The work is called The Story of Kullervo, and is based off a Finnish epic poem called "The Kalevala". The story features an orphan who is cursed with supernatural powers and who has to defeat an evil magician. Tolkien used the tale as a base for his later works, even drawing some of the inspiration for the rich languages of Middle Earth from the epic story.
Tolkien began work on The Story of Kullervo when he was a student at Oxford in 1914. It is thought to be one of his first manuscripts, and though it was not completed in his lifetime, is still hotly anticipated by Tolkien fans. The Story of Kullervo will be released in the U.K. on August 27, in Canada on October 15, and in the United States on October 27. The work will be edited by Flieger, and comes complete with notes and supplementary essays. It is sure to be a great addition to any Tolkien fan's bookshelf, and will be interesting to see how the story of Middle Earth began to form.