Kullervo’s uncle murders his father, and Kullervo vows to find revenge. He grows up wayward and wild and without compassion for anyone except his twin sister. With the help of the magical hound, Musti, Kullervo escapes the murderous machinations of his evil uncle. Kullervo has set his hand against the whole world, and he ruins crops, creates a wasteland in the forest, commits mass murder, and generally reeks destruction wherever he goes. His story is tragic for everyone involved.
This short story, one of Tolkien’s very early attempts at rewriting myths, includes a great deal of poetry, a tragic plot, and the delicious rich language that characterizes all of Tolkien’s works. Most of the book is commentary, essays, and notes about the story, its Finnish roots, and its influence on Tolkien’s later writing. Continue reading