It would seem as if a new J.R.R. Tolkien novel counts as event publishing, and certainly the upcoming release party, and HarperCollins UK’s splashy website seem to indicate such for the April 17 publication worldwide of THE CHILDREN OF HURIN, which Tolkien started in 1918 but eventually abandoned. His son, Christopher Tolkien, picked up the slack while Alan Lee provided illustrations. The Independent reports that the book, whose contents are being jealously guarded by publisher HarperCollins – is described as “an epic story of adventure, tragedy, fellowship and heroism.”

Tolkien experts are already tipping THE CHILDREN OF HURIN – which features significant battle scenes and at least one major twist – for big budget Hollywood treatment, even though the Tolkien estate says there are no plans in the works. Takings from the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy box office takings to date total some 1.5 billion pounds. Chris Crawshaw, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said: “It would probably make a very good movie, if anyone can secure the film rights. “Tolkien saw his work as one long history of Middle Earth: from the beginning of creation to the end of the Third Age. THE CHILDREN OF HURIN is an early chapter in that bigger story.”