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 cruellest of fates. The author himself described it as "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own" and "a major matter in the legends of the First Age". The story was deliberately left incomplete after a few thousand words, but later developed into the tragic tale of Túrin Turambar in The Silmarillion.
The manuscript was first published in Tolkien Studies: Volume 7 in 2010, and will now be published "for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, the Kalevala" by HarperCollins on August 27, with an international edition available on October 13. (Amazon US / Amazon UK)