Once again Ukrainian publishers have beaten the Russian in translating and releasing a foreign bestseller– this time it’s “The Children of Hurin,” the latest novel by iconic writer J.R.R. Tolkien, according to Kyiv Post.

Kateryna Onyschuk from Lviv who translated the novel said that while working on Tolkien’s book she dreamt of elves and gnomes, helping her come up with the best translations.

“The Children of Hurin” is an epic high fantasy novel which Tolkien started writing in 1918, then revised several times later, but didn’t manage to complete until 1973. His son, Christopher Tolkien, used the manuscripts – notes and drafts of his father, to make it into a consistent narrative, and having spent 30 years working on the novel it was finally published in 2007.

Until recently, the book remained unpublished either in Russia or Ukraine, but the small Ukrainain publishing house Astroliabia, organized in 2001 at Lviv University, managed to finish the translation work before Russian publishing giant AST, which is going to release its version a bit later. According to Oleh Feshovets, director of Astroliabia, that was exactly the plan.

The plan was certainly a smart one, since the company will get a lot of extra profit, when Tolkien fans in Ukraine will rush out to the stores to get the book in whatever language they can understand.

The last few Harry Potter books, including the latest “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” were published in Ukrainian well before their Russian version. This allowed Ukrainian publishers to collect the share that previously went to Russians. But more importantly, it prompted many more kids to read the book in Ukrainian rather than Russian, and the book that wasn’t even for school.

by Alexandra Matoshko, Kyiv Post Guide Editor