Recommended fantasy books similar to J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien has inspired generation upon generation of new fantasy writers. Readers wanting to read more books similar to Tolkien's own asterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, found themselves falling happily under the spell own new works such as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and Terry Brooks' Shannara trilogy.
- Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realms of Light. Holger Carlsen, a bemused and puzzled twentieth-century man mysteriously snatched out of time, finds himself the key figure in the conflict. Arrayed against him are the dragons, giants and elven warriors of the armies of Chaos, and the beautiful sorceress Morgan le Fay. On his side is a vague prophecy, a quarrelsome dwarf and a beautiful woman who can turn herself into a swan, not to mention Papillon, the magnificent battle-horse, and a full set of perfectly fitting armour, both of which were waiting for him when he entered the magical realm. The shield bears three hearts and three lions - the only clue to Holger Carlsen's true identity. Could Carlsen really be a legendary hero, the only man who can save the world?
Our reviewer Ross Kitson says: "This is a classic of the genre by an excellent writer, a major influence for the half a century since it was created. It would be a great book to shove under the noses of those who think fantasy is all Tolkien-derivatives. It was a book out of its time in many ways."
- Dragonlance by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world. No one expected them to be heroes.
"Today’s generation of teenagers would say you do not understand magic if you have not read Harry Potter. Yet, every generation should understand that they are not the first to tread in dreams of magic and if you love Harry, then you will love Dragonlance."
- Beren and Luthien by JRR Tolkien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year. Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril. In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
"I recommend this book to those that have read many of Tolkien’s works. If you enjoyed Tolkien’s poetry editions, such as Beowulf a Translation and a Commentary and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, along with the books set in middle-earth then this will undoubtedly be for you. However, readers who are expecting to just enjoy a prose story will, ultimately, be disappointed with the content here."
- Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams
Thirty years ago Ineluki, the Storm King, was destroyed and his armies scattered. Osten Ard has been at peace ever since, ruled by Simon Snowlock, kitchen boy made king, and Miriamele, King Elias' only child. But now age weighs upon their reign. Simon's dreams have deserted him, old allies die and betrayal and assassination threaten. His son and heir John Josua is years dead and his grandson, Morgan, is a wastrel. A journey of redemption and discovery beckons in the darkening world.
And in the frozen North, in Nakkiga, the mountain fortress, Ineluki's ally, the Norn Queen, wakes from her deep, decades-long sleep and tells her followers that she will sleep no more. Humanity must be destroyed. Her sorcerers will bring a demon back from death, her warriors will seek the world for living dragon's blood...
And finally the greatest artefact of all, the Witchwood Crown, will be hers.
"It’s a book driven by cultural clashes and racial wars. The world is stark and grey, and I’m not entirely sure who to root for. It’s highly compelling fantasy, go read it! " Sean Barrs, Fantasy Book Review
- Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
Life in Emond's Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al'Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magician with the ability to wield the One Power, and she brings warnings of a terrible evil awakening in the world. That very night, the village is attacked by bloodthirsty Trollocs - a fearsome tribe of beast-men thought to be no more than myth. As Emond's Field burns, Moraine and her warrior-guardian help Rand and his companions to escape. But it is only the beginning of their troubles. For Moraine believes Rand Al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn, and that he is fated to unite the world against the rising darkness and lead the fight against a being so powerful and evil it is known simply as the Dark One.
"With The Wheel of Time, Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title." New York Times
"At a time when many authors were producing pastiche Tolkien, Jordan created entirely new races, an innovative magical system and a captivating world with its own rich history." Fantasy Book Review
- The Dark Elf Trilogy by RA Salvatore
Drizzt Do'Urden, a Dark Elf, finds adventure, peril, and awesome magical power as he confronts the underground civilization of the evil race of Drow elves.
Travel back to strange and exotic Menzoberranzan, the vast city of the drow and homeland to Icewind Dale hero Drizzt Do'Urden.
The young prince of a royal house, Drizzt grows to maturity in the vile world of his dark kin. Possessing honor beyond the scope of his unprincipled society, young Drizzt faces an inevitable dilemma. Can he live in a world that rejects integrity?
"Highly praise this series. R.A Salvatore's dark elf character, 'Drizzit do'Urden' is the best in the last 20 years. It's the friendships made, the battles fought, and the epic journeys they undertake. The great storytelling transports you to another world and into the midst of all the action." Tim from MN (reader review)
- The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design by Daniel Falconer
The ultimate celebration of the final Hobbit movie reveals the full creative vision of the art and design teams, with almost 2,000 exclusive images, including designs and concepts that never made it to the big screen. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles – Art & Design is packed to bursting with more than 1,800 pieces of conceptual artwork created for the epic final instalment of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Learn how the battle for the Lonely Mountain was plotted, its armies designed and its landscapes shaped, through detailed commentary by the films’ Academy Award-winning creative team members at 3Foot7, Weta Digital and Weta Workshop. From Lake-town and Dol Guldur to Dale and Ravenhill, each section is richly illustrated with concept art depicting creatures, costumes, armour, props and environment design hand-picked by the artists themselves from the Dragon’s hoard of artwork generated for the film. Also included as a bonus feature, unique to this book, is a stunning full-colour, removable art print by Gus Hunter depicting a key moment in the trilogy. Compiled by Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer, with a foreword by Costume Designer, Bob Buck, and introduction by Concept Art Director and renowned Tolkien artist, John Howe, this fifth volume in The Hobbit: Chronicles series has been created in full collaboration with key members of the production’s creative team to ensure the most comprehensive and authentic film companion possible.
"This book is, simply put, beautifully stunning. For any fans of The Hobbit movies, or fans of movie making in general, this is a must!"
- Deep Into The Heart of a Rose by GT Denny
On a crisp autumn morning, in his cottage in the idyllic land of the Vale, Mr. Edward T. Cozzlebottom composed the following letter for his secret love, the graceful and lovely Mizz Ezmerelda Wimbish. "Dear Mizz Wimbish, Confessions are something to admire. Don't you agree? Far more confessors, of the subtle variety, would make this world a place more agreeable for all. It is in this spirit that I concoct this missive and subtle confession. I have been taken with you for some number of years. I notice that you are quite fond of roses, as am I. Given our mutual interests, and the proximity of our lives, I think it is time for us to meet fate halfway and talk of things that affect us both. We could discuss your roses, or my books, or any matter that concerns you. There are many seemingly quiet things that happen on our very street that I think could fill an evening, if not a lifetime. If my suggestion intrigues you, I will meet you beyond the honeysuckle on the far side of Embry Lane by the fourth gaslight. I will be there Wednesday just before the lamplighter arrives. I encourage you to consider my offer, as it is filled with gravity. Most sincerely and with the respect due to a lady of your type, Edward T. Cozzlebottom. P.S. If it rains, bring an umbrella." Though these two lonely souls occupy homes separated by a matter of feet and inches, they soon discover that it will take many miles of treacherous travel before they can master the short distance between their hearts and doors. Each one goes on a separate journey that takes them from the startling beauty of the Many Mirrored Way to the blackest woods of the Great Dorianic Forest. Along the way, they encounter the Trench Systers, the Wicked Tinker, the Walrus King, and the Brothers of the Black Lodge.
"If you love fantasy and adventure fiction then this book is for you. Well written, charmingly detailed and epic, this truly is a must read for 2012." Fantasy Book Review
- Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar's defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight. Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict. Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.
"The world we are introduced to is expressed in such a way as to ensure you are aware you are reading epic fantasy, while still remaining true to the culture the author is writing for. The characters are fascinating and are dealt with in depth. The religious and royal politics that thrives in this book is beautifully captured in its greedy reality as are those who excel in it." Fantasy Book Review
- The Story of Kullervo by JRR Tolkien
The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.
"Taking into account my own Tolkien-bias, The Story of Kullervo was a wonderful read - not only informative by way of the essays on the various subjects, but informative to see some of the seeds of what would one day become Tolkien's Silmarillion."
- The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: The Art of War by Daniel Falconer
The ultimate celebration of the spectacular battle in the final Hobbit movie reveals in stunning detail the full creative vision of Peter Jackson and the filmmakers, together with extensive commentary from the director, cast, crew, and almost 2,000 exclusive photos, illustrations and visual effects imagery. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles - The Art of War goes behind the lines to explore how thousands of artisans brought the defining film of Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit to the screen. More than 1,000 intricate illustrations, stunning photographs and never-before-seen imagery illuminate fascinating insights shared by cast and crew, including exclusive content from the extended edition of the final film. Also included is an exclusive fold-out battle map illustrated by Weta Workshop Designer, Nick Keller! From the sorcerous ruins of Dol Guldur and the fiery conflagration of Lake-town, follow the filmmakers on to the blood-soaked battlefields of the Lonely Mountain, and climb the steps of Ravenhill to witness the final, tragic duel of Thorin Oakenshield and Azog, the Pale Orc. Discover the challenges and reactions of the stars of The Battle of the Five Armies as they recount their experiences and excitement. Join the choreographers of the film's action to examine the battle strategies and formations of each of the five armies, and learn how a dozen stunt performers became thousands of digital troops. Pore over archive-quality photography of staggeringly detailed weapons and armour and browse galleries of fearsome war beasts and monsters. As the story of The Hobbit reaches its shattering climax amidst an epic landscape of war and tragedy, join Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer behind the scenes one last time as this sumptuous final book in The Hobbit: Chronicles series celebrates the epic conclusion of The Hobbit film trilogy.
"With chapters dedicated to all the major races that fought in the Battle of Five Armies, featuring intricate detail for costumes and weapons, The Art of War is a must-have for any fan of Peter Jackson's adaptations of The Hobbit."
- The Art of Stephen Hickman: Empyrean by Stephen Hickman
A lavish, full-colour hardcover art book taking readers on a visual guide through Stephen Hickmans artwork. The collection focuses on his book covers for famous SFF authors such as Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, and Larry Niven.
"With a body of work that is mainly fantasy with a portion of science fiction, this coffee table book is a real showcase for art appreciators who want to see Hickman’s interpretation of characters and settings from some of the most famous novels around."
- The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by JRR Tolkien
Set 'In Britain's land beyond the seas' during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the 'Aotrou' and 'Itroun' of the title) and the tragedy that befalls them when Aotrou seeks to remedy their situation with the aid of a magic potion obtained from a corrigan, or malevolent fairy. When the potion succeeds and Itroun bears twins, the corrigan returns seeking her fee, and Aotrou is forced to choose between betraying his marriage and losing his life.
"The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun is a wonderful addition to any Tolkien fan's collection, and in a way other editions haven't, expands our knowledge of Tolkien's ability and interests."
- The Fall of Gondolin by JRR Tolkien
In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar.
Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo's desires and designs.
Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo's designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon's daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.
At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Tuor and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.
Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same 'history in sequence' mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three 'Great Tales' of the Elder Days.
"As a huge Tolkien enthusiast, I know I speak for many other readers, when I extend my undying thanks to Christopher Tolkien for allowing his father’s unfinished work to be published. Although this work is far from a shining jewel, I can imagine how fantastic this would have been as I read the segments (and various drafts) of the story: I can see what this would have been. And, as ever, the artwork of Alan Lee brings the words to life. However, this is the very last we will see of it. Christopher Tolkien explicitly states that this is the final piece (and that he will not change his mind this time.) The destruction of a fine city is an appropriate last glimpse of such a vast world, as the walls of Gondolin crumble and the tower collapses, it marks the very end." Sean Barrs, Fantasy Book Review
- Blood Of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changes, and now the races once again fight each other - and themselves. In this tumultuous time a child is born - Ciri has strange powers and a stranger destiny, for a prophecy names her as one with the power to change the world, for good or for evil. The witcher Geralt has taken Ciri to the relative safety of the Witchers' Settlement, but it soon becomes clear that Ciri is not like the other witchers. As the threat of war hangs almost palpably over the land, Geralt and Ciri are pursued by someone who understands exactly what the prophecy means - and exactly what Ciri's power is capable of. This time Geralt may have met his match.
"If, like me, you’ve never heard of Andrzej Sapkowski before, it’s about time that was rectified. Combining traditional fantasy with Polish folklore, Sapkowski’s Witcher series has been translated into seven languages, made into a TV series and most recently converted into a computer game. This is clearly not to be taken lightly. Blood of Elves is only the second book by the author to hit British shelves (The Last Wish was published in 2007) – it’s a pity it didn’t arrive sooner."
- Monster Blood Tattoo by DM Cornish
Rossamund has always dreamed of a career in the Navy, fighting tentacled monsters and rescuing damsels from hook-handed pirates. But fate has chosen him for a different path. He is being sent to train as a Lamplighter - to bring light to the inland roads of the Half-Continent, to shine the way for travellers through lands peopled by outcasts, monsters and worse. But for Rossamund to begin his education, he must first undertake a journey of his own: to the great city of High Vesting. Such a road is not for the faint of heart. Only monster-hunters, leers and the most desperate of brigands dare travel the inland ways unguarded. And all Rossamund carries with him is a battered almanac and a pocketful of cheap potions. It is unlikely to be enough.
"Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling is a thoroughly enjoyable read, taking the reader into a world they will never wish to leave and the perfect start to an outstanding series of books." Fantasy Book Review
- Death Angel's Shadow by Karl Edward Wagner
Kane is battling the prophet of an ancient cult of evil and confronting the demons of darkness on his journeys. He faces death duels in strange swamps, assassin's attacks and the heart freezing terror of the werewolf.
"Wagner’s love of exposition and large paragraphs describing setting set the mood in a much more economical fashion than in Darkness Weaves (which was one of my criticisms of that novel). Due in no small part to the constraints of the form, the short stories allow for tightly focused action, excellent character development (especially of the secondary female characters in each story), and giving the lead character a chance to both pontificate about life’s mysteries while still maintaining time for splitting someone’s head open with a sword. While not for everyone, fans of adult sword and sorcery and charismatic anti-heroes will want to add to this collection immediately." Fantasy Book Review
- Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw
When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror - and wonder.
"Dawn of Wonder is, at 710 pages, a big book and one that is undeniably a labour of love for its author Jonathan Renshaw. It's epic fantasy, but epic fantasy with a difference as this is more fantasy in the Robin Hobb and Patrick Rothfuss mould, where the 'hero' is not all-perfect and highly skilled at everything they set their mind too, Renshaw's hero Aedan is intelligent and talented, yes, but he is also flawed, emotionally damaged by his childhood and those scars shape his present and future life."
- The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski
- Glammenport by Kevin Lane
Timion the Black has exhausted his options. Reckless, despicable, Timion’s own band of mercenary men turn against him, leaving him for dead in a back alleyway. Fate deposits the usurped buccaneer into the hands of altruistic nuns. There he finds his way to health and into their debt. Revenge, dark magic, and clever technology collide, catapulting Timion beyond the rim of the known world - beyond the mythic Boiling Seas. There he finds a forgotten, corrupt race sharpening their swords for conquest – their dark, evil eyes set upon his home port of call: Glammenport.
"Glammenport impressed me immediately - the standard of the writing was high and the descriptions were vivid, the characterisation strong. Comparisons are difficult and only Raymond E Feist’s Magician really comes to mind and this only because of both books featuring two very different worlds. Kevin Lane has not re-invented the genre here but he has taken it and produced a highly polished, skilful and above all enjoyable book that will allow readers to escape into a richly textured fantasy world. He is an author with a future and if he can continue to write with such verve and skill I, for one, will happily read his work. This is a very good book and I hope that there is an even better work to come, as this author possesses all the raw materials to write a fantasy classic." Fantasy Book Review
- Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks
With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins... There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dominant power - and it was named the age of Faerie. Ever since this time, a bitter war has been raging between the forces of good and evil. And it was during this age that the Elfstones protecting the Elven race disappeared. They have been missing for thousands of years. Now a clue to their location may have surfaced in the ancient diary of a princess, and it will be the beginning of an adventure that no-one could have anticipated.
"This book had a slower pacing and buildup, which helped allow me to focus on the characters and their motivations. While the action – the quest – is key, spending time on the company helped flesh them out a bit more and made the choice and results have more weight. Brooks is building a longer story here and wants us to be invested in not just the end result, but the people. I, for one, found this to be a welcome change. And I also have a sense we may see some other old friends again." Fantasy Book Review
- Magic Casement by Dave Duncan
The idyllic life of Princess Inos is disturbed when a god appears, hinting that she will wed. As no eligible suitors ever visit the kingdom, Inos is exiled to learn how to be a lady, but back home the stableboy Rap develops strange powers.
"On first impression Magic Casement - and Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word series in general - might appear to be just your good old-fashioned fantasy fare. And in many ways it is but there are elements within that lift it above the norm and in the end I felt like I had read a book that gave me the comfort I felt from the classic fantasy of yore with enough fresh ideas to allow it to sit unashamedly alongside the great fantasy books of recent times." Floresiensis, Fantasy Book Review
- The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind
Richard Cypher holds the fate of three nations in his hands, he must learn the Wizard's First Rule to achieve his goals. The heart hounds are stalking the humans, blood sucking flies are abound and nowhere is safe. Magic makes love stronger and despair harder.
"It is evident that Terry Goodkind has strong political and social views that he is keen to get across in his books. Rather than finding this spoilt the narrative, I found it healthy reading a book that makes you think about what the author is trying to say. I found that Ursula Le Guin's works had the same effect on me." Floresiensis, Fantasy Book Review
- Forging of a Knight by Hugo V Negron
A battle against the forces of Those That Stand in Shadow brings an end to an old hero and a beginning for a new one. Together with a half-orc thief named Glaive, a young warrior named Qualtan must battle through undead hordes, evil druids, shape-shifting Maugs, hungry trolls and more on his journey to become a knight, learning in the process that good and evil are not always what they seem, and that friendship can sometimes go hand in hand with treachery.
"Forging of a Knight is one of the better young adult books that I have read recently, with it setting of high/epic fantasy being not over the top and nicely done. And as a self published AND début novel it is a very impressive achievement indeed with the plus points being the rousing of your imagination by Negron’s storytelling and his usage of his characters. Although written in a linear way the sub-plot and plot itself was not at all obvious at all featured more than enough variation to keep things interesting." Jasper de Joode, Fantasy Book Review
- Seven Forges by James A Moore
The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn't stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who once lived there - and oft-rumoured riches. Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him. As he returns home, bringing an entourage of the strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.
"Seven Forges by James A. Moore is one of those epic fantasies with a mean looking hooded guy on the front cover. Don't let that fool you, because this is not a story about crooks, thieves or assassins skulking through the night. Seven Forges is a straight up epic fantasy full of intricate world building and populated with very competent warriors leaping around the place and cleaving monsters in half with very large swords. And that makes me happy." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review
- Neverwinter Saga by RA Salvatore
Drizzt joins Bruenor on his quest for the fabled dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym: ruins said to be rich with ancient treasure and arcane lore. But before they even get close, another drow and dwarf pair stumbles across it first: Jarlaxle and Athrogate. In their search for treasure and magic, Jarlaxle and Athrogate inadvertently set into motion a catastrophe that could spell disaster for the unsuspecting people of the city of Neverwinter—a catastrophe big enough to lure even the mercenary Jarlaxle into risking his own coin and skin to stop it. Unfortunately, the more they uncover about the secret of Gauntlgrym, the more it looks like they can’t stop it on their own. They’ll need help, and from the last people they ever thought to fight alongside again: Drizzt and Bruenor.
"The creators of the Dungeons and Dragons universe have mandated change, and so has R. A. Salvatore. In Gauntlgrym both missions are accomplished with flair and drama." AT Ross, Fantasy Book Review
- Darkness Weaves by Karl Edward Wagner
Kane - indestructible swordsman, invincible sorcerer, immortal wanderer through strange worlds. Efrel, Empress of Pellin, seeks vengeance on the King of Thovnos and chooses Kane as her champion.
"As a fan of both dark fantasy and sword and sorcery stories, I deeply enjoyed Wagner’s Darkness Weaves. If you are a fan of Howard’s Conan series or Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, I would strongly recommend picking up this book. There are six books in total that Wagner wrote before his death in 1994 that deal with Kane. To borrow a line from Wagner’s sister series though, that is a tale for another time." Nicholas King, Fantasy Book Review
- Dragon Queen by Stephen Deas
In the years before the Dragons laid waste to man's empire, the fearsome monsters were used for war and as gifts of surpassing wealth to buy favour in the constant political battles that tore at the kingdoms. Notorious in these battles was the Dragon Queen. And now she is a prisoner. But no-one is more dangerous than when caged...
"Clearly a lot of thought, imagination and passion went into writing this book. Deas shows the consequences of unleashing such a destructive force of nature, as well as the folly of trying to control this magnificent creature. The action really heats up (no pun intended) in the last 150 pages, with lots of desperate action and drama. If you like dragons and subtle story telling, then this is for you." Daniel Cann, Fantasy Book Review
- The Siege of Abythos by Phil Tucker
Lady Iskra and her followers have survived the onslaught of demons, forged powerful alliances, and are finally ready to wreck righteous vengeance on the Ascendant Empire. Yet even as they begin their endgame, a new danger arises that threatens to annihilate everything in its path, heretic or no: Tharok, the greatest peril to humanity since Ogri the Destroyer.
"The Siege of Abythos is filled with fast moving, twisting plots and loyalties with an amazing cast of characters. Tucker’s Chronicles of the Black Gate is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite epic fantasy series. If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to get to it soon."
- Blue Fire Burning by Hobb Whittons
In the dead of night, a covered wagon driven by a hooded, faceless being is careering through the forest at breakneck speed. Inside the wagon, sit two jittery Goblin men: Grot and Mouldy. Suddenly, the contents of the sack they are staring at begin to glow... Consumed by the desire for revenge, the Goblins' wicked Dark Mistress sets diminutive winged telepaths, the Pahleen, a riddle they must work out if they are to get back what they have lost and save the world known as Wadjamaat. Desperately, King Kilron searches high and low but fi nds no clue.Then, something unexpected happens in Haggles Cove and therace is on again...but there is a sting in the tail. To have a chance of succeeding, Kilron must now face the prospect of doing something always forbidden to his ancient race. Meanwhile, unaware of the planet's 'ticking clock', the cosmopolitan human population of the walled naval port of Bellana are busy getting their wondrous Mermaid Stadium ready for the grand Argia Final. With canine companion Wolf in tow, country girl Hahmi Merkin gets a hostile reception when she enters the city. She heads for the sanctuary of blacksmith friend, Aristide Brindle's house where she leaves her horse and cart. Entrusted with his son's 'paddywhack', she sets off for the stadium. What happens after that is beyond even her wildest imagining...
"Blue Fire Burning, written by Hobb Whittons and published by AuthorHouse in 2011, is a work of high fantasy, ambitious in its intent and an example of self-publishing done very well. An admirable effort and a deserving recipient of our Young Adult Fantasy Book of Month, September 2011 award." Fantasy Book Review
- Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale by Kat Zantow
The moon has not changed in the fifty years of the dark lord Magna’s rule – but everything else has. All too often, the servants of Dark Overlords are dispatched with a lazy flick of the hero’s sword. But in Shadowing, the job benefits of fire, mayhem, and shapeshifting almost make up for it. In between burning down villages, the minion’s primary directive is taking out heroes. When a man in golden armour and his faithful companions sneak across the border on a quest to assassinate the Dark Lord Magna, long live the Magna, it’s up to the Shadows to cut his quest short. As always, things do not go quite according to plan, and one henchman ends up lone-wolfing it across the permafrost lands, following the stench of valour.
"Well-written and a highly enjoyable, with shades of Pratchett and Gemmell, Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale is little gem from a gifted storyteller. I would highly recommend it and - at the time this review was written - is currently available to purchase from Amazon's Kindle Store for just £2.10 and as such is worth every penny. I greatly look forward to the future instalments in the Moonblind series." Fantasy Book Review
- The Children Of Hurin by JRR Tolkien
There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before the Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.
- Aeons Gate by Sam Sykes
Lenk and his band of fellow mismatched and grumpy adventurers are shipwrecked on an island. An island that is a graveyard for demons and dragonmen alike. An island inhabited by lizard men. An island of secrets that is about to become a battleground. And back in civilisation Bralston, a very different Librarian, is being sent out to learn exactly what has happened to the Tome of the Undergates and to punish those that have misused magic. And Bralston will uphold the law. But the Tome will be read and it is calling to those who would read it and open the gates to hell.
"Tome of the Undergates is a book that just worked for me, a refreshing take on some of the more dated fantasy tropes. While the story may be slightly simplistic, it is backed up by a high quality production and is packed full of very likeable characters doing all manner of unspeakable things that I like reading about. I look forward to reading the second in the series, Black Halo, and all future works to come from this very talented author." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review
- Gateway of the Saviours by AJ Dalton
Ancient Gods begin to stir and demand resurrection... A naked and crazy holy man leads a young warrior into the realm of the dead... In fear for his life, a young member of an evil race flees his home... An uneasy peace has settled upon Jillan's remote corner of the Empire, but he cannot return to his previous simple life. Tricked into a bargain with the manipulative God of Mayhem, he is forced to embark upon a journey that will leave his hometown undefended. Unsure of his fellow travellers, pursued by assassins and spies, he must discover the means by which to raise up the old gods and defeat the cruel Empire of the Saviours. Meanwhile, the Empire's vast army of Saints and Heroes descends upon Godsend. Jillan's beloved Hella and a few loyal companions resist the dark magicks used against them for a while, but the Saviours cannot allow such resistance to go unpunished... And from another realm, the Declension watches. Their servants, the Saviours, have suffered setbacks. The God of Mayhem is loose. A young boy with wayward powers is on his way to Haven, where he may find a way to destroy them. A renegade member of their race is rampaging through their realms. Everything is going to plan.
"Apart from the central character of Jillan, there are plenty of well-drawn and multi-layered characters, all wrestling with their own problems and demons. It is hefty at 466 pages, but thanks to its rich tapestry of characters and incident there is never a dull moment." Daniel Cann, Fantasy Book Review
- The Novice by Taran Matharu
Fletcher was nothing more than a humble blacksmith's apprentice, when a chance encounter leads to the discovery that he has the ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, he must travel with his demon to the Vocans Academy, where the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. The academy will put Fletcher through a gauntlet of gruelling lessons, training him as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire's war against the savage orcs. Rubbing shoulders with the children of the most powerful nobles in the land, Fletcher must tread carefully. The power hungry Forsyth twins lurk in the shadows, plotting to further their family's interests. Then there is Sylva, an elf who will do anything she can to forge an alliance between her people and Hominum, even if it means betraying her friends. Othello is the first ever dwarf at the academy, and his people have long been oppressed by Hominum's rulers, which provokes tension amongst those he studies alongside. Fletcher will find himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with nothing but his demon Ignatius to help him. As the pieces on the board manoeuvre for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands...
"Would suggest this book as a light reading and rewarding introduction to fantasy writing. Although suitable for readers of all age groups, I would say it is slightly more suited to a younger audience, or mind! Could be an interesting follow-up to something like Harry Potter."
- When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner
A power-hungry necromancer has stolen The Book of Lost Souls, and intends to use it to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artefact at all cost. However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed.
"All to say, I kind of loved this. It was a nostalgic trip back to the realm of High Fantasy that would make the authors mentioned earlier proud. It is a remix, not a 'cover' per se, of all the brilliant storytelling elements that propelled the likes of Belgarion, Raistlin Majere, Steerpike, Pug, R'shiel Tenragan, to name a few, into the consciousness of those who adore this kind of pure fantasy."
- Overkill by Steven L Shrewsbury
Deliverance will come... A great flood once wiped clean the earth, destroying everything upon it. Before the deluge, in a time now forgotten, the world was a place of warriors and witches, conflicts between kingdoms, and, until their extermination, dragons. In this world, men may live centuries, fallen angels have begotten terrifying spawn, and sometimes, the best hope can be found in a brothel. In the land of Transalpina, a new religion spreads, and important men are dying mysteriously, slain by what can only be the fire of dragon breath. Summoned by the Queen Garnet, the legendary warrior Gorias La Gaul returns to the place where he once saved the queen's young granddaughter from treachery and enslavement. The Princess Nykia is gone, and soon others may try to claim the throne. The queen has little choice but to turn to the only man who ever told her no. With the aid of one of the queen's elite guard, the battle maiden Alena, and the young palace servant Orsen, the old mercenary will face pirates and traitors, monsters and foul magic in the quest to find the missing heir and learn the truth behind the disconcerting murders. Deliverance will come for Gorias La Gaul, but for now there are women to love, secrets to discover, and killing that needs doing.
"Shrewsbury has succeeded in writing an exciting fantasy novel with some truly shocking incidents (one in particular is shall we say stomach churning!) This is unapologetically violent, shocking and very funny and in this universe an age gap of 667 years is not a bar to a physical relationship!" Daniel Cann, Fantasy Book Review
- The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell
Morthul, the dreaded Charnel King, has failed. Centuries of plotting from the heart of the Iron Keep - all for naught. Foiled at the last by the bumbling efforts of a laughable band of so-called heroes, brainless and over-muscled cretins without sense enough to recognize a hopeless cause when they take it on. But the so-called forces of Light have paid for their meddling with the life of Princess Amalia, the only child of the royal family of Shauntille. Now, as winter deepens, disturbing news has reached the court of Morthul. King Dororam, enraged by the murder of his only child - and accompanied by that same group of delusional upstart 'heroes' is assembling all the Allied Kingdoms, fielding an army unlike any seen before. Still, after uncounted centuries of survival, the Dark Lord isn't about to go down without a fight, particularly in battle against a mere mortal! No, the Charnel King still has a few tricks up his fetid sleeves, but the only thing that can defeat him now may just be the inhuman soldiers on whom he's pinned his last hopes...
"It’s a somewhat overused cliché readily found in most adventure fiction; as the villainous mastermind’s plans crumble thanks to his minions’ ineptitude, he’ll utter the well-worn phrase, “Why am I surrounded by idiots?” Just as true is the idea that villains are the most fun for the writer to write and the reader to read. After all, who cares for the dull hero when there’s an especially devilish baddie reeking havoc with relentless abandon? They get the best costumes, too." Jonathan Wilkins, Fantasy Book Review
- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
While evidence is gathered, and the land of Delain mourns, Flagg the King's magician, unscrupulous, greedy and powerful, plots. Soon the King's elder son, Peter, is imprisoned in the needle, the top of a high tower, for his father's murder. And Thomas inherits the throne. Only Peter knows the truth of his innocence, and the true evil that is Flagg. Only Peter can save Delain from the horror the magician has in store. He has a plan, but it is rife with danger. And if he fails, he won't get a second chance...
"The Eyes of the Dragon includes one of the most infamous, notorious villains in fiction. One of Mr. King's lesser known creations that is definitely more Tolkien than Tommyknockers."
- The Pirate King by RA Salvatore
Captain Deudermont has sailed to the pirate city of Luskan on a mission--a mission to once and for all defeat the true power behind the corrupt city: a wicked lich and his cabal of evil wizards from the Host Tower of the Arcane. But the Host Tower has some tricks up its sleeve, as do the pirate captains who would like to see both sides fail.
"Unlike The Orc King, which threatened to collapse into a morass of ethical quandaries to spoil the fun, this is pure adventure. While the moral quagmires are there, they don’t play nearly the foundational thematic role they did in the last one. The long time Drizzt fan will breath deep and satisfied to be back in Luskan and fighting alongside old friends. Some may find the story odd, given the prominent absence of all but two of our main company, but so focused is the narrative that I didn’t mind. The story will probably be even more interesting to those who have lived with the Forgotten Realms for a while, since they can watch Salvatore radically reshape their world." AT Ross, Fantasy Book Review
- Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks
"My way is hard, but I serve unbroken. In ignobility, nobility. In shame, honor. In darkness, light. I will do justice and love mercy." So speaks the Night Angel, Durzo Blint, as he heads towards a meeting of the Nine to set Gwinvere Kirena as Shinga.
"If you are a fan of the Night Angel you should read this. It will leave you feeling more complete about the story of Durzo and Kylar. If you have not read Night Angel, then read the trilogy before you read the prologue. You will understand why by the end of the pages..." travelswithadiplomat, Fantasy Book Review
- Legends of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that almost exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary by the boy saviour known as Hawk: the gypsy morph. But now, the unimaginable has come to pass: the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, last surviving Knight of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, and Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: the once safe haven of generations has been laid bare. Together, the young Trackers, the aging Knight and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within, while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. Standing firm between the two, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.
- The Brotherhood of Dwarves series by DA Adams
Roskin, heir to the throne of a remote, peaceful kingdom of dwarves, craves excitement and adventure. Outside his own kingdom, in search of fortune and glory, he finds a much different world, one divided by racial strife and overrun by war. The orcs to the south want to conquer all dwarves and sell them as slaves. The humans to the east want to control the world's resources. Caught in the middle, Roskin finds himself chased by slave traders and soldiers alike as he discovers that friendship is the best fortune of all. Just when he thinks he has triumphed, an act of betrayal sends him into bondage. His only hope of escape is the faltering courage of a disgraced warrior whose best days are behind him...
"The dwarven saga begins. Roskin, heir to the throne of a remote, peaceful kingdom of dwarves, craves excitement and adventure. Outside his own kingdom, in search of fortune and glory, he finds a much different world, one divided by racial strife and overrun by war. The orcs to the south want to conquer all dwarves and sell them as slaves. The humans to the east want to control the world's resources. Caught in the middle, Roskin finds himself chased by slave traders and soldiers alike as he discovers that friendship is the best fortune of all. Just when he thinks he has triumphed, an act of betrayal sends him into bondage. His only hope of escape is the faltering courage of a disgraced warrior whose best days are behind him..."
- Crimson & Cream by CM Skiera
Hounded by watchmen, trolls, goblins, and a relentless bounty hunter, 13-year-old Jetsam dreams of the day he’ll no longer have to run for his life. In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eadriel and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Magic. When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered. Their deaths forfeited the twins' magical birth right and made them homeless fugitives. Rescued by an orphan gang, the fleeing twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly. Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the boys are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.
"Those who don’t mind sticking through the long set-up will be rewarded. The impatient reader will miss out on a bunch of interesting characters, some great battles and an ending that will leave you pining for the next book. Ultimately, Crimson & Cream is a great first novel from an author, and a series, that shows a lot of promise. I do sincerely hope the next book will be coming out soon."
- Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: J.R.R. Tolkien by Colin Duriez
If I could find anything to be upset with it is the brevity that is a necessary part of the book. I’m too much of a fanboy to want my Tolkien knowledge boiled down to one page summaries. That being said, there is a market for books like this, and anyone with even a hint of love for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will want to get their hands on this great collection of Tolkien lore.
- The Grim Company by Luke Scull
Set years after mages stormed the heavens and brought down the gods, casting their bodies to the world below where the corpses now leak wild, unpredictable and extremely dangerous magic, The Grim Company focuses on the aftermath of this feat, where three cities ruled by three immortal mages struggle for control over finite sources of magic. The grim, miserable city of Dorminia is ruled with an iron fist by Salazar, with the skies patrolled by mindhawks and the streets searched for heretical thoughts by Salazar’s augmentors, whilst across the Broken Sea is Thessala, ruled by the enigmatic White Lady.
"n short The Grim Company offers a more that great reading experience. There are so many different things happening in this book that it is hard to get everything told in a review, it is just something that you have to experience for yourself!"
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power - the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring - the ring that rules them all - which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced wit...
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Draws elements from both science fiction and fantasy
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Fiction set in dark, nightmarish worlds
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Explore the ancient Roman Empire
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Fantasy with sentient animals
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Fantasy books starring the thief or the assassin
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