Sure we all love Tolkien, but the number of works authored by him are limited. It’s up to us to fill the gap with other epic fantasy tales. With the release of the second movie in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, I’ve been thinking a lot about other tales which have that same epic feel to them. I gladly offer you these gems listed below. Though they aren’t authored by Tolkien (and contain varying amounts of his influence), they managed to give me that same sense of intrigue I get from reading The Lord of the Rings.
1. War of the Wildlands by Lana Axe
This tale of war between elves and humans presents a variety of fascinating characters. Every page is filled with magic and adventure that will delight all readers of this intriguing new world created by Lana Axe.
Unrelenting war between humans and elves threatens to destroy the forest forever.
A tyrant king has declared war on the elves and will stop at nothing to see them annihilated. Despite fighting savagely to defend their homes, the elves are outmatched by vicious attacks from highly skilled battle mages. The elven clans must join forces to have any chance of survival against the ruthless king’s army.
Meanwhile, a young half-elf is forced from the human world he has always known and travels into the Wildlands to seek out his elven kin. Along the way, he learns to draw on the magic within himself to craft weapons of tremendous power. When war arrives on his doorstep, he must choose whether to stand with the family he has always known or the elves who share his blood.
2. The Cloudstone Key by Darren Patrick
Fascinating new races and adventure abound in this tale of a young man who is destined to stop the forces of evil. This rich and imaginative world created by Darren Patrick is sure to keep the reader engaged to the very end.
In the remote mining village of Aystin, Karsen Morgate secretly longs to explore the world outside the town walls; but instead dutifully spends his nights protecting the precious Cloudstone tiles—mined by his father, and engraved with mystical symbols and lore by the reclusive Adept Noxyn. When his half-brother, Petr, commits a gruesome crime, Karsen is forced to flee his home, carrying with him a tile depicting a unique artifact—the Ennae—entrusted to his care by the Adept himself. Alone, ailing, and on the run, Karsen must find help, find his way, and decipher the true meaning of the Ennae. For he soon realizes that he is being pursued by the dark brotherhood of the Shroud, and that he has somehow become an unwilling pawn in an ancient conflict.
Find The Cloudstone Key on Amazon.
3. Dragon Killer by Rob May
Kalina Moonheart—adventurer, gambler and thief—teams up with a young guard captain to hunt down a dragon that has made its lair on a remote tropical island. But they soon get into more trouble than they bargained for.
Dragon Killer is a fantasy adventure with a difference: it’s a short, fast-paced and unpredictable thriller. Follow Kal’s exploits as she fights crazed cultists, confronts corrupt politicians, battles dangerous beasts, gambles for a fortune at the card table, explores hazardous lairs … and, of course, takes on the world’s deadliest monster.
4. Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel
Princess Kaylee sets out on a quest to save her Prince Charming in this new spin on a fairytale by Mary Waibel. Lovers of fantasy will enjoy this fresh new take on the role of a princess and her knight in shining armor.
Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.
Devlin’s own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary to gain it. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee’s blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.
To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon’s blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella’s traps. But Arabella’s traps aren’t the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love’s kiss will break it.
I highly recommend each of these fascinating books. All of them have earned a hard-won five star rating from me, and I know they will delight all those who are searching for a new fantasy adventure. Here’s hoping 2014 will bring even more amazing fantasy stories!