Monday, December 21, 2009

Read-alike Guides - The Lord of the Rings

If you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, you might enjoy one of these books:

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
In Aagaësia, a 15-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into a tale of destiny, magic, and power peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters. This sweeping epic crosses a vast geography and is replete with histories, names, and languages. Tolkien’s influence on Paolini is clearly visible. (YAF Pao)

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Agents of the Dark One are loose in the world. Salvation can only be achieved if the efforts of a small band of unlikely heroes, embarking on a journey to discover themselves and to save the world from the rising evil, are successful. Adventure, melancholy tone, circumscribed magic, and a bleakly atmospheric, layered story add to the feel of Tolkien's own Middle Earth.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
The royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes. Martin combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga. Tolkien fans will appreciate Martin’s literacy, imagination, emotional impact, and superb world-building.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Lyra Belacqua, who lives in a parallel universe much like ours, sets out to save her best friend and other abducted children from gruesome experiments in the Far North. Descriptive writing, a cast of fascinating characters, and the ever-present philosophical question of the definition of good and evil makes for great reading. (YAF Pul)

Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist
The first of two linked novels in the Riftwar Saga explores the destiny of two young apprentices—one to a magician and the other to a swordsman—joined in the battle of light against dark. Wizards and elves remind readers of Tolkien, as do the compelling, sympathetic characters and intricate plots, but Feist also adds elements of science fiction.

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
The Mystic woman Senneth, accompanied by a team of Shapeshifters and Riders, is sent by the king into the land of Gillengaria to investigate reports of retaliation against those who use magic. Elegant prose conjures likable characters and an absorbing group-development narrative in an easy, absorbing, high-quality read.

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
The farm boy Garion begins a dangerous quest to recover the magic Orb and prevent the evil Torak from seizing power over the world in the first book of Eddings’ Belgariad. Warring gods, political intrigues, supernatural creatures, and appealingly human magicians populate this adventure fantasy.

Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
With the fate of humanity hanging in the balance, twins Barrick and Briony must save Southmarch Castle and the surrounding lands from their inhuman enemies. The turbulently conflicted land of humans, elves, and dwarves in the first book of this intriguing saga should appeal to fans of Middle Earth and its peoples. Williams’ writing is exciting, intricate, and insightful.

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
In The Fionavar Tapestry, beginning with The Summer Tree, five University of Toronto students find themselves transported to the Tolkienesque world of Fionavar, where they discover their individual powers and become involved in a struggle against the forces of evil. Complex plot and characters, mythological lore, and elegant prose make this trilogy comparable to The Lord of the Rings.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Although the language and plot lack the complexity of Tolkien's, the Shannara series shares many similarities to Tolkien’s works—elves, druids, and wraiths; a young, untried hero; battles of good versus evil; action; and adventure. In this first book, Shea must save inhabitants of the world from the Warlock Lord by reclaiming the wondrous sword.

Also by J.R.R.Tolkien:

The Children of Húrin
Discovered posthumously and edited by Tolkien’s son, The Children of Húrin is a fantasy adventure saga set in the early days of Middle Earth. Túrin, son of the human lord Húrin and the elven lady Morwen, becomes a pivotal force in the ongoing battle against evil. The editorial hand of Christopher Tolkien makes this tale more approachable than his father’s other posthumously published works.

The Silmarillion
In 1917, Tolkien began writing these legends of Middle Earth. Two tales, which outline the origin of the world and describe the gods who create and rule, precede the title story about the Silmarils--three jewel-like creatures who are desired, setting up a clash between good and evil from which the legends of the First Age are set forth. Two short tales follow to round out the history of the Third Age.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien was a prodigious letter writer all his life, and Carpenter presents the cream of the crop--letters that shed light on his thoughts about his academic and literary work and those that show his private side, revealing a loving husband, a playful friend, and a doting father. Of course, the most fascinating letters are those in which he discusses Middle Earth. (828 To)

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