Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Top Ten Books if you like J.R.R. Tolkien

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is the top ten books to read if you like a certain popular author or book that would be similar.
Tolkien is the greatest fantasy writer. I think few would argue this. I was looking up what the first fantasy novels were and it talked about how it was difficult to define when the genre first began as people believed in the wonders depicted in works like Midsummer Night's Dream or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. However they said that modern fantasy began with George McDonald who re-created the genre. George McDonald, who wrote books such as The Princess and the Goblin and At the Back of the North Wind, directly influenced J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. So Tolkien was also one of the first fantasy writers and directly influenced by the person who re-created the genre.
If you read my blog you'll know how much I love Tolkien's books. The world building he did with his books is incredible. So I though for this top ten Tuesday theme I would go with the top ten books to read if you like J.R.R. Tolkien. These will of course all be fantasy. None of them in my opinion measure up to the greatness of Tolkien but they are still good.

  1. The Princess and the Goblin by George McDonald- Speaking of which! ;) 
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  4. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander 
  5. The Dragon King series and others by Stephen R. Lawhead- Those are the only books of his I've read but I think he's more famous for others of his fantasy series. 
  6. Binding of the Blade series by L.B. Graham 
  7. Redwall series by Brian Jacques 
  8. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini- These aren't my favorite but I do think Paolini did a great job with world building and he had a good start with his first but then in my opinion they went downhill after that. 
  9. The Wingfeather saga by Andrew Peterson 
  10. The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper 

Now a disclaimer. I know that George R.R. Martin and his Song of Fire and Ice series is widely acclaimed and considered great fantasy but I haven't read them and I won't read them because however good his books may be, he decided to also include inappropriate content in them.

So, any great fantasy novels you would include on this list? Comment and let me know!
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  1. These are great recs for Tolkien lovers (in my limited knowledge of Tolkien). I used Eragon as my recommendation for a fan of The Lord Of The Rings too and I have to politely disagree about the series going downhill (though I did love the first book the best) because I thought Paolini was pretty consistent world-building and characterisation wise. I was happy to see The Inheritance Cycle on here though!

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday list!

    Also, I am currently running two Giveaways! Click here and here to enter! Good luck!

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

    1. I guess most of my dislike for the series is centered on the last book. I just think that he had a lot of great concepts but never really got to develop them to their full potential.

  2. Tolkien was one of my featured authors as well. I recommended T. H. White's The Once and Future King.

    1. I think that's on my Classics Club list. I have a hazy recollection of reading your review on it too. I'm looking forward to it!

  3. Great choices!

    You know, I've never picked up Eragon...

    Check out my TTT.

    1. If you like fantasy it's a good book to pick up.

  4. We chose some similar books/authors which makes sense, because I did my top ten based on if you like C. S. Lewis/The Chronicles of Narnia!
    You can see my top ten tuesday post here: http://neyhart.blogspot.com/2015/09/top-ten-authorsbooks-if-you-like-c-s.html

  5. Great list, I liked Eragon and Eldest but couldn't really get into the rest of that series - he should have made it a trilogy! It's a shame you've been put off Game of Thrones - the sex and violence can get a bit much, but the world building and characters are so good!

    1. I agree.... it should have been a trilogy.
      I wouldn't mind the violence so much it's the sex I would have a problem with.

  6. I've read several of these -- Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Graham, and of course Rowling -- and personally I consider virtually all of them better than Tolkien. I know, I know: I speak heresy!

  7. I've read the first two books in Martin's series. Trust me, you're not missing anything. Aside from the violence and sex, Martin's worldview is very bleak and grim. There's nothing uplifting about his writing. There's griity realism, and then's Martin. The best fantasy writing, no matter how realistic it might be, should still have some of what Tolkien called escapism, in the best sense of that word.

    Thanks for the list. I've read of course 2-4. I need to check out a few of the others. Susan Cooper is intriguing because, if I remember right, she actually studied under Tolkien and Lewis.

    1. Yes. I remember reading somewhere about Tolkien and escapism and I think it is so true. I didn't know Susan Cooper studied under Tolkie and Lewis but if that's true it makes sense. :)


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