5 Books to Read If You Loved The Lord of the Rings

Talking about your favourite book is hard because it’s difficult to articulate the attachment you have with what seems to non-readers like just words on the page. I can’t believe I managed to do it for four posts this month, the last one being this of course! I really hope you enjoyed this series and whether you’re as big a Tolkien nerd as me or not, you took away something valuable from this. While The Lord of the Rings will remain my eternal favourite series, I’ve been searching far and wide for books that evoke the same feeling or have similar themes to it. Also, I recognise that it may not be the best book for every kind of reader, even if you’ve loved the movies. Here is my attempt to recommend 5 books that fans like me would enjoy and also for those who may not have liked the books but want something similar. Please be considerate of the fact that reading is a very personal experience, so it’s quite possible to respectfully disagree with my choices.

STRM - LotR Book Recs

1. Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Similarity: Journey element

If I had to pick my favourite book from 2017, it would be this one. While the world-building is definitely not on the scale of Tolkien’s works, the characters set out on a journey to the top of a mountain, except it’s a race. I loved this aspect so much but many people were of the opinion that the book was slow compared to other YA fantasies. I think fans of Tolkien will certainly appreciate it more because it gives a nostalgic feeling of reading The Lord of the Rings.

My Book Review

July 22 - Among the Stars

2.  The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Similarity: War element

This is a rather recent addition to my favourites list. It comes with a page-long content warning, so please be aware of it before picking this book up. However, if you’re good to read this, it will truly blow your mind. It also deals with war and its effects but it does get more gory and horrifyingly descriptive than in Tolkien’s books.

Book Review + Content Warnings on Read at Midnight Blog

July 18 - Love, War, 5 star, Mug

3. Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Similarity: Antagonistic element

I picked this series up after a good IRL friend was gushing about it and it was as good as I’d hoped it would be! This is an incomplete 7-book series and I’m surprised that I’ve been fully caught up for years now because I’m usually bad at keeping up with new releases, which should tell you about how much I adored these books. The premise of the first book is the story that unfolds after The Dark Lord has won. The original trilogy put a unique spin on some classic Tolkien elements  and some of the aspects of the world-building will certainly remind fans of Middle-Earth.

My Friend’s Review of The Hero of Ages (with spoilers)


4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy by Rick Riordan

Similarity: Mythological element

If you loved the races of Elves and Dwarves in the Tolkien universe, then you must check out the source material from which he derived these people. Norse mythology has been told and retold by countless authors but I love the fun element that Rick Riordan brings into his books, which makes the myths so easy to read and remember. He also incorporates amazing diversity and I love the representation in this particular series. One interesting fact is that the second book, The Hammer of Thor, is dedicated to Tolkien. I don’t think you’ll need more convincing after this.

My Spoiler-free Book Review of The Ship of the Dead

Hammer of Thor (LBCT 1)

5. Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

Similarity: Stylistic element

This is my current read and the last book isn’t out yet, so I’m not sure how well it might fit in this list but the story so far seems to be the equivalent of a Man being invited to Valinor to help with a secret problem. I’d hoped to complete the book so I could have more to say about it. The reason I’m including this series despite that is because Laini’s descriptions remind me of the beautiful prose of Tolkien. Although they don’t write in the same style, there’s something about the way in which they string words together that makes me want to savour every sentence. They do slow down the pace of the story sometimes but I do appreciate that as a reader. If you’re interested in the book, now is the perfect time to pick it up as Catriona @ Little Book Owl is hosting a readalong for the entire series currently.

Strange the Readalong Announcement by Little Book Owl



What books would be on your recommendations list? Have you done a ‘If You Like X Then Read…’ kind of post? If so, I’d love to check them out so feel free to leave links in the comments section below.

21 thoughts on “5 Books to Read If You Loved The Lord of the Rings

  1. So much yes to Brandon Sanderson! I also tend to recommend him to people who think high fantasy language is “complicated” or something because Sanderson’s prose is pretty straightforward/approachable. (I mean, I actually think his prose is one of his weak spots, but if you want something that’s highly readable and isn’t trying to sound all old-timey or formal or something, it works.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this list! I also like how you listed books that were similar in different ways. This is something I’ve thought about a fair amount: if different readers focus on different aspects of the same book, then how can you know what kind of recommendations to make? But this is a great way of handling that!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 😊 While trying to come up with recommendations, I thought of the very same thing! Instead of recommending other high fantasy books that are dubbed as “the next Tolkien”, I thought I’d list some different kinds of books so that every reader could take something away from this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beware Of The Reader

    Fantastic post and gorgeous bookstagrams! Honestly I had to try three times to read The Lord of the Ring. As a book evoking the same feelings I would recommend The Dark of the Moon by ES Bell because it’s epic fantasy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Aditi! ❤ I think you might like Mistborn the most among all these at the moment knowing that you don’t quite have a lot of time to read these days. Then I’d suggest moving on to The Poppy War and finally The Lord of the Rings when you have ample time to really sit down and immerse yourself in a different world, like over the holidays or something. Hope that helps! 😊


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  5. I liked how you identified similarity elements for your recommendations! That’s a helpful way to guide potential readers. I don’t suppose there’s any book that has all the same appeal factors that The LotR does. I’ve never written an If You Like X Then Read… post. I think I wouldn’t be good at taking a step back from a book to find ones similar to it. (I’d be like, “Noo, there’s nothing else like this!” :P) But now that I’ve given it some more thought, I might try writing such a post for some middle grade novels I enjoy.


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